Hays County is a county on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. Hays County is part of the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, its official population had reached 157,107. The county seat is San Marcos. Hays, along with Comal and Kendall counties, was listed in 2017 as one of the nation’s ten fastest-growing large counties with a population of at least ten thousand. From 2015 to 2016, Hays County, third on the national list, had nearly ten thousand new residents during the year. Comal County, sixth on the list, grew by 5,675 newcomers, or 4.4 percent. Kendall County, the second-fastest-growing county in the nation, grew by 5.16 percent. As a result of this growth, the counties have experienced new home construction, traffic congestion, and greater demand for public services. Bexar County, which includes San Antonio, grew by 1.75 percent during the year, but its sheer number of new residents exceeded 33,000.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 680 square miles (1,800 km), of which 678 square miles (1,760 km) are land and 1.9 square miles (4.9 km) (0.3%) are covered by water.
As of the 2015 Texas population estimate program, the county’s population was 193,963: non-Hispanic whites, 106,919 (55.1%); non-Hispanic blacks, 5,860 (3.0%); other non-Hispanics, 6,624 (3.4%); and Hispanics and Latinos (of any race), 74,560 (38.4%).
As of the census of 2000, 97,589 people, 51,265 households, and 22,150 families resided in the county. The population density was 144 people per square mile (56/km²). The 55,643 housing units averaged 53 per mi (20/km). The racial makeup of the county was 78.92% White, 3.68% Black or African American, 0.69%Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 13.36% from other races, and 2.49% from two or more races. About 29.57% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 33,410 households, 34.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.10% were married couples living together, 9.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.70% were not families; 21.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.21.
A Williams Institute analysis of 2010 census data found there were about 7.4 same-sex couples per 1,000 households in the county.
The county’s population was distributed as 24.50% under the age of 18, 20.50% from 18 to 24, 28.20% from 25 to 44, 19.10% from 45 to 64, and 7.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.50 males.
The county’s median household income was $45,006 and the median family income was $56,287. Males had a median income of $35,209 versus $27,334 for females. The county’s per capita income was $19,931. About 6.40% of families and 14.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.30% of those under age 18 and 9.70% of those age 65 or over.