Port Arthur, Texas

According to SMBer, Port Arthur is a small city in Southeast Texas located on the Gulf Coast. It is bordered by the Sabine River to the west and the Neches River to the east, giving it a unique geography in comparison to other parts of Texas. Port Arthur has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. The average temperature in summer months is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, while winter temperatures can dip into the 30s.

The city of Port Arthur has a rich history that dates back to as early as 1895 when it was incorporated by railroad investors from Beaumont. It quickly grew into an important port for exporting oil and other products from Texas and Louisiana, making it one of the largest cities in Texas at one point. Today, Port Arthur has a population of around 55,000 people and is governed by a mayor-council system with seven council members representing each district within the city limits.

Economically speaking, Port Arthur is home to several major employers such as Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA Inc., Valero Refining Company, Motiva Enterprises LLC, and BASF Corporation. These businesses provide employment opportunities for many of its citizens and help drive its economy forward. Educationally speaking, there are several public schools within the city limits including Thomas Jefferson High School, Stephen F Austin Middle School, Clyde Abshire Elementary School, among others. Private schools are also available including St Mary’s Catholic School and Port Arthur Christian Academy.

Finally, some of Port Arthur’s most notable landmarks include Sea Rim State Park which offers visitors miles of beachfront access along the Gulf Coast; Pleasure Island which features picnic areas and fishing piers; Babe Zaharias Municipal Golf Course; Museum of Art & History located downtown; Sabine Pass Battleground State Historic Site; McFaddin Wildlife Refuge; and downtown’s historic Strand Theater which hosts live performances throughout the year.

Population: 57,755. Estimated population in July 2020: 56,684 (-1.9% change)
Males: 27,525 (47.7%), Females: 30,230 (52.3%)

Jefferson County

Zip codes: 77640, 77642.

Median resident age: 34.6 years
Median household income: $26,455
Median house value: $35,900

Races in Port Arthur:

  • Black (43.7%)
  • White Non-Hispanic (31.8%)
  • Hispanic (17.5%)
  • Other race (8.9%)
  • Vietnamese (4.8%)
  • Two or more races (2.1%)
  • American Indian (0.8%)
  • Asian Indian (0.5%)

(Total can be greater than 100% because Hispanics could be counted in other races)

Ancestries: French (5.9%), German (4.2%), Irish (4.0%), United States (3.9%), English (3.2%), French Canadian (2.6%).

Land area: 82.9 square miles

Port Arthur, Texas


Port Arthur, Texas is a city located in Jefferson County on the Gulf Coast of Texas. According to the 2019 census, the population of Port Arthur was 54,895 people. This population has seen some growth since 2010 when the population was 53,818 people. The majority of Port Arthur’s population is African American (54%), followed by White (37%), Hispanic or Latino (6%), Asian (2%), and Native American (1%). The median age of Port Arthur’s residents is 34.6 years old and the median household income is $38,723.

Port Arthur is an economically diverse city with a variety of industries providing employment opportunities for its citizens. The largest employers in town are Motiva Enterprises, Valero Refinery, Total Petrochemicals USA Inc., and Sabine-Neches Navigation District. These employers provide jobs to many of the city’s residents and contribute to its economy as a whole. Additionally, there are numerous small businesses in Port Arthur that employ many locals as well as tourists who come to enjoy all that the city has to offer. From outdoor activities like fishing and crabbing on Sabine Lake and bird watching at Sea Rim State Park to cultural attractions like museums, art galleries, and performances at venues like Lamar State College-Port Arthur’s Performing Arts Center; there is something for everyone in Port Arthur.

For population 25 years and over in Port Arthur

  • High school or higher: 69.7%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 9.3%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 2.5%
  • Unemployed: 13.3%
  • Mean travel time to work: 19.7 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Port Arthur city

  • Never married: 27.8%
  • Now married: 47.5%
  • Separated: 3.5%
  • Widowed: 9.2%
  • Divorced: 11.9%

12.4% Foreign born (8.5% Latin America, 3.6% Asia).

Population change in the 1990s: -602 (-1.0%).


Hospitals/medical centers in Port Arthur:


Other hospitals/medical centers near Port Arthur:

  • DOCTORS HOSPITAL (about 5 miles; GROVES, TX)


Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Port Arthur:

  • LAKE CHARLES REGIONAL (about 53 miles; LAKE CHARLES, LA; Abbreviation: LCH)
  • CHENNAULT INTL (about 60 miles; LAKE CHARLES, LA; Abbreviation: CWF)

Other public-use airports nearest to Port Arthur:

  • ORANGE COUNTY (about 16 miles; ORANGE, TX; Abbreviation: ORG)
  • BEAUMONT MUNI (about 22 miles; BEAUMONT, TX; Abbreviation: BMT)
  • CHAMBERS COUNTY-WINNIE STOWELL (about 34 miles; WINNIE/STOWELL, TX; Abbreviation: T90)

Amtrak station near Port Arthur:

  • 19 miles: BEAUMONT (2555 W. CEDAR ST.). Services: partially wheelchair accessible, enclosed waiting area, public restrooms, public payphones, free short-term parking, free long-term parking, call for taxi service.

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/Universities in Port Arthur:

  • LAMAR STATE COLLEGE-PORT ARTHUR (Full-time enrollment: 380; Location: 1500 PROCTOR ST; Public; Website: www.pa.lamar.edu)
  • ACADEMY OF HAIR DESIGN (Full-time enrollment: 21; Location: 8140 NINTH AVE; Private, for-profit)

Colleges and Universities

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Port Arthur:

  • LAMAR UNIVERSITY-BEAUMONT (about 15 miles; BEAUMONT, TX; Full-time enrollment: 8,888)
  • MCNEESE STATE UNIVERSITY (about 50 miles; LAKE CHARLES, LA; Full-time enrollment: 6,460)
  • LEE COLLEGE (about 71 miles; BAYTOWN, TX; Full-time enrollment: 3,099)
  • UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON-CLEAR LAKE (about 84 miles; HOUSTON, TX; Full-time enrollment: 4,735)
  • SAN JACINTO COLLEGE-CENTRAL CAMPUS (about 85 miles; PASADENA, TX; Full-time enrollment: 6,102)
  • SAN JACINTO COLLEGE-NORTH CAMPUS (about 86 miles; HOUSTON, TX; Full-time enrollment: 2,819)
  • SAN JACINTO COLLEGE-SOUTH CAMPUS (about 91 miles; HOUSTON, TX; Full-time enrollment: 3,513)


Public high school in Port Arthur:

  • MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL (Students: 1,885; Location: 2200 JEFFERSON DR; Grades: 10 – 12)

Private high school in Port Arthur:

  • UNITED CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (Students: 111; Location: 2700 25TH ST; Grades: PK – 12)

Biggest public primary/middle schools in Port Arthur:

  • EDISON MIDDLE (Students: 987; Location: 3501 12TH AVE; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • FRANKLIN EL (Students: 892; Location: 1000 10TH ST; Grades: PK – 05)
  • HOUSTON EL (Students: 801; Location: 3245 36TH ST; Grades: PK – 05)
  • WILSON MIDDLE (Students: 795; Location: 1500 LAKESHORE DR; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • TYRRELL EL (Students: 794; Location: 4401 FERNDALE DR; Grades: PK – 05)
  • TRAVIS EL (Students: 741; Location: 1115 LAKEVIEW AVE; Grades: PK – 05)
  • MEMORIAL 9TH GRADE CENTER (Students: 738; Location: 1023 ABE LINCOLN AVE; Grades: 09 – 09)
  • LEE EL (Students: 732; Location: 3939 DELWARE DR; Grades: PK – 05)
  • AUSTIN MIDDLE SCHOOL (Students: 503; Location: 2441 61ST ST; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • DEQUEEN EL (Students: 438; Location: 740 DEQUEEN BLVD; Grades: PK – 05)

Private primary/middle schools in Port Arthur:

  • ST CATHERINE ELEM SCHOOL (Students: 242; Location: 3840 WOODROW DRIVE; Grades: PK – 8)
  • SR THEA BOWMAN ACADEMY (Students: 92; Location: 3617 GULFWAY DRIVE; Grades: PK – 5)


Library in Port Arthur:

  • PORT ARTHUR PUBLIC LIBRARY (Operating income: $882,691; Location: 4615 9TH AVE; 138,346 books; 7,057 audio materials; 2,742 video materials; 368 serial subscriptions)

About the author