Port Isabel, Texas

Port Isabel, Texas

According to COMPUTERDO, Port Isabel is a city located within Cameron County, Texas. Geographically, it’s situated in the southernmost tip of Texas and is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre Bay. The climate in Port Isabel is humid subtropical, with hot summers and mild winters. In terms of history, Port Isabel was founded in 1853 as a fishing village and has since become a popular tourist destination due to its beautiful beaches and historical sites. Politically, Port Isabel is part of the Brownsville-Harlingen metropolitan area and is governed by a mayor-council system.

The economy in Port Isabel relies heavily on tourism, with many restaurants, hotels, and other businesses devoted to serving visitors to the city. There are also several industries that employ locals such as shrimping, oystering, fishing, oil refining, and seafood processing. Education is provided by the Point Isabel Independent School District which includes four elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school.

In addition to its many beaches and natural attractions such as bird watching spots along Laguna Madre Bay, there are several landmarks that make Port Isabel unique including the historic Queen Isabella Causeway which connects the mainland to South Padre Island; The Port Isabel Lighthouse which was built in 1852; The Port Isabel Historical Museum; The Treasures of the Gulf Museum; The Historic Fort Polk; And La Isla Bonita Park which features an outdoor amphitheater for live music performances.

Port Isabel, Texas

Population: 4,865. Estimated population in July 2020: 5,373 (+10.4% change)
Males: 2,358 (48.5%), Females: 2,507 (51.5%)

Cameron County

Zip code: 78578

Median resident age: 32.3 years
Median household income: $25,323
Median house value: $58,900

Races in Port Isabel:

  • Hispanic (74.4%)
  • White Non-Hispanic (24.5%)
  • Other race (15.5%)
  • Two or more races (3.1%)
  • Black (1.0%)
  • American Indian (0.8%)

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

Ancestries: German (5.8%), English (4.0%), Irish (2.9%), United States (2.0%), French (1.7%), Norwegian (1.2%).

Elevation: 27 feet

Land area: 2.2 square miles


Port Isabel, Texas is a small city located on the southern tip of Texas. It is part of Cameron County and has a population of 5,006 as of the 2010 census. The city encompasses an area of 3.2 square miles and has an average elevation of 8 feet. The city’s population is predominantly Hispanic, with nearly 94% being native-born Mexicans or Mexican-Americans. The remaining 6% are primarily White and African American, though there are also some Asian and Pacific Islander residents. The median age in Port Isabel is 33 years old, with almost one third under the age of 18 and another third between 18 and 34 years old.

The population in Port Isabel is largely employed in tourism related industries such as hospitality, fishing, and retail trade. This sector accounts for over 33% of all employment opportunities in the city. Additionally, over 20% are employed in manufacturing jobs such as food processing and metal fabrication industries that have been established around town. Other important economic sectors include healthcare services (12%), education (5%), construction (5%), government services (4%), retail trade (4%) and transportation/warehousing (3%). As a result of its proximity to the Gulf Coast, Port Isabel also has a thriving fishing industry which provides employment to many local residents.

For population 25 years and over in Port Isabel

  • High school or higher: 59.1%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 12.3%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 3.7%
  • Unemployed: 4.4%
  • Mean travel time to work: 16.8 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Port Isabel city

  • Never married: 24.6%
  • Now married: 52.5%
  • Separated: 6.4%
  • Widowed: 8.1%
  • Divorced: 8.5%

24.2% Foreign born (23.4% Latin America).

Population change in the 1990s: +96 (+2.0%).


Hospitals/medical centers near Port Isabel:



Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Port Isabel:

  • VALLEY INTL (about 32 miles; HARLINGEN, TX; Abbreviation: HRL)
  • MC ALLEN MILLER INTL (about 71 miles; MC ALLEN, TX; Abbreviation: MFE)

Other public-use airports nearest to Port Isabel:

  • PORT ISABEL-CAMERON COUNTY (about 10 miles; PORT ISABEL, TX; Abbreviation: PIL)
  • CHARLES R JOHNSON (about 37 miles; PORT MANSFIELD, TX; Abbreviation: T05)
  • MID VALLEY (about 53 miles; WESLACO, TX; Abbreviation: T65)

Colleges and Universities

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

  • THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT BROWNSVILLE (about 24 miles; BROWNSVILLE, TX; Full-time enrollment: 6,044)
  • TEXAS SOUTHMOST COLLEGE (about 24 miles; BROWNSVILLE, TX; Full-time enrollment: 4,556)
  • TEXAS STATE TECHNICAL COLLEGE-HARLINGEN (about 35 miles; HARLINGEN, TX; Full-time enrollment: 2,167)
  • THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN (about 70 miles; EDINBURG, TX; Full-time enrollment: 9,651)
  • SOUTH TEXAS COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 72 miles; MCALLEN, TX; Full-time enrollment: 7,142)
  • TEXAS A & M UNIVERSITY-KINGSVILLE (about 108 miles; KINGSVILLE, TX; Full-time enrollment: 4,860)
  • TEXAS A & M UNIVERSITY-CORPUS CHRISTI (about 113 miles; Corpus Christi, TX; Full-time enrollment: 5,282)


Public high school in Port Isabel:

  • PORT ISABEL H S (Students: 644; Location: HWY 100; Grades: 09 – 12)

Public primary/middle schools in Port Isabel:

  • GARRIGA EL (Students: 780; Location: 600 WASHINGTON; Grades: PK – 02)
  • PORT ISABEL J H (Students: 586; Location: HWY 100; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • DERRY EL (Students: 546; Location: 2ND & OKLAHOMA; Grades: 03 – 05)


Library in Port Isabel:

  • PORT ISABEL PUBLIC LIBRARY (Operating income: $153,885; Location: 213 N YTURRIA ST; 32,000 books; 375 audio materials; 825 video materials; 48 serial subscriptions)