Sign at entrance to Taft
|Nickname(s): The Friendliest Cotton Pickin' Town in Texas|
Location of Taft, Texas
|o Total||1.5 sq mi (3.9 km2)|
|o Land||1.5 sq mi (3.9 km2)|
|o Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||49 ft (15 m)|
|o Density||2,000/sq mi (780/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|o Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1348200|
Taft is located at (27.978584, -97.394320).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.9 km²), all land.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Taft has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2000, there is 3,396 people, 1,084 households, and 835 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,266.1 people per square mile (874.1/km²). There were 1,214 housing units at an average density of 810.1 per square mile (312.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.02% White, 3.33% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 22.94% from other races, and 2.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 67.02% of the population.
There were 1,084 households out of which 40.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.7% were married couples living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.9% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.02 and the average family size was 3.52.
In the city, the population was spread out with 33.5% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $24,622, and the median income for a family was $32,065. Males had a median income of $28,571 versus $20,219 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,573. About 20.7% of families and 25.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.6% of those under age 18 and 22.9% of those age 65 or over.
Taft, often called the "Friendliest Cotton-Pickin' Town in Texas", is not only rich in cotton, but also gas and oil resources. Taft was once the center of the million acre Taft Ranch. The ranch was built and owned by Charles Phelps Taft, the half-brother of President William Howard Taft. The nearby town of Sinton, Texas is named for his father in law David Sinton. The Blackland Museum houses everything from antique farm equipment to personal and household items used by the town's earliest inhabitants. Every year at Christmas time Santa leads a parade from his perch high atop a city fire truck, delighting residents and visitors of all ages.
On the evening of 25 August 2017, Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 Hurricane, made landfall near Rockport, TX, approximately 30 miles north of Taft, at 10 PM CST. With landfall, the city of Taft was brushed by the outer-bands of the eye wall of Hurricane Harvey with winds recorded at 90 mph. Severe damage was done to residential buildings with 0 fatalities, to date.
At the time of landfall, Hurricane Harvey was the first category 4 Hurricane in over 20 years to hit the city.
The City of Taft is served by the Taft Independent School District.
Schools that serve the city include Woodrow Petty Elementary (PK-5), Taft Junior High School (6-8), and Taft High School (9-12).