The 23-county Upper East region encompasses about 16,000 square miles in the northeastern corner of Texas, stretching from the Arkansas and Louisiana borders on the east to Cedar Creek Reservoir in the west.
The region includes three metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs): the Longview MSA, comprising Gregg, Rusk and Upshur counties; the Texarkana MSA, comprising Bowie County; and the Tyler MSA, including Smith County.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
In 2019, the Upper East region’s estimated total population was about 1.2 million or 4 percent of the state’s total population. That marked an increase of 4.1 percent (more than 45,000 people) since the 2010 Census.
Average Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment, Upper East Texas Region
|Educational Attainment||Number Employed, Region||Average Annual Earnings, Region|
|Less than high school||63,355||$35,759|
|High school or equivalent, no college||108,069||$40,140|
|Some college or associate degree||118,258||$44,232|
|Bachelor's degree or advanced degree||71,975||$59,697|
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and JobsEQ
Upper East region workers with some college or associate degrees and stable jobs earn an average of $4,092 more annually than those with a high school degree, while those with at least a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $18,557 more.
From 2009 to 2019, the Upper East region’s employment rose by almost 6 percent, much lower than the state’s total job growth rate. In 2019, the region accounted for 3.4 percent of the state’s total employment.
The Upper East region’s most significant occupations are shown below, sorted by numerical growth during the last five years.
Employment Growth, Upper East Region vs. Texas and U.S., 2009-2019
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 Upper East Region by Numeric Growth, 2014-2019
|Occupation||Number Employed||Average Annual Wages|
|Other Personal Care and Service Workers||14,602||$21,400|
|Food and Beverage Serving Workers||14,031||$20,600|
|Building Cleaning and Pest Control Workers||11,187||$21,900|
|Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners||17,756||$93,500|
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 $12.8 billion, contributing about 2.3 percent to the state’s overall taxable sales.
Regional Receipts Subject to Sales Tax
|Year||Revenue Upper East Region|
|2007||10.1 billion dollars|
|2008||10.9 billion dollars|
|2009||9.7 billion dollars|
|2010||9.8 billion dollars|
|2011||10.4 billion dollars|
|2012||10.7 billion dollars|
|2013||10.8 billion dollars|
|2014||11.6 billion dollars|
|2015||11.5 billion dollars|
|2016||11.2 billion dollars|
|2017||11.6 billion dollars|
|2018||12.4 billion dollars|
|2019||12.8 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 Upper East region and its 23 counties have many unique economic conditions and challenges. The region features a diverse economy with both rural and urban areas. Smith County, the sole county in the Tyler MSA, is its economic hub and its most populous county as well as its second-fastest growing. The region has seen limited population growth since 2010.
The U.S. military’s presence has a positive economic impact on the region, which has seen a steady increase in taxable sales since the 2007-2009 recession.
The Upper East 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.