Texas is the second-largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state in the contiguous United States. Located in the South Central United States, Texas is bordered by Mexico to the south, New Mexico to the west, Oklahoma to the north, Arkansas to the northeast, and Louisiana to the east. Texas has an area of 268,820 square miles (696,200 km2), and a growing population of 24.7 million residents. Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States. Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes that resemble both the American South and Southwest. Although it is popularly associated with the Southwestern deserts, less than 10% of the land area is desert. Most of the population centers are located in areas of former prairies, grasslands, forests, and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, and finally the desert and mountains of the Big Bend. Today it has more Fortune 500 companies than any other U.S. state. It leads the nation in export revenue since 2002 and has the second-highest gross state product.
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