Del Rio is best known as the American address of legendary Mexican radio station XERF whose gigantic transmitter was located just over the border in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.
Del Rio is also home to Laughlin Air Force Base, which is the largest pilot training base in the United States Air Force; on weekdays, the airfield sees more takeoffs and landings than any other airport in the country. During the 1950s and 1960s, Laughlin was home to several U-2 Dragonlady high-altitude reconnaisance aircraft; Laughlin U-2s were among the first to provide photographic evidence of Soviet missile installations in Cuba in 1962. Maj. Rudolph Anderson, Jr., who perished when his U-2 was hit by a Soviet-made SA-2 on October 22, 1962, while overflying Cuba, was based at Laughlin.
Del Rio is located at 29°22'15" North, 100°53'45" West (29.370716, -100.895839)1.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 40.0 km² (15.4 mi²). 40.0 km² (15.4 mi²) of it is land and 0.06% is water.
Del Rio lies at the southwestern corner of the Edwards Plateau, the western fringe of the Texas Hill Country. The Plateau is dotted with numerous small springs; one of these is the San Felipe Springs, which provide a constant flow of water to San Felipe Creek. The creek supplied fresh water for drinking and irrigation to early settlers of Del Rio and is still the town's water supply.
As of the census of 2000, there are 33,867 people, 10,778 households, and 8,514 families residing in the city. The population density is 846.9/km² (2,194.0/mi²). There are 11,895 housing units at an average density of 297.5/km² (770.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 77.08% White, 1.21% African American, 0.70% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 17.79% from other races, and 2.68% from two or more races. 81.04% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 10,778 households out of which 42.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% are married couples living together, 15.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 21.0% are non-families. 18.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.09 and the average family size is 3.56.
In the city the population is spread out with 31.7% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. For every 100 females there are 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $27,387, and the median income for a family is $30,788. Males have a median income of $27,255 versus $17,460 for females. The per capita income for the city is $12,199. 27.0% of the population and 22.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 35.8% are under the age of 18 and 26.4% are 65 or older.