The lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas
occupies the area from the Gulf of Mexico at South Padre Island on the east, which includes the cities of Brownsville, Harlingen and McAllen, and extends west for over 100 miles. It is approximately 50 miles wide with its southern boundary being the Rio Grande River, which forms the international border with Mexico. Because of the open frontier with Mexico, the population of the northern Mexican cities of Reynosa and Matamoros are considered part of the retail shopping base.
The 2000 U.S. Census placed the population of the area at approximately 1,000,000 persons. Nearly 90% consider themselves ‘Hispanic
.’ That term means that, while they are U.S. citizens, they enjoy a cultural tie to Mexico. Many speak both English and Spanish, but their education has been in U.S. schools, and as a result, English is the language they read and write.
The two standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas encompassing the region, Brownsville/Harlingen and McAllen/Mission/Edinburg, consistently rank near the top of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the state of Texas and are normally found in the top ten nationally.
A huge population exists just across the Mexican border as well. Estimates by Mexican authorities place the region at over 1,000,000 people. Numerous international bridges allow 30,000,000 crossings for persons to shop and visit the U.S. side of the Rio Grande annually. Agriculture, tourism and trade form the basis for The Valley’s economy. A large, available work force has led to the rapid growth of manufacturing on both sides of the river.
The presence of a variety of advertising products focusing on the Rio Grande Valley, in both the Hispanic community and in the non-Hispanic community, make this population base easy to access if you know where to look. Echo media helps national companies coordinate media buys in areas that are difficult to reach, and in a number of niche market arenas.