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Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

economy

The Alamo Region2020 Regional Report

This analysis predates the COVID-19 crisis and the economic impacts that followed. It is offered as an overview of the Alamo regional economy and a resource for comparative purposes.

The 19-county Alamo region covers about 18,000 square miles in south central Texas, stretching from Fredericksburg and Kerrville in the Hill Country to Port Lavaca on the Gulf Coast.

The Alamo region includes two metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs): the San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA, which includes Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina and Wilson counties, and the Victoria MSA, which includes Calhoun, Goliad and Victoria counties. Counties in the region not associated with an MSA include Dewitt, Frio, Gillespie, Gonzales, Jackson, Karnes, Kerr and Lavaca counties.

This report examines regional economic trends including population, household income, jobs and wages, and education, as well as economic conditions unique to the Alamo region.

Population

The Alamo region’s estimated total population in 2019 was about 2.9 million, or about 10 percent of the state’s total population. This represented an increase of more than 17.5 percent (about 425,000 people) since the 2010 Census. An estimated 70 percent of the region’s population is concentrated in Bexar County. The San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA accounted for 89 percent of the region’s population and 8.7 percent of the state’s.

From 2010 to 2019, the region’s population grew at a slightly faster pace than the state’s (Exhibit 1). While the population of each county in the region increased during this period, Kendall and Comal outpaced all others, growing by 42 percent and 44 percent, respectively — nearly three times the state rate.

Exhibit 1
Alamo Region Population by County, 2010 and 2019
County 2010 Census Estimate
(as of July 2019)
Change 2010 to 2019 Percent Change
Atascosa 44,911 51,153 6,242 13.9%
Bandera 20,485 23,112 2,627 12.8%
Bexar 1,714,773 2,003,554 288,781 16.8%
Calhoun 21,381 21,290 -91 -0.4%
Comal 108,472 156,209 47,737 44.0%
DeWitt 20,097 20,160 63 0.3%
Frio 17,217 20,306 3,089 17.9%
Gillespie 24,837 26,988 2,151 8.7%
Goliad 7,210 7,658 448 6.2%
Gonzales 19,807 20,837 1,030 5.2%
Guadalupe 131,533 166,847 35,314 26.8%
Jackson 14,075 14,760 685 4.9%
Karnes 14,824 15,601 777 5.2%
Kendall 33,410 47,431 14,021 42.0%
Kerr 49,625 52,600 2,975 6.0%
Lavaca 19,263 20,154 891 4.6%
Medina 46,006 51,584 5,578 12.1%
Victoria 86,793 92,084 5,291 6.1%
Wilson 42,918 51,070 8,152 19.0%
San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA 2,142,508 2,550,960 408,452 19.1%
Alamo Region Total 2,437,637 2,863,398 425,761 17.5%
Texas Total 25,145,561 28,995,881 3,850,320 15.3%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau


Population Composition

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey, the Alamo region’s counties had slightly older median ages than the state. 14 of the region’s 19 counties had a median age significantly higher than the state’s median of 34.2 years, with Bandera County residents having a median age exceeding 51 years, higher than any other county in the region and one of the highest in the state. The San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA had a median age on par with the state.

In 2018, 53 percent of the Alamo region’s total population was Hispanic, much higher than the state’s 38.6 percent Hispanic share (Exhibit 2).

Household Income

The Alamo region’s household income was $58,087 in 2018. Texas’ household income is generally distributed among five income levels (Exhibit 3). Of more than 9 million Texas households, 21 percent had incomes less than $25,000 in 2018, while 17 percent had incomes greater than $125,000. In every region in the state, nearly 18 percent of households had average incomes between $50,000 and $75,000.

Exhibit 2
Alamo Region Population by Race and Ethnicity, 2018
Ethnicity Alamo Region State Total
Hispanic 53.0% 38.6%
Black (not Hispanic) 6.1% 11.6%
White (not Hispanic) 36.9% 43.4%
Other 4.0% 6.3%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Exhibit 3
Alamo Region and Texas Household Income Percentile, 2018
Income Level Alamo Region State Total
less than $25,000 21.1% 21.1%
$25,000 to $50,000 23.4% 23.0%
$50,000 to $75,000 18.8% 17.9%
$75,000 to $125,000 21.3% 20.6%
more than $125,000 15.4% 17.4%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau


Regional Industries

In 2019, the Alamo region accounted for about 9.2 percent of the state’s total employment. Exhibit 4 lists the industries with the greatest regional employment concentrations compared to the national average, as measured by location quotient (LQ). LQ represents an industry’s proportionate concentration in the region; an LQ greater than 1.0 means that industry employment is more concentrated in the region than nationally. A high LQ can identify industries that have a competitive advantage in the region, such as the ability to produce products more efficiently and of a higher quality.

Based on location quotients, the Alamo region is a leader in pipeline transportation; support activities for mining; and national security and international affairs.

Exhibit 4
Top 10 Alamo Texas Region Industries, 2019
Industry LQ Number Employed Average Annual Wages
Pipeline Transportation 5.05 2,054 $135,390
Support Activities for Mining 4.58 12,587 $82,707
National Security and International Affairs 3.29 15,372 $83,085
Oil and Gas Extraction 2.89 3,330 $203,536
Fishing, Hunting and Trapping 2.47 170 $40,468
Data Processing, Hosting and Related Services 2.33 6,405 $80,448
Leather and Allied Product Manufacturing 1.77 387 $32,911
Insurance Carriers and Related Activities 1.72 32,929 $91,653
Rental and Leasing Services 1.62 7,426 $57,944
Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction 1.58 15,577 $61,295
Total - All Industries 0.99 1,154,772 $51,098

Note: Data are as of Q4 2019 except wage data, which are for covered employment in 2018.

Sources: JobsEQ and Bureau of Labor Statistics


U.S. Military Installation Impact

Texas has 14 U.S. military installations within its borders. In 2019, these bases directly employed more than 226,000 and supported nearly 634,000 jobs in all. In all, military installations in Texas contributed an estimated $75.3 billion annually to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP). The military installations within the Alamo region – Joint Base San Antonio, which includes Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base and Randolph Air Force Base – had a major impact on the Texas economy, supporting an estimated 211,000 jobs and contributing nearly $25.2 billion to the state’s GDP in 2019 (Exhibit 5).

Exhibit 5
U.S. Military Impact on Alamo Region
Estimated 2019
Region Total Jobs Supported Contribution to State GDP
Alamo 210,998 $25.2 billion
State of Texas 633,892 $75.3 billion

Sources: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Texas Military Preparedness Commission and REMI

Learn more about the impact of U.S. military installations on the state’s economy.


Jobs and Wages

The Alamo region’s employment rose by more than 23 percent from 2009 to 2019, slightly higher than the state’s. More than 89 percent of the region’s total jobs were in the San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA, where employment rose by more than 24 percent during the same period (Exhibit 6).

Exhibit 6
Alamo Region Employment Trends, 2019
Area Number of Jobs (2009) Actual Change (2009 to 2019) Percent Change (2009 to 2019)
San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA 1,026,355 200,811 24.3%
Alamo Region 1,151,209 218,019 23.4%
Texas 12,531,100 2,284,407 22.3%
United States 147,886,638 17,768,373 13.7%

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


Significant Regional Occupations

The Alamo region’s most significant occupations are shown in Exhibits 7 and 8, first by location quotient and second by numeric growth in the last five years.

Exhibit 7
Top Occupations in the Alamo Region by Location Quotient,
2014 to 2019
Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Wages LQ Unemployment Rate Five-Year Employment Change
Extraction Workers 6,003 $42,300 3.33 4.5% 235
Plant and System Operators 3,495 $54,600 1.41 0.6% 442
Fishing and Hunting Workers 239 $15,100 1.37 7.1% 21
Helpers, Construction Trades 2,499 $30,800 1.3 7.4% -114
Supervisors of Construction and Extraction Workers 6,823 $63,000 1.29 2.6% 735

Note: Data are as of Q4 2019 except wage data, which are for covered employment in 2018.

Source: JobsEQ


Exhibit 8
Top Occupations in the Alamo Region by Numeric Growth,
2014 to 2019
Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Wages LQ Unemployment Rate Five-Year Employment Change
Food and Beverage Serving Workers 74,566 $21,600 1.22 5.2% 10,509
Other Personal Care and Service Workers 37,291 $21,600 1.07 4.0% 9,662
Construction Trades Workers 50,674 $39,000 1.13 5.0% 6,256
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners 38,664 $70,500 0.91 2.4% 6,001
Business Operations Specialists 35,092 $29,400 0.87 5.5% 5,861

Note: Data are as of Q4 2019 except wage data, which are for covered employment in 2018.

Source: JobsEQ


Education

A strong educational foundation provides a cornerstone for growth and competitiveness in the global economy, offering opportunities for workplace advancement and business expansion.

Wages by Educational Attainment

Post-secondary education delivers a good return on the investment of time and tuition. In 2018, Alamo region workers with some college or associate degrees and with stable jobs — defined as those employed with the same firm throughout a calendar quarter — earned an average of $5,033 more annually than those with a high school degree, while those with at least a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $21,737 more (Exhibit 9).

Exhibit 9
Average Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment, Alamo Region and Texas, 2018
Educational Attainment Number Employed, Region Percent of Region Average Annual Earnings, Region Number Employed, Texas Percent of Texas Average Annual Earnings, Texas
Less than High School 204,124 18.2% $41,374 2,065,483 17.1% $42,808
High School or Equivalent, No College 272,172 24.3% 46,065 2,765,759 22.9% 52,035
Some College or Associate Degree 305,963 27.3% 51,098 3,245,675 26.9% 60,428
Bachelor’s Degree or Advanced Degree 183,292 16.4% 67,802 2,454,975 20.3% 95,716
Educational Attainment Unavailable 154,375 13.8% 23,176 1,544,282 12.8% 22,087
Total 1,119,925 $47,688 12,076,174 $58,787

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and JobsEQ

The Alamo region’s high school graduation rate has risen significantly since the 2009-10 school year, moving from underperforming to regularly tracking the state’s rate. During the 2017-18 school year, 90.5 percent of the region’s class of public high school senior students graduated, slightly higher than the state’s rate of 90 percent (Exhibit 10).

Exhibit 10
Alamo Region Public High School Graduation Rates, 2009-10 to 2017-18 School Year
Region2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Alamo 81.8% 84.6% 87.2% 87.7% 88.0% 89.3% 89.7% 89.2% 90.5%
Texas 84.3% 85.9% 87.7% 88.0% 88.3% 89.0% 89.1% 89.7% 90.0%

Sources: Texas Education Agency

Many high school graduates enroll in post-secondary programs, which offer greater job prospects and the possibility of higher wages. Residents of the Alamo region enjoy a variety of options for higher educational achievement (Exhibit 11).

Exhibit 11 Alamo Region Institutions of Higher Education

Universities

  • Our Lady of the Lake University of San Antonio
  • Schreiner University
  • St. Mary's University
  • Texas A&M University-San Antonio
  • Texas Lutheran University
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Trinity University
  • University of Houston-Victoria
  • University of the Incarnate Word

Junior and Community Colleges

  • Alamo Community College District
    • Northeast Lakeview College
    • Northwest Vista College
    • Palo Alto College
    • San Antonio College
    • St. Philip's College
  • Victoria College

Health Science Schools

  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Source: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board


The Alamo region’s community college districts provided technical and academic coursework for more than 56,000 students in the 2017-18 school year (Exhibit 12).

Exhibit 12
Alamo Region Community Colleges Overview, 2017-18 School Year
Community College District Enrollment Awards Average Tuition and Fees Share Enrolled Academic Studies Share Enrolled Technical Studies Enrolled or Employed, Academic* Enrolled or Employed, Technical*
Alamo Community College District 52,468 9,041 $2,760 80.2% 19.8% 89.2% 89.8%
Victoria College 3,827 805 $2,790 73.7% 26.3% 91.4% 95.5%

*The percentage of academic or technical graduates employed in the fourth quarter of the calendar year after graduation and/or enrolled in a Texas two- or four-year institution in the following fall after graduation, as specified.

Source: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board


Community colleges in the Alamo region awarded more than 5,000 certificates and associate degrees in health professions in the 2017-18 school year; the next most common awards were for general studies and liberal arts and personal and culinary services (Exhibit 13).

Exhibit 13
Top 10 Certificates and Associate Degree Awards in the Alamo Region Community Colleges, 2017-18 School Year
Certificates and Degrees Number Awarded
Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences 5,069
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 5,003
Personal and Culinary Services 1,445
Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services 1,388
Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians 740
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services 714
Engineering Technologies/Technicians 550
Security and Protective Services 543
Education 492
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 393

Source: JobsEQ


Regional Economy

The relative health of the Alamo region’s economy can be measured by its sales tax revenue and comparisons with other states on education, population, per capita income and unemployment rate. Together, these data are good indicators of the region’s economic dynamics and competitiveness.

Sales Tax Revenue

Sales taxes are inherently volatile in the short term but when reviewed over time can provide a useful indication of the state’s economic condition.

Sales receipts subject to state sales tax directly attributed to the Alamo region trended upward in the past decade. The region saw a significant climb in taxable sales following the 2009 recession, and after some leveling off, receipts from 2018 indicated that the upward climb had resumed and continued into 2019 (Exhibit 14). In 2019, taxable sales directly attributed to businesses in the Alamo region exceeded $40.8 billion, contributing more than 7.3 percent to the state’s overall taxable sales. The San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA directly accounted for $36.1 billion of this total.

Exhibit 14
Alamo Region, Taxable Sales, 2007-2019
Year Revenue Alamo Region
2007 25.8 billion dollars
2008 26.6 billion dollars
2009 24.3 billion dollars
2010 24.8 billion dollars
2011 27.5 billion dollars
2012 30.3 billion dollars
2013 32.3 billion dollars
2014 34.6 billion dollars
2015 36.0 billion dollars
2016 36.0 billion dollars
2017 36.6 billion dollars
2018 39.4 billion dollars
2019 40.8 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


In 1997, the U.S., Canada and Mexico jointly released the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), which classifies all business enterprises for the purpose of collecting, analyzing and publishing economic statistics. A review of two-digit NAICS codes allows for a broad analysis of industry sectors.

The Alamo region’s retail trade and food services and accommodation sectors contributed most to taxable sales in 2019, together accounting for 58 percent of the region’s taxable sales. Two other industries of note were the wholesale trade and the manufacturing sectors, contributing 14.6 percent of the region’s reported taxable sales.

Alamo Region vs. the U.S.

Exhibit 15 illustrates how the Alamo region compares among other states and the nation on a number of demographic and economic measures. If it were a state, the region would be the 42nd largest state in terms of land area (sized between West Virginia and Maryland) and have the 36th largest population. It had the 15th lowest unemployment rate among states in 2019.

Exhibit 15
Alamo Region Compared to the U.S.
Measure Alamo Region Rank if Region
were a State
Texas State Rank U.S.
Square Miles 18,016 42 268,597 2 3,531,905
Population, 2019 2,863,398 36 28,995,881 2 328,239,523
Population with at Least a High School Diploma, 2018 84.6% 48 83.2% 49 87.7%
Population with Bachelor’s Degree or Higher, 2018 26.7% 41 29.3% 28 31.5%
Population Under 18 Years, 2018 25.0% 4 25.8% 2 22.4%
Population 65 Years and Above, 2018 13.8% 48 12.6% 48 16.0%
Population Percent Change, 2010 to 2019 17.5% 1 15.3% 2 6.3%
Per Capita Income, 2018 $46,988 36 $50,355 26 $54,446
Unemployment Rate, 2019 3.1% 15 3.5% 27 3.7%

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Learn more about how Texas matches up with other states.


Alamo Regional Summary

The Alamo region is a microcosm of the state, both urban and rural, with a vibrant and diverse economy. Bexar County, with the city of San Antonio at its center, is the region’s economic hub.

The Alamo region and its 19 counties have many unique economic conditions and challenges. It’s more diverse than the state, and most counties in the region have experienced strong growth. Household income was on par with the state in 2018. The majority of the region’s counties, other than of Bexar County, had median ages significantly above the state’s. The region’s high school graduation rate is growing. The federal government, including the military, has a large footprint in the region. Businesses supporting the oil industry are highly concentrated in the region and continue to make the region’s economy robust.


Questions?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the material on this page, please contact the Comptroller’s Data Analysis and Transparency Division.

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