Livingston is located northeast of Houston toward Lufkin on US 59 where US 190 and Hwy 146 cross it near Lake Livingston, and is the seat of Polk County.
Although its population fell to 928 by 1925, as the local timber was giving out and mills began to move away, the 1932 discovery of oil at the Livingston field ten miles south sparked new growth. By 1936 there were ninety-three producing wells in the field, and the town had extended its city limits.
Livingston has benefited from the growth of Houston, to which it is financially attuned. The number of businesses and population in Livingston, the largest town in Polk County, grew accordingly, from 150 and 3,398 in the early 1960s to 260 and 4,928 by the mid-1980s.
In 1990 the population was 5,019.