The 15-county Southeast region covers about 12,800 square miles in easternmost Texas, stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to Nacogdoches along the Texas-Louisiana border.
The region contains one metropolitan statistical area (MSA), the Beaumont-Port Arthur MSA, comprising Hardin, Jefferson, Newton and Orange counties.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
In 2019, the Southeast region’s estimated total population was about 780,000, or nearly 3 percent of the state’s total population. That marked an increase of 1.3 percent (about 10,000 residents) since the 2010 Census.
Average Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment, Southeast Region
|Educational Attainment||Number Employed, Region||Average Annual Earnings, Region|
|Less than High School||40,454||$36,893|
|High School or Equivalent, No College||69,825||$40,911|
|Some College or Associate Degree||75,084||$45,011|
|Bachelor’s Degree or Advanced Degree||45,682||$59,399|
|Educational Attainment Unavailable||32,969||$21,455|
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and JobsEQ
Southeast region workers with some college or associate degrees and stable jobs earn an average of $4,100 more annually than those with a high school degree, while those with at least a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $18,500 more.
From 2009 to 2019, the Southeast region’s employment rose by about 1 percent, much lower than the state’s total job growth rate. In 2019, the region accounted for more than 2 percent of the state’s total employment.
The Southeast region’s most significant occupations are shown below, sorted by numerical growth during the last five years.
Employment Growth, Southeast 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 Southeast Region by Numeric Growth, 2014 to 2019
|Occupation||Number Employed||Average Annual Wages|
|Other Personal Care and Service Workers||9,422||$19,900|
|Food and Beverage Serving Workers||15,480||$19,900|
|Construction Trades Workers||16,691||$43,700|
|Building Cleaning and Pest Control Workers||6,542||$23,900|
Note: Data are as of Q4 2019 except wage data, which are for covered employment in
In 2019, taxable sales directly attributable to businesses in the region exceeded $8 billion, contributing about 1.4 percent to the state’s overall taxable sales.
Regional Receipts Subject to Sales Tax
|Year||Revenue Southeast Region|
|2007||6.5 billion dollars|
|2008||7.0 billion dollars|
|2009||6.5 billion dollars|
|2010||6.4 billion dollars|
|2011||6.6 billion dollars|
|2012||6.9 billion dollars|
|2013||7.1 billion dollars|
|2014||7.3 billion dollars|
|2015||7.3 billion dollars|
|2016||7.2 billion dollars|
|2017||7.4 billion dollars|
|2018||8.0 billion dollars|
|2019||8.0 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 Southeast region and its 15 counties have many unique economic conditions and challenges. The region has seen limited population growth since 2010.
The Southeast region took longer than most Texas regions to recover from the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Economic trends have moved upward since then, with taxable sales continuing to rise in 2019. The region saw slower employment growth than the state as a whole in the last decade. The diversity of its industries, including chemical and petroleum products production and forestry services, adds to the strength of the region’s economy.
The Southeast 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.