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Northeast Texas
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Northeast Texas

Northeast Texas is a region in the northeast corner of the U.S state of Texas. It is geographically centered around two metropolitan areas strung along Interstate 20: Tyler in the west and Longview/Marshall to the east. Paris and Texarkana in the north and the Nacogdoches/Lufkin area to the south are also major urban areas within the region. Most of Northeast Texas is included in the inter-state region of the Arklatex.

Northeast Texas is unique in that it has no predominant influence from a major metropolitan area, but is still highly urbanized. It's climate is warmer and wetter than most of Texas and it's geography more hilly and forested. It's culture is similar to that of Southeast Texas, but does not have as much of a Cajun influence. Many of the largest cities in East Texas still follow a rural Southern way of life, especially in dialect, mannerisms, religion, and cuisine.


The geography is composed mainly of the Piney Woods, a mixed forest of deciduous and conifer flora. The Piney woods cover 23,500 square miles of gently rolling or hilly forested land. These woods are part of a much larger region of pine-hardwood forest that extends into Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Northeast Texas lies within the Gulf Coastal Plain and receives more rainfall, 35 to 50 inches, than the rest of Texas.

The Sabine River is the major river in Northeast Texas, and flows through Longview and several other cities. The Red River also flows through the region and forms the northern border with Oklahoma. In Northeast Texas and the rest of the South, small rivers and creeks collect into swamps called "Bayous" and merge with the surrounding forest. Bald cypress and Spanish moss are the dominate plants in Bayous. The most famous of these bayous in Northeast Texas is the Cypress Bayou surrounding the Big, Little, and Black Cypress rivers around Jefferson. They flow east into Caddo Lake and the adjoining wetlands cover the rim and islands of the lake.


Culturally Northeast Texas is more closely akin to Arkansas, Louisiana, and even Mississippi than it is with West Texas. Northeast Texas is in the Bible Belt creating a strong Fundamentalist Christian sentiment. Though a fifth of Texas' population is now Hispanic, African-Americans are still the most populous minority in Northeast Texas. During the Civil Rights Movement several communities clashed over integration.

Regional evolution

The region is unique in that it is the only portion of East Texas that is not within the direct sphere of influence of either Dallas/Fort Worth or Houston. This generally weakens the area's visibility as areas in the south ally themselves with Houston and areas to the west ally themselves with Dallas. These areas are on the fringe of those cities spheres of influence, and therefore not as visible as smaller cities such as Grapevine or Deer Park which are closer to the respective centers of power.

In the mid to 19th century Marshall and Jefferson constituted a sphere of influence that lead the state into the Confederacy and during the Mexican and Republic periods Nacogdoches and San Augustine were the most developed and influential cities in Northeast Texas. Nacogdoches rebelled against Mexican rule in the Freedonia Rebellion and had one of the first newspapers to run the phrase Remember the Alamo!. While none of these three cities are a major population center, in their own right on the state level any longer, all four are still major cultural centers; with Marshall and Nacogdoches being well established centers of higher learning.

Today Tyler and Longview are the largest cities in Northeast Texas. Tyler has a larger population but Longview has a healthier economy. Neither Tyler or Longview has succeeded in establishing themselves as the regional hub. Tyler has a general partnership with Jacksonville while Longview has leaned more and more toward cooperation with it's traditional rival Marshall. The Nacogdoches/Lufkin area is not yet considered to be a metropolitan area despite it's rapid growth and it may eventually reach a size comparable to Tyler, Texarkana, or Longview/Marshall.

In the last decade of the 20th century and first decade of the 21st century many of the cities of Northeast Texas began to cooperate by forming organizations dedicated to a single agenda of common interest, such as the North East Texas Tourism Council and Northeast Texas Air Care.

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Regions: Central Texas | East Texas | North Texas | Northeast Texas | Rio Grande Valley | Texas Hill Country | Texas Panhandle | Llano Estacado | West Texas | Houston Metropolitan Area | Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex
Largest Metropolitan areas: Abilene | Amarillo | Austin- San Marcos | Beaumont- Port Arthur | Brownsville- Harlingen- San Benito | Bryan- College Station | Corpus Christi | Dallas-Fort Worth | El Paso | Houston-Galveston-Brazoria | Killeen- Temple | Laredo | Longview- Marshall | Lubbock | McAllen- Edinburg- Mission | Odessa-Midland | San Angelo | San Antonio | Sherman- Denison | Texarkana | Tyler | Victoria | Waco | Wichita Falls
See also: List of counties in Texas