Brownfield is a city in Terry County, Texas, United States. The population was 9,657 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Terry County 39 miles southwest of Lubbock.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Brownfield has a total area of 6.3 square miles (16 km), of which 0.32% is covered by water.
Brownfield lies in the center of Terry County, within the southern portion of the South Plains and Llano Estacado. The city rests on a windblown deposit called the Blackwater Draw Formation, which is underlain by a thick layer of caliche, referred to locally as the “Caprock”. Beneath the caliche layer lies fluvial deposits called the Ogallala Formation, which contains a portion of the vast Ogallala Aquifer. The Caprock Escarpment, about 50 miles east, forms a rather precipitous drop of about 1,000 feet (305 m) and exposes various geologic layers. In early days, climbing the Caprock Escarpment was not easy for horse-drawn covered wagons.
The only terrain variation lies at the south end of the city, where Lost Draw carves a channel that runs across the entire county. Lost Draw formed over 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age when the climate of the area was much wetter. When the vast glaciers of the north retreated, they left numerous dry river channels crisscrossing the Llano Estacado. When settlers during the 1800s ventured across this area, they often went into these channels expecting to find water; however, unless significant rains had occurred recently, their search was in vain, with many of the parties becoming “lost”, hence the name, Lost Draw.
The most notable geographic feature of Brownfield remains its red soil. The soil creates an almost iridescent red color during sunrise and sunset due to the high iron oxide content.
The number of residents in prisons or correctional facilities is significantly above the state average.
Brownfield and Terry County have one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the State of Texas. The teen pregnancy rate is 98.1 out of 1000, more than double the national average.
Brownfield has an extremely high sexually transmitted infection rate of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and most notably syphilis, which is much higher than the state average (7.8 per 100,000).
Only 61.5% of the population holds a high school degree or higher, 8.9% a bachelor’s degree or higher, and 2.7% a master’s degree or higher. About 6.1% of the population was unemployed in 2010.
As of the census of 2000, 9,488 people, 3,176 households, and 2,337 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,501.0 people per square mile (579.6/km²). The 3,735 housing units had an average density of 590.9 per square mile (228.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 24.56% White, 6.59% African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 14.47% from other races, and 3.71% from two or more races. Hispanics of any race were 45.95% of the population.
The city representation consists overwhelmingly of the white population with only 23.4% of the council consisting of the minorities that are 75% of the population. The white representation is 75% of the council while only consisting of 24% of the population.
Of the 3,176 households, 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.3% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were not families. About 24% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.19.
In the city, the population was distributed as 27.2% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 109.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 111.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,504, and for a family was $32,076. Males had a median income of $23,637 versus $19,628 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,854. About 21.8% of families and 26.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.7% of those under age 18 and 13.5% of those age 65 or over.
Brownfield is served by a weekly newspaper, nearby stations KBXJ (FM) and KPET (AM), and the various Lubbock radio and TV stations. KKUB (AM) and KTTU-FM are licensed to Brownfield, but operate primarily from offices and studios in Lubbock.