Community Profile

FY 2023 Annual Budget

How does a community with a population of over 68,000 people become a center for industrial manufacturing, retail sales, higher education and medical care? Let’s find out!

City of Victoria on a map of Texas

Location, Location, Location

Victoria’s geography plays a huge role in its success. Victoria is at most a two-hour drive to major Texas cities such as Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi which feature international airports flying with flights to destinations across the globe. This location places Victoria within easy access to a combined population of more than 5 million residents. Only 30 miles from the Texas gulf coast, Victoria’s proximity to beaches, rivers, lakes, and bays offers abundant opportunities for swimming, fishing, hunting, birding, boating and other outdoor adventures.


Victoria is the largest city for the seven-county area known as the “Golden Crescent,” which includes Victoria, Calhoun, Dewitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, and Lavaca counties. This gives Victoria a retail trade of more than 250,000 shoppers with retail sales totaling more than $1.85 billion dollars and an expected growth in the range of 5.2%.


A regional transportation hub, Victoria has a long list of options available; access to large and small freight carriers, the Victoria Regional Airport, railway terminals, the shallow draft Port of Victoria, and the deep-water Port of Port Lavaca-Point Comfort. Victoria is in a prime position along the NAFTA Corridor with Mexico and will be a critical segment to its transportation resource; the soon-to-be-completed IH69.


Victoria is home to the largest medical community in the region with a medical network that provides state-of-the-art care on five hospital campuses. Our hospitals have more than 720 beds, a system of local clinics, and skilled personnel providing individualized care with the most modern advances in technology for both inpatient and outpatient services. Residents in Victoria and surrounding counties have access to the finest in medical care.

Flourishing Economy

Texas’ legendary cattle and ranching industry began in the mid-1800s near Victoria as Mexican and Irish ranchers found the land, grass and water they needed. Cotton too did well in the county. As a result, Victoria became home to early banking, medical and grocery businesses.


With the discovery of oil and gas deposits throughout the county and region in the 1930s, Victoria’s ranchers and farmers became some of Texas’ earliest oil barons. Since the 1950s, a strong industrial complex developed just outside Victoria’s city limits and other neighboring counties that focused on petrochemical and plastics manufacturing. These facilities provide jobs for more than 7,000 workers at above-average wages and have provided Victoria with a solid industrial employment base for almost 70 years. Today, many of these plants are undergoing massive expansions that total billions of dollars in modernized facilities.


Another vital business resource, the Port of Victoria, is a center for the chemical, petroleum, steel fabrication and agricultural industries. These industries utilize the easy access to railroad services, barge capabilities and overland transportation services. The Port services 5,700 barges per year with cargo totaling more than 5.2 million tons. The 35-mile waterway that connects the Port to the Gulf Coast Intracoastal Waterway serves as Victoria’s canal to the rest of the world.


All economic indicators point to a bright future for the Victoria economy. Skilled workers, an ample labor force, in-place job training programs and a strong work ethic meet prospective companies when they enter the Victoria market. Regional employers boast that our local plants are among the most productive within their corporate families.

Port of Victoria

History

Six Flags Over Texas at DeLeon Plaza

Victoria’s history is as rich and diverse as the people who call it home today. During Texas’ colonial period, in 1685, French explorer Rene’ Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle arrived and established an outpost near the southern tip of present-day Victoria County on land claimed by Spain. This French settlement backs Victoria’s claim as being the only location where all six flags of Texas truly flew. This incursion forced the Spanish government to send numerous expeditions to find the French settlement, resulting in a chain of Spanish missions and forts that influenced the course of Texas history.


Years later in 1824, the Republic of Mexico approved Empresario Don Martin De Leon’s request to establish a colony on the lower Guadalupe River. Along with 40 families, he settled on the east bank of the river and named the new settlement “Villa Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de Jesús Victoria” after the first president of Mexico.


Once Texas gained its independence from Mexico in 1836, the original name was shortened to simply Victoria. Victoria became the county seat for Victoria County and the third charter city created under the Republic of Texas. Later, Victoria was on the major route to other parts of the state for immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Poland with some deciding to settle here. Steam boating up the Guadalupe River in the mid-1800s contributed significantly to the Victoria economy, and the railroad arrived in the late 1880s.


See for yourself the incredible history Victoria has on display. The self-guided Old Victoria Driving Tour, which is available at the Victoria Convention and Visitors Bureau, directs you on a path of beautiful old homes and structures of our historic districts, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Education

Victoria Independent School District (VISD) serves nearly 14,000 students, with 14 elementary schools, four middle schools, and two high schools and is the largest school system in the region. VISD prides itself on its vast spectrum of academic programs. These include advanced academics, gifted and talented programs, bilingual classes, pre-AP classes, dual credit courses, AVID, dyslexia programs, and a whole host of educational opportunities through the special education department.


There are ten private schools in Victoria County serving over 2,158 students. They range from pre-school to 12th grade. Some of our award-winning private schools are Nazareth Academy (established in 1867 and the fourth oldest Catholic School in Texas), St. Joseph High School (established in 1868), Trinity Episcopal School (established in 1954), and Our Lady of Victory Catholic School (established in 1957).

UHV

Victoria has always been forward thinking in higher education. Victoria College, established in 1925, has an annual enrollment of more than 7,000 students. Curriculum includes science, medical and technical subjects in-line with the demands of area industries. Victoria College offers various associate degrees, certificates, and workforce training courses that lead to careers in a number of industrial trades and professional fields. The Emerging Technology Center, opened in 2015, is a testament to the College’s commitment to higher learning in academics and employee training for local industries.


The University of Houston-Victoria, established in 1971, provides students the opportunity to earn a four-year degree so they may leave their mark in the world. The university now enrolls more than 4,000 students each semester and fields collegiate athletic teams in baseball, softball, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s golf competing in the Red River Athletic Conference. Since 2009, UHV has approved an aggressive Master Building Plan that has already committed $147 million in completed and current projects and plans to spend another $155 million in the next seven years on campus expansions including a STEM Building which will house labs and classrooms for science and engineering majors, a Student Learning Commons Building, three student dormitories and a dining hall.

Entertainment

With a colorful history and comfortable weather, it's no surprise that Victoria developed into a regional entertainment hub. The Texas Zoo, the Museum of the Coastal Bend, and the Nave Museum are all established tourist attractions. Victoria is home to the oldest delicatessen in Texas, Fossati's Delicatessen, which opened in 1882 and is located in our beautiful downtown.


The community has long been supportive of the arts. Theatre Victoria, Victoria Symphony and Victoria Ballet Theatre host performances year-round. The beloved Victoria Bach Festival, named a "Texas Treasure" by National Public Radio, recently celebrated its 46th anniversary and features performers from around the world.


New entertainment options seem to pop up frequently in Victoria. Aero Crafters, a gastropub and craft beer garden, and Outlaw Pass, a family entertainment center with go karting and mini golf, are popular spots for residents. The Children's Discovery Museum has quickly established itself as a favorite destination for families with young children. The newest museum, The Five Point Museum of Contemporary Art, features an excellent collection of art cars and specializes in short-run exhibitions of modern art from local and national artists.


Victoria is an "event" town with successful happenings such as Bootfest, Victoria's largest free festival. Several other annual events continue to celebrate the diversity of Victoria such as Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Weekend Bash, and the Czech Heritage Festival. Combined they bring diversity and visitors to Victoria.

Texas Zoo

The Great Outdoors

Outdoors and nature lovers will find plenty to keep themselves entertained. Within the city limits alone, Victoria has three highly rated golf courses and 16 parks with 888 acres of parkland to enjoy.


The City's flagship park, Riverside Park, borders the Guadalupe River and has many amenities including hike and bike trails, two 18-hole disc golf courses, multiple playscapes, and kayak rentals. Riverside Stadium is home to local baseball team the Victoria Generals and hosts games by the University of Houston-Victoria Jaguars. Other parks also have plenty to keep you busy. The two-mile hike and bike trail along Lone Tree Creek is popular among runners, walkers and cyclists. The Youth Sports Complex features 12 youth ball fields for baseball and tennis courts. Ethel Lee Tracy Park is a wonderful community park that boasts an inclusive playground, a fishing pond, splash pad, and an amphitheater.


Victoria has friendly residents, a captivating history, and a flourishing business all in an ideal location. Victoria is a top destination to raise a family, get an education, and begin a career and we can look forward to Victoria continuing to lead the way for our region.

Kayak Trail