Palacios (/pəˈlæʃəs/ (listen) pə-LASH-əs) is a city in Matagorda County, Texas, United States. The population was 4,718 at the 2010 census.
Palacios is located on the Gulf Coast about halfway between Houston and Corpus Christi. It is connected to both cities by State Highway 35.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.3 square miles (14 km), of which, 5.0 square miles (13 km) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km) of it (4.36%) is covered by water. It is located on the shores of Tres Palacios Bay, an arm of Matagorda Bay.
The Palacios area is known among birders for its wide diversity of bird life. Since 1997, as part of the 15-mile-diameter Matagorda County-Mad Island Marsh count circle of the National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count, it has consistently reported more bird species than anywhere else in the United States. On December 19, 2005, a record 250 species were observed.
As of the census of 2000, 5,153 people, 1,661 households, and 1,244 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,021.4 people per square mile (394.8/km²). There were 1,976 housing units at an average density of 391.7 per square mile (151.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 57% White, 5% African American, 1% Native American, 12% Asian, 22% from other races, and 33% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 51% of the population.
Palacios has an unusually high percentage of Asian-Americans, as it is home to a large community of Vietnamese immigrants and their families.
Of the 1,661 households, 44.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.4% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.1% were not families. About 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.08 and the average family size was 3.64.
In the city, the population was distributed as 35.4% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,623, and for a family was $35,518. Males had a median income of $27,483 versus $21,875 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,107. About 19.8% of families and 24.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.9% of those under age 18 and 14.3% of those age 65 or over.