Brownsville is a city located in Cameron County Texas. Brownsville has a 2023 population of 189,987. It is also the county seat of Cameron County.Brownsville is currently growing at a rate of 0.57% annually and its population has increased by 1.73% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 186,762 in 2020.
The average household income in Brownsville is $58,147 with a poverty rate of 26.49%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Brownsville is 31 years, 28.9 years for males, and 33.3 years for females.
Brownsville is located in Cameron County, Texas in South Texas near the Mexican border. The city is part of the cross-border Brownsville-Metamoros conurbation which has an estimated population of 1.13 million. Brownsville is one of the most southern cities in the United States.
Brownsville has one of the highest shares of Hispanic residents in the United States. The Pew Research Center reports that metro Brownsville has about 373,000 Hispanic residents or almost 89% of its population which ranks 28th in the country. Almost 97% of Hispanic residents in Brownsville are Mexican and 0.8% are Puerto Rican. About 30% of people in Brownsville were born outside of the U.S.
Brownsville has one of the country's highest poverty rates with a median household income of $24,500. Nearly 36% of the population and 32% of families live below the federal poverty line. This includes almost half of people under 18. This makes Brownsville the second poorest urban area in the United States after the McAllen metro area.
Brownsville remains the most populous city in the Rio Grande Valley and its population more than doubled from 85,000 in 1980 to 175,000 in 2010. The city is now working on a comprehensive housing program to address its massively growing population. By 2030, Brownsville is expected to add another 10,000 people.
In its early history in the 18th century when the land was owned by Spain, the area of Brownsville was used for ranching. It had just a few settlers when Texas declared independence from Mexico in 1836.
Brownsville was founded by an entrepreneur named Charles Stillman in 1848 after he founded a nearby river boat company. The city is named for Major Jacob Brown, an Army soldier who fought in the Mexican-American War. In 1848, Brownsville became part of Texas and the city was incorporated two years later. Brownsville played a major role in many historical events, including the Battle of Brownsville during the American Civil War and the Mexican-American War and Texas Revolution.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Brownsville was:
Two or more races
Black or African American
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 58.93%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
14.74% of Brownsville residents speak only English, while 85.26% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 84.63% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Brownsville is Other, with 30.98% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Brownsville is Asian, with 8.25% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 7.71%. Among those working part-time, it was 25.79%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 35.72%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is 45-54, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Brownsville
73.36% of Brownsville residents were born in the United States, with 65.68% having been born in Texas. 17.56% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.