Unlike Texas' total state racial demographics, only two counties in East Texas have a majority minority, Jefferson County in the Golden Triangle and Titus County having a 40.6% Hispanic or Latino origin population.
East Texas and Southeast Texas has a significant African-American population, ranging to nearly 20% in some counties Climate is the unifying factor in the region's geography—all of East Texas has the humid subtropical climate typical of the Southeast, occasionally interrupted by intrusions of cold air from the north.
The Sabine River, Trinity River, Neches River, Angelina River and Sulphur River are the major rivers in East Texas, but the Brazos River and Red River also flow through the region.
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All of East Texas also lies within the Gulf Coastal Plain, but with less uniformity than the climate with rolling hills in the north and flat coastal plains in the south.
Local vegetation also varies from north to south with the lower third consisting of the temperate grassland extending from South Texas to South Louisiana.
Most of the region consists of the Piney Woods ecoregion, and East Texas can sometimes be reduced to include only the Piney Woods.
East Texas comprises 41 counties, 38 of which collaborate in sub-regional Ark-Tex Council of Governments, the East Texas Council of Governments, the Deep East Texas Council of Governments and the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission.
The Piney Woods thins out as it nears the Gulf of Mexico.
West of the Piney Woods are the ranchlands and remnant oak forests of the East Central Texas forests ecoregion.
Counties included are Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Delta, Franklin, Gregg, Hardin, Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Panola, Polk, Rains, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood County, Texas.