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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 Region2018 Regional Report

Alamo Region Snapshot

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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 region has a population density of 160 people per square mile, which is slightly higher than the state average of 108 people per square mile.

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

The economic center or focus of the Alamo Region is the city of San Antonio (Bexar County): the second largest city in Texas and one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation. The San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA has a population of about 2.5 million.

This report examines regional economic trends including population, personal 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 2017 was nearly 2.8 million, or approximately 10 percent of the state’s total population. This is an increase of more than 14 percent (nearly 350,000 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 and nine percent of the state’s population.

From 2010 to 2017, the region’s population grew at a faster pace than the state as a whole (Exhibit 1). While the population of each county in the region increased during this period, Kendall and Comal outpaced all others, growing by at least 30 percent – nearly 2.5 times higher than the state as a whole.


Exhibit 1: Alamo Region Population by County,
2010 and 2017
County 2010 Census Estimate (as of July 2017) Percent Change
Atascosa 44,911 48,981 9.1%
Bandera 20,485 22,351 9.1%
Bexar 1,714,773 1,958,578 14.2%
Calhoun 21,381 21,744 1.7%
Comal 108,472 141,009 30.0%
DeWitt 20,097 20,226 0.6%
Frio 17,217 19,600 13.8%
Gillespie 24,837 26,646 7.3%
Goliad 7,210 7,562 4.9%
Gonzales 19,807 20,893 5.5%
Guadalupe 131,533 159,659 21.4%
Jackson 14,075 14,805 5.2%
Karnes 14,824 15,187 2.5%
Kendall 33,410 44,026 31.8%
Kerr 49,625 51,720 4.2%
Lavaca 19,263 20,062 4.2%
Medina 46,006 50,066 8.8%
Victoria 86,793 92,084 6.1%
Wilson 42,918 49,304 14.9%
San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA 2,142,508 2,473,974 15.5%
Alamo Region Total 2,437,637 2,784,503 14.2%
Texas Total 25,145,561 28,304,596 12.6%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau


Population Composition

According to a recent Census analysis, the median age distribution for the Alamo Region’s counties is slightly older than the state as a whole. Fourteen of the region’s 19 counties have a median age significantly higher than the state’s median age of 34.2 years, with Bandera residents having a median age exceeding 51 years old, older than any other county in the region and one of the oldest in the state. The San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA had a median age on par with the state.

Household income in Texas more or less evenly distributed among five income levels. Of the more than 9 million households within the state of Texas, 22 percent have incomes less than $25,000 and 16 percent have incomes more than $125,000. In every region in the state, nearly 18 percent have an average household income between $50,000 and $75,000. Household income within the Alamo Region is on par with the state for all income categories (Exhibit 2).

Exhibit 2: Alamo Region and Texas Household Income

Exhibit 2: Household Income Percentile, Alamo Region vs. Texas
Income Level Alamo Region State Total
less than $25,000 22.2% 22.2%
$25,000 to $50,000 23.9% 23.6%
$50,000 to $75,000 18.8% 17.8%
$75,000 to $125,000 20.9% 20.2%
more than $125,000 14.2% 16.1%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Exhibit 3: Alamo Region and Texas Population by Ethnicity

Population by Ethnicity, Alamo Region vs. Texas
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


Fifty-three percent of the Alamo Region’s total population is Hispanic – more than 14 percent higher than the state’s Hispanic population (Exhibit 3).

Jobs and Wages

In 2017, the Alamo Region accounted for more than nine percent of the state’s total employment. The region’s employment increased by 20 percent from 2007 to 2017 – exceeding employment growth in the state. More than 89 percent of the region’s total jobs are in the San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA with employment increasing by nearly 22 percent from 2007 to 2017 (Exhibit 4).

Exhibit 4: Alamo Region Employment, 2007 to 2017
Area Number of Jobs, 2017 Change in Jobs from 2007 Percent Change
San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA 998,769 178,807 21.8%
Alamo Region 1,116,199 186,099 20.0%
Texas 12,011,078 1,779,177 17.4%
United States 143,860,846 8,495,037 6.3%

Note: The above 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 Bureau of Labor Statistics


The average wage in the Alamo Region was $47,863 in 2017, well below the average wage of the state and nation; however, from 2007 to 2017, individual wage growth in the region outpaced individual wage growth at the state and national level during the same period (Exhibit 5).

Adjusted for inflation, individual wages in the Alamo Region increased more than seven percent during this period. Within the region, the San Antonio-New Braunfesls MSA average wage was slightly higher than the region but the growth rate from 2007 to 2017 was slightly lower than the region as a whole.

Exhibit 5: Alamo Region Wage Trends, 2007 to 2017
Area Average Wage, 2017 Change in Wages from 2007 Nominal Rate of Change, 2007 to 2017 Real Rate of Change,* 2007 to 2017
San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA $48,186 $9,913 25.9% 6.5%
Alamo Region $47,863 $10,134 26.9% 7.3%
Texas $55,801 $11,106 24.9% 5.6%
United States $55,375 $10,917 24.6% 5.4%

* The constant, or “real,” rate adjusts average wages for the effects of inflation in the value of a particular base year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices in 2017 are 18.22 percent higher than prices in 2007.

Sources: JobsEQ and Bureau of Labor Statistics


Industry Concentration

Exhibit 6 lists the Alamo Region industry subsectors most highly concentrated according to location quotient (LQ) — a measure of how concentrated an industry is in the region relative to the nation — and by share of total state jobs in each subsector. Industries are described according to the federal government’s North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), which is used by federal statistical agencies to classify business establishments.

The Alamo Region’s most highly concentrated industries primarily concern the extraction and transportation of natural resources, the federal government and a number of business and professional services. The region’s second most highly concentrated industry subsector – support activities for mining – is also among the region’s fastest growing. This subsector’s employment increased by more than 95 percent from 2007 to 2017.

Exhibit 6: Alamo Region’s Most Highly Concentrated Industries, 2007 to 2017
Industry Description (NAICS1) Job Concentration Job Trends Wage Trends
Location Quotient2 Share of State's Jobs Number of Jobs Change, 2007 to 2017 Average Wage Nominal Rate3 of Change Real Rate3 of Change, 2007 to 2017
Pipeline Transportation (486) 4.08 9.30% 1,615 -1.00% $125,569 -26.20% -37.50%
Support Activities for Mining (213) 3.85 8.50% 8,931 95.40% $74,331 18.40% 0.10%
National Security and International Affairs (928) 3.39 6.70% 15,384 17.80% $78,857 23.80% 4.70%
Data Processing, Hosting and Related Services (518) 2.64 46.70% 6,612 34.40% $92,830 83.00% 54.80%
Oil and Gas Extraction (211) 2.62 20.40% 2,962 59.00% $151,682 31.20% 11.00%
Fishing, Hunting and Trapping (114) 2.24 3.90% 146 43.80% $40,224 72.90% 46.20%
Leather and Allied Product Manufacturing (316) 1.72 26.10% 380 -37.50% $32,206 25.70% 6.30%
Insurance Carriers and Related Activities (524) 1.71 8.90% 31,436 42.10% $85,532 34.90% 14.10%
Rental and Leasing Services (532) 1.63 16.10% 7,101 10.80% $50,031 48.00% 25.20%
Credit Intermediation and Related Activities (522) 1.46 11.10% 30,511 27.50% $59,905 16.00% -1.90%
Alamo Region - 9.30% 1,116,199 20.00% $47,863 26.90% 7.30%

Note: The figures above include private and public sector employees with the exception of active duty military personnel, railroad employees, religious institution employees and the self-employed.

  1. NAICS codes are the standard used by federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy.
  2. The higher the location quotient, the more concentrated the industry subsector is in the region compared to nation.
  3. The constant or “real” rate adjusts average wages for the effects of inflation in the value of a particular base year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices in 2017 were 18.22 percent higher than prices in 2007.

Sources: JobsEQ and Bureau of Labor Statistics


Education

A strong educational foundation is the cornerstone for growth and competitiveness in the global economy. As the Texas economy diversifies, becoming more knowledge based, a well-educated workforce offers possibilities for workplace advancement and prospects for business expansion.

In 2016, 89.7 percent of the Alamo Region’s class of public high school students graduated, slightly higher than the state’s rate of 89.1 percent (Exhibit 7). The region’s high school graduation rate has increased almost 10 percent since 2010 and has gone from underperforming to slightly outperforming the state.

Exhibit 7: Alamo Region and Texas Public High School Graduation Rates, 2010 to 2016
Year Alamo Region Texas
2010 81.8% 84.3%
2011 84.6% 85.9%
2012 87.2% 87.7%
2013 87.7% 88.0%
2014 88.0% 88.3%
2015 89.3% 89.0%
2016 89.7% 89.1%

Source: Texas Education Agency


Many high school graduates enroll in postsecondary programs, offering greater job prospects and the possibility to of earning higher wages. Residents of the Alamo Region enjoy a variety of options for higher educational achievement (Exhibit 8).

Exhibit 8: Alamo Region Institutions of Higher Education, 2017

Universities

  • Our Lady of the Lake University
  • 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

Regional Economy

The Comptroller has analyzed data pertaining to the Alamo Region, examining the region’s dynamics and competitiveness.

Sales Tax Revenue

Sales receipts subject to state sales tax directly attributed to the Alamo Region trended upward in the past decade (trend lines depict trends in data, either upward, downward or flat, for an extended period of time). The region had a significant climb following the 2009 recession, and while there was a short period of leveling off, receipts from 2017 indicate that the upward climb may have resumed (Exhibit 9). For 2017, receipts subject to state sales tax directly attributed to businesses in the Alamo Region exceeded $36.6 billion, contributing nearly 7.6 percent to the state’s overall sales tax revenue collected. The San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA directly accounted for $32.4 billion of this total.

A review of two-digit NAICS codes allows for a broad analysis of industry sectors within the region. The retail trade and the food services and accommodation sectors contribute most to taxable sales, with the two combining for more than 67 percent of the region’s state sales tax contributions. Two other industries of note are the wholesale trade and the construction sectors, combining for 15 percent of the region’s reported sales tax contributions.

Exhibit 9: Revenue Subject to Sales Tax, 2007 to 2017
Year Alamo Region
2007 $25,845,630,006
2008 $26,555,746,316
2009 $24,252,465,757
2010 $24,787,051,843
2011 $27,485,077,545
2012 $30,294,047,726
2013 $32,309,990,131
2014 $34,639,805,128
2015 $36,017,880,571
2016 $35,968,995,113
2017 $36,645,305,538

Note: Numbers shown are for reported revenue subject to sales tax and directly attributed to the region.

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts


U.S. Military Installation Impact

Texas has 13 U.S. military installations within its borders. In 2017, these bases directly employed more than 224,000 and supported nearly 625,000 jobs. The U.S. military installations in Texas contributed about $62.3 billion to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP). U.S. military installations within the Alamo Region have a positive impact on the Texas economy, supporting an estimated 187,000 jobs and contributing nearly $18.7 billion to the state’s GDP (Exhibit 10).

Exhibit 10: Estimated U.S. Military Impact on the Alamo Region, 2017
Region Total Jobs Supported U.S. Military Contribution to State GDP
State of Texas 624,690 $62.3 billion
Alamo Region 187,174 $18.7 billion

Sources: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, TMPC, REMI


Alamo Region vs. the U.S.

Based on data from the World Bank and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, if Texas were a nation, it would rank as the world’s 10th largest economy in terms of GDP. Exhibit 11 shows how the region rates with other states and the nation on a number of demographic and economic measures. The Alamo Region would be the 42nd largest state in terms of land mass (square miles) and have the 36th largest population. The region would also have the 30th highest per capita income and would have the 16th lowest unemployment rate in 2017.

Exhibit 11: Alamo Region Compared to the U.S.
Measure Alamo Region Rank if Region
was a State
Texas State Rank U.S.
Population 2,784,503 36 28,304,596 2 325,719,178
Age 25+ with at least a High School Diploma 84.0% 47 82.4% 49 87.0%
Age 25+ with Bachelor's Degree or Higher 26.0% 40 28.1% 29 30.3%
Population Under 18 Years 25.2% 4 26.0% 2 22.6%
Population 65 Years and Over 13.5% 47 12.3% 48 15.7%
Age Dependency Ratio* 63.3% 28 62.1% 20 61.9%
Per Capita Income $44,363 30 $46,204 25 $49,204
Unemployment Rate 3.6% 16 4.3% 26 4.4%

The age dependency ratio is the share of dependent-age persons compared to the working-age population minus the sum of those under 18 years and 65 and older divided by the population age 18 to 64. In other words, for every 100 working-age people in Texas there are about 62 dependent-age people.

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


Conclusion

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

As this report notes, the Alamo Region and its 19 counties have many economic variables and challenges that are unique. The region as a whole is more diverse than the state, and every county in the region is growing. Household income is on par with the state, but a majority of counties outside of Bexar County show a median age significantly older than the state. The region’s job growth and wage growth are both slightly higher than the state. The region’s high school education attainment is growing, as is the local economy. While the federal government, including the U.S. military, has a large footprint in the region, businesses supporting the oil industry are highly concentrated id the region and are what 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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