The 28-county South Texas region covers about 37,800 square miles in southern Texas, stretching along the Mexican border from Del Rio to Brownsville and up the Gulf Coast past Rockport to Aransas Pass and San Antonio Bay.
The region includes four metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs): the Brownsville-Harlingen MSA, comprising Cameron County; the Corpus Christi MSA, which includes Aransas, Nueces and San Patricio counties; the Laredo MSA, comprising Webb County; and the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA, comprising Hidalgo County.
South Texas REGION VS. TEXAS AND U.S., 2010-2019
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
In 2019, the South Texas region’s estimated total population was more than 2.4 million, or 8.4 percent of the state’s total population. That marked an increase of 7.4 percent (about 169,000 people) since the 2010 Census.
Average Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment, South Texas Region
|Educational Attainment||Number Employed, Region||Average Annual Earnings, Region|
|Less than High School||208,634||$36,756|
|High School or Equivalent, No College||190,717||$42,462|
|Some College or Associate Degree||200,785||$46,544|
|Bachelor’s Degree or Advanced Degree||103,605||$60,260|
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and JobsEQ
South Texas region workers with some college or associate degrees and stable jobs earned an average of $4,082 more annually than those with a high school degree, while those with at least a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $17,798 more.
From 2009 to 2019, the South Texas region’s employment rose by more than 14 percent, less than growth in the state as a whole. In 2019, the region accounted for about 6.7 percent of the state’s total employment.
The South Texas region’s most significant occupations are shown below, sorted by numerical growth during the last five years.
Employment Growth, South Texas 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 South Texas Region by Numeric Growth, 2014 to 2019
|Occupation||Number Employed||Average Annual Wages|
|Other Personal Care and Service Workers||59,215||$20,400|
|Food and Beverage Serving Workers||50,703||$20,100|
|Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners||38,402||$95,500|
|Business Operations Specialists||19,982||$62,900|
|Health Technologists and Technicians||23,170||$43,700|
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 $22.7 billion, contributing about 4.1 percent to the state’s overall taxable sales.
Regional Receipts Subject to Sales Tax
|Year||Revenue South Texas Region|
|2007||16.9 billion dollars|
|2008||17.7 billion dollars|
|2009||15.8 billion dollars|
|2010||16.7 billion dollars|
|2011||18.7 billion dollars|
|2012||20.3 billion dollars|
|2013||21.2 billion dollars|
|2014||22.0 billion dollars|
|2015||21.3 billion dollars|
|2016||20.1 billion dollars|
|2017||20.4 billion dollars|
|2018||22.0 billion dollars|
|2019||22.7 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 South Texas region and its 28 counties have many unique economic conditions and challenges. Webb County, with the city of Laredo at its center, and Nueces County, with the city of Corpus Christi, are the region’s economic centers.
The region has a high concentration of public health, safety and education industries as well as certain petroleum-related industries; these help differentiate the South Texas region from others.
The South Texas 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.