the second-largest U.S. state in both area and population, and the largest state in
the contiguous United States. The name had wide usage among native Americans,
meaning "friends" or "allies". 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 24.6 million residents.
Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States,
while Dallas–Fort Worth and Houston are the 4th and 6th largest United States
metropolitan areas. Other major cities include San Antonio, El Paso, and Austin—the
state capital. Texas is nicknamed the Lone Star State to signify Texas as an
independent republic and as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence
from Mexico. The "Lone Star" can be found on the Texas State Flag and on the Texas
State Seal today.