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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

Texas Statewide Overview2020 Regional Report

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

The Texas Comptroller’s office divides the 268,000 square miles of Texas into 12 economic regions, each with at least one Census-defined metropolitan statistical area (MSA), areas with relatively high population densities and close economic integration. Regions with multiple MSAs may have more than one highlighted to emphasize their economic significance as regional hubs (Exhibit 1).

Exhibit 1
Texas Comptroller Economic Regions and Metropolitan Statistical Areas
Region Name Region MSA(s)
1 High Plains Amarillo MSA
Lubbock MSA
2 Northwest Abilene MSA
Wichita Falls MSA
3 Metroplex Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA
- Fort Worth-Arlington Metro Division
- Dallas-Plano-Irving Metro Division
Sherman-Denison MSA
4 Upper East Longview MSA
Texarkana, TX-AR Metro Area
Tyler MSA
5 Southeast Beaumont-Port Arthur MSA
6 Gulf Coast Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land MSA
7 Central Texas College Station-Bryan MSA
Killeen-Temple MSA
Waco MSA
8 Capital Austin-Round Rock MSA
9 Alamo San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA
Victoria MSA
10 South Texas Brownsville-Harlingen MSA
Corpus Christi MSA
Laredo MSA

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA
11 West Texas Midland MSA
Odessa MSA

San Angelo MSA
12 Upper Rio Grande El Paso MSA

Note: Bolded MSAs highlighted for particularly significant population and economic output.


This report examines statewide economic trends including population, household income, jobs and wages and education, as well as economic conditions unique to the state and its regions.

Population

Texas had an estimated total population of 29 million in 2019, more than half of it concentrated in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA (26 percent) and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland MSA (24.1 percent). From 2010 to 2019, the state’s population grew more than twice as fast as the nation’s, at 15.3 percent vs. 6.3 percent. While most Texas MSAs saw population increases, Austin-Round Rock and Midland outpaced all others (Exhibit 2).

Exhibit 2
Texas Population by MSA, 2010 vs. 2019Ranked by Percent Change
Texas MSA Comptroller Economic Region 2010 Census 2019 (estimate) Change
2010 to 2019
Percent Change
Austin-Round Rock MSA Capital 1,716,289 2,227,083 510,794 29.80%
Midland MSA West Texas 141,671 182,603 40,932 28.90%
Odessa MSA West Texas 137,130 166,223 29,093 21.20%
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land MSA Gulf Coast 5,920,416 7,066,141 1,145,725 19.40%
San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA Alamo 2,142,508 2,550,960 408,452 19.10%
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA Metroplex 6,366,542 7,573,136 1,206,594 19.00%
College Station-Bryan MSA Central Texas 228,660 264,728 36,068 15.80%
Killeen-Temple MSA Central Texas 405,300 460,303 55,003 13.60%
Sherman-Denison MSA Metroplex 120,877 136,212 15,335 12.70%
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA South Texas 774,769 868,707 93,938 12.10%
Tyler MSA Upper East 209,714 232,751 23,037 11.00%
Lubbock MSA High Plains 290,805 322,257 31,452 10.80%
Laredo MSA South Texas 250,304 276,652 26,348 10.50%
Waco MSA Central Texas 252,772 273,920 21,148 8.40%
San Angelo MSA West Texas 112,966 122,027 9,061 8.00%
Victoria MSA Alamo 94,003 99,742 5,739 6.10%
Corpus Christi MSA South Texas 405,027 429,024 23,997 5.90%
Amarillo MSA High Plains 251,933 265,053 13,120 5.20%
El Paso MSA Upper Rio Grande 804,123 844,124 40,001 5.00%
Brownsville-Harlingen MSA South Texas 406,220 423,163 16,943 4.20%
Abilene MSA Northwest 165,252 172,060 6,808 4.10%
Longview MSA Upper East 280,000 286,657 6,657 2.40%
Beaumont-Port Arthur MSA Southeast 388,745 392,563 3,818 1.00%
Wichita Falls MSA Northwest 151,306 151,254 -52 0.00%
Texarkana MSA Upper East 149,198 148,761 -437 -0.30%
TEXAS   25,145,561 28,995,881 3,850,320 15.30%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau


Population Composition

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the Texas population had a median age of 34.2 years in 2018. Of the state’s 254 counties, 163 had a median age significantly above the state median; only 31 were significantly younger. Among the state’s most populous counties, most (Tarrant, Dallas, Harris, Travis and Bexar counties) had median ages on par with the state except for El Paso county, which was significantly younger. Texas’ MSAs were on par with the state median except for Laredo (28.3 years) and College Station-Bryan (26.8 years).

Texas is an ethnically diverse state; 43.4 percent of its population is white (not Hispanic), 38.6 percent is Hispanic, 11.6 percent is black (not Hispanic) and 6.3 percent is of “other” ethnicity (Exhibit 3).

Exhibit 3
Texas Population by Race and Ethnicity, 2018
Ethnicity State Total
Hispanic 38.6%
Black (not Hispanic) 11.6%
White (not hispanic) 43.4%
Other 6.3%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Exhibit 4
Texas Household Income Percentile, 2018
Income Level State Total
less than $25,000 21.1%
$25,000 to $50,000 23.0%
$50,000 to $75,000 17.9%
$75,000 to $125,000 20.6%
more than $125,000 17.4%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau


Household Income

In 2018, Texans had a median household income of $59,570. Household income in Texas is generally distributed among five income levels. Of more than 9 million Texas households, 21 percent had annual incomes of less than $25,000 in 2018, while 17 percent had incomes above $125,000 (Exhibit 4). In every region in the state, nearly 18 percent of households had average incomes between $50,000 and $75,000.

Leading Texas Industries

In 2019 Texas contributed about $1.9 trillion or 8.8 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) of $12.4 trillion.

The strength of Texas’ economy is due in part to the diversity of its major industries. Exhibit 5 lists the industries with the greatest statewide 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.

In terms of LQ, Texas’ strongest industries are oil and gas extraction, support for mining activities and pipeline transportation industries, reflecting the state’s status as national leader in the energy sector.

Exhibit 5
Top 10 Texas Industries by Location Quotient
Industry LQ Employed Average Annual Wages
Oil and Gas Extraction 6.22 77,812 $201,076
Support Activities for Mining 5.36 160,398 $102,211
Pipeline Transportation 4.38 19,396 $163,858
Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing 2.37 23,030 $141,632
Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction 1.97 210,241 $71,331
Space Research and Technology 1.97 2,932 $138,621
Leather and Allied Product Manufacturing 1.90 4,505 $37,570
Air Transportation 1.48 64,268 $98,439
Museums, Historical Sites and Similar Institutions 1.48 31,616 $30,245
Support Activities for Transportation 1.43 100,608 $63,212
Total - All Industries 0.99 12,575,053 $59,470

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

Source: JobsEQ


U.S. Military Installation Impact

A unique aspect of the Texas economy is the contribution made by U.S. military installations located in the state. Texas has 14 of these installations within its borders. In 2019, they directly employed more than 226,000 and supported nearly 634,000 jobs in all. Based upon data provided through the Texas Military Preparedness Commission, the Comptroller’s office estimates that military installations contributed about $75.3 billion to the Texas GDP in 2019.

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

Jobs and Wages

In 2019, more than 12.5 million persons were employed in Texas. The state’s job count rose by about 22.3 percent from 2009 to 2019, outperforming the national job growth rate during the period (Exhibit 6).

Exhibit 6
2019 Employment, Texas vs. U.S.
AreaNumber of JobsChange in Jobs
2009 to 2019
Percent Change
2009 to 2019
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, employees of religious institutions and the self-employed.

Sources: JobsEQ and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Occupations by Industry Concentration (LQ)

The following exhibits highlight high-growth and concentrated occupations in Texas. Exhibit 7 details the most common occupations by LQ. Extraction workers, such as earth drillers and mining machine operators, generally work in the oil and gas industry.

Exhibit 7
Five Top Texas Occupations, by Location Quotient, 2019
Occupation Employment Average Annual Wages, 2018 LQ
Extraction Workers 79,055 $45,200 4.04
Plant and System Operators 39,617 $59,000 1.47
Supervisors of Construction and Extraction Workers 84,104 $68,900 1.46
Air Transportation Workers 33,501 $112,600 1.38
Helpers, Construction Trades 28,191 $32,200 1.34

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

Source: JobsEQ


Exhibit 8 shows occupations with the largest numeric growth in Texas during the last five years. Most of the fastest-growing occupations are in service industries; the largest occupation category in the top 10 (and seventh fastest-growing) includes relatively high-paying computer occupations.

Exhibit 8
Texas Employment Growth 2014 to 2019
Occupation 2019 Employment Average Annual Wages, 2018 LQ Five-year Employment Change, 2014 to 2019 Percent Growth Annual Employment Growth, 2018 to 2019 Percent Growth
Personal Care and Service Workers (Other) 315,623 $22,300 0.94 84,188 6.4% 9,822 3.1%
Animal Care and Service Workers 18,324 $24,200 0.92 4,852 6.3% 454 2.5%
Sales Representatives, Services 205,744 $65,700 1.14 53,117 6.2% 3,309 1.6%
Supervisors of Personal Care and Service Workers 15,072 $42,800 0.65 3,822 6.0% 287 1.9%
Mathematical Science Occupations 14,417 $85,700 0.97 3,589 5.9% 482 3.3%
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations (Other) 19,081 $68,500 1.29 3,835 4.6% 293 1.5%
Computer Occupations 372,699 $91,500 0.99 72,922 4.5% 8,030 2.2%
Top Executives 214,795 $131,500 0.96 39,157 4.1% 3,266 1.5%
Personal Appearance Workers 39,277 $26,300 0.77 7,178 4.1% 750 1.9%
Air Transportation Workers 33,332 $112,600 1.38 6,075 4.1% 492 1.5%

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.

Post-secondary education delivers a good return on investments of time and tuition. Texas workers with some college or associate degrees and with stable jobs (defined as those held with the same firm throughout a calendar quarter) earn an average of $8,393 more annually than those with a high school degree, while those with at least a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $43,681 more (Exhibit 9).

Exhibit 9
Average Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment, Texas, 2019
Educational Attainment Employed Percent of Texas Average Annual Earnings
Less than High School 2,065,483 17.1% $42,808
High School or Equivalent, No College 2,765,759 22.9% $52,035
Some College or Associate Degree 3,245,675 26.9% $60,428
Bachelor’s Degree or Advanced Degree 2,454,975 20.3% $95,716
Educational Attainment Data Unavailable 1,544,282 12.8% $22,087
Total 12,076,174 $58,787

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and JobsEQ


During the 2017-18 school year, 90 percent of Texas’ high school seniors graduated a steady rise from the 84.3 percent graduation rate during the 2009-10 school year (Exhibit 10).

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

Source: Texas Education Agency


Many of Texas’ high school graduates enroll in postsecondary education, which offers greater job prospects and the possibility of higher wages. Each of the Comptroller’s economic regions offer a variety of higher education options (Exhibit 11).

Exhibit 11
Texas Institutions of Higher Education by Comptroller Region
Region Number of Universities Number of Junior and Community Colleges Number of Health Science Schools
Alamo 9 7 1
Capital 6 1 1
Central Texas 4 7 1
Gulf Coast 10 22 6
High Plains 4 4 1
Metroplex 18 20 2
Northwest 5 6 0
South Texas 6 7 1
Southwest 3 4 0
Upper East 7 9 1
Upper Rio Grande 2 1 1
West Texas 2 3 0
Texas Total 76 91 15

Note: See our individual regional reports for a more on higher education institutions within each region.

Source: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board


Statewide Economic Indicators

The health of the Texas economy can be measured in part through an analysis of sales tax collections. Sales taxes are inherently volatile in the short term but over time can provide a useful gauge of the state’s economic condition.

Sales Tax Revenue

Sales receipts subject to Texas state sales tax trended upward in the past decade, with a significant climb following the 2009 recession (Exhibit 12). While sales receipts leveled off somewhat from 2014 to 2016, 2019 receipts exceeded the long-term linear trend line.

Exhibit 12
Revenue Subject to Texas Sales Tax, 2007 to 2019
Year Texas Revenue
2007 330.3 billion dollars
2008 349.7 billion dollars
2009 315.4 billion dollars
2010 326.1 billion dollars
2011 361.9 billion dollars
2012 398.6 billion dollars
2013 421.8 billion dollars
2014 456.2 billion dollars
2015 457.9 billion dollars
2016 453.6 billion dollars
2017 483.1 billion dollars
2018 526.2 billion dollars
2019 556.7 billion dollars
Total 4.88 trillion dollars

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.

In 2019, Texas’ retail trade and food services sector contributed most to taxable sales, contributing 36.8 percent of all reported taxable sales. Two other industries of note, the accommodation and the information sectors, together contributed about 20 percent of reported taxable sales.

Texas 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 9th largest economy in terms of GDP. Exhibit 13 shows how Texas ranks among other states and the nation on several demographic and economic measures.

Exhibit 13
Texas Compared to the U.S.
Measure Texas State Rank U.S.
Square Miles 268,597 2 3,531,905
Population, 2019 28,995,881 2 328,239,523
Population with at Least a High School Diploma, 2018 83.2% 49 87.7%
Population with Bachelor’s Degree or Higher, 2018 29.3% 28 31.5%
Population Under 18 Years, 2018 25.8% 2 22.4%
Population 65 Years and Above, 2018 12.6% 48 16.0%
Population Percent Change, 2010 to 2019 15.3% 2 6.3%
Per Capita Income, 2018 $50,355 26 $54,446
Unemployment Rate, 2019 3.5% 27 3.9%

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


Statewide Summary

With several of the nation’s most populous cities, Texas’ urban and suburban areas offer significant economic opportunity. The state also has some of the nation’s least-populous counties, including some of the nation’s most productive agricultural land. This urban-rural interdependence creates sustainable cycles of economic activity. Each of Texas’ 12 economic regions feature dominant industries unique to each, contributing to an economic diversity that helped the state navigate previous economic downturns.

Since the 2010 Census, Texas’ population has risen by more than 3.8 million. Most Texas MSAs grew in the last decade, with the Austin-Round Rock and Midland MSAs leading the state in population growth. The state’s most populous counties, and all MSAs, have median ages on par with or younger than the state’s median of 34.2 years. Texas’ rural and less-populated counties have older populations; 163 of Texas’ 254 counties have median ages significantly above that of the state as a whole.

The Texas economy has seen consistent growth in the last decade. The military and its supporting industries have had a positive impact on all of the state’s economic regions. Businesses supporting energy extraction and transportation are highly concentrated in Texas, making its economy unique among states.


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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