Tulia is a city in, and county seat of, Swisher County, Texas, United States. The population was 4,967 at the 2010 census; in the 2018 census estimate, it had fallen to 4,682. The city is at the junction of U.S. Route 87 and Texas State Highway 86, about 2 mi east of Interstate 27. Tulia is a center for farming and agribusiness activities.
Its site was originally on the acreage of the Tule Ranch division of the JA Ranch. In 1887, a post office was established in James A. Parrish's dugout on Middle Tule Draw, 9 mi west of what is now the site of Tulia. Evidently, the name Tule, after the nearby creek, had been selected for this post office, but at some point a clerk's error changed the name to Tulia. By 1900, Tulia was prospering as a stopping point for freight-wagon traffic en route to the railheads of Colorado City and Amarillo. A booming new era began with the extension of the Santa Fe line to Tulia in December 1906; with it came more settlers. In the mid-1980s, local industrial plants manufactured products such as clothing and farm implements, and four large cattle-feeding enterprises were nearby.
Tulia gained notoriety following a drug sting in July 1999 that rounded up 46 people, 40 of whom were innocent African Americans.