Sour Lake is a city in Hardin County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,813 at the 2010 census. It was originally named “Sour Lake Springs”, after the sulphurous spring water that flowed into the nearby lake. The city is part of the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. Sour Lake is the oldest surviving town in Hardin County. It is called by some the “Gateway to the Big Thicket”.
Sour Lake is in southern Hardin County at the intersection of state highways 105 and 326. Highway 105 leads west 46 miles (74 km) to Cleveland, Texas, and east 14 miles (23 km) to the US 69 freeway in the northern part of Beaumont. Highway 326 leads north 18 miles (29 km) to Kountze, the Hardin county seat, and south 7 miles (11 km) to U.S. Route 90 at Nome.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city of Sour Lake has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.3 km), of which 0.02 square miles (0.06 km), or 1.21%, are water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,667 people, 672 households, and 446 families residing in the city. The population density was 964.0 people per square mile (372.0/km²). There were 752 housing units at an average density of 434.9 per square mile (167.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.36% White, 3.18% African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.42% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.00% of the population.
There were 672 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the city, the population was spread out with 27.5% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $30,300, and the median income for a family was $39,605. Males had a median income of $36,406 versus $24,500 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,497. About 8.5% of families and 12.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.1% of those under age 18 and 15.6% of those age 65 or over.