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The Texas Panhandle is a region of the U.S. state of Texas consisting of the northernmost 26 counties in the state. The panhandle is a rectangular area bordered by the state of New Mexico to the west and the state of Oklahoma to the north and east. The southern border of Swisher County is considered to be the southern boundary of the region. Its land area is 66,883.58 km˜ (25,823.9 sq mi), or 9.864 percent of the state's total. There is an additional 162.53 km˜ (62.75 sq mi) of water area. Its population as of the 2000 census was 402,862 residents, or 1.932 percent of the state's population. Curiously, the Panhandle is distinct from North Texas, which is more to the southeast.
Most of the western half west of the Caprock escarpment and north and south of the Canadian River breaks is rather flat terrain. The largest city in the Panhandle is Amarillo, Texas. The relatively flat land gives way to Palo Duro Canyon southeast of the city, the second largest canyon in the United States.
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