The 30-county Northwest region covers about 27,600 square miles in northern Texas, stretching from Oklahoma on the north to the Colorado River on the south and abutting Big Spring on the west and the Fort Worth area on the east.
The region includes two metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs): the Abilene MSA, comprising Callahan, Jones and Taylor counties, and the Wichita Falls MSA, comprising Archer, Clay and Wichita counties.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
In 2019, the Northwest region’s estimated total population was about 550,500, or nearly 2 percent of the state’s total population. The region’s population has remained stable since the 2010 Census.
Average Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment, Northwest Region
|Educational Attainment||Number Employed, Region||Average Annual Earnings, Region|
|Less than High School||31,068||$35,612|
|High School or Equivalent, No College||55,171||$39,212|
|Some College or Associate Degree||58,694||$42,613|
|Bachelor’s Degree or Advanced Degree||33,383||$56,035|
|Educational Attainment Unavailable||25,530||$21,590|
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and JobsEQ
Northwest region workers with some college or associate degrees and stable jobs earned an average of $3,401 more annually than those with a high school degree, while those with at least a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $16,823 more.
From 2009 to 2019, the Northwest region’s employment increased by more than 2 percent, much lower than the state’s total job growth rate. In 2019, the region accounted for nearly 2 percent of the state’s total employment.
The Northwest region’s most significant occupations are shown below, sorted by numerical growth during the last five years.
Employment Growth, Northwest Region vs. Texas and U.S., 2009 to 2019
Note: Figures include private and public sector employees with the exception of active-duty military personnel, railroad employees, religious institution employees and the self-employed.
Sources: JobsEQ and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Top Occupations in the Northwest Region by Numeric Growth, 2014 to 2019
|Occupation||Number Employed||Average Annual Wages|
|Other Personal Care and Service Workers||7,652||$20,900|
|Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners||9,323||$91,400|
|Food and Beverage Serving Workers||11,957||$20,400|
|Building Cleaning and Pest Control Workers||5,422||$22,400|
|Health Technologists and Technicians||5,935||$40,500|
Note: Data are as of Q4 2019 except wage data, which are for covered employment in 2018.
In 2019, taxable sales directly attributable to businesses in the region exceeded $5.8 billion, about 1.1 percent of the state’s overall taxable sales.
Regional Receipts Subject to Sales Tax
|Year||Revenue Northwest Region|
|2007||5.3 billion dollars|
|2008||5.3 billion dollars|
|2009||4.5 billion dollars|
|2010||5.1 billion dollars|
|2011||5.6 billion dollars|
|2012||5.8 billion dollars|
|2013||5.8 billion dollars|
|2014||6.3 billion dollars|
|2015||5.7 billion dollars|
|2016||5.1 billion dollars|
|2017||5.5 billion dollars|
|2018||5.6 billion dollars|
|2019||5.8 billion dollars|
Note: Numbers shown are for reported revenue subject to sales tax and directly attributed to the region.
Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
The Northwest region and its 30 counties have many unique economic conditions and challenges. The region’s population growth has been stable since 2010, and job growth has been stagnant during the last decade. The region’s receipts subject to state sales tax showed a slight upward trend following the 2007-2009 recession, reaching a high point in 2014.
The Northwest Region is one of the Comptroller’s 12 economic regions.
View a complete list of these regions, plus more in-depth county-by-county data.
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the material on this page, please contact the Comptroller’s Data Analysis and Transparency Division.