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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

Regional Snapshot:

West Region

As the state's chief financial officer, I am charged with monitoring the economic health of our state. Therefore, it's vitally important that my office studies factors related to our regional economies.

The 30 counties comprising the West Region, while sparsely populated, have enjoyed a renaissance over the past decade, yet falling oil prices have exposed the vulnerability that comes with reliance on a volatile oil and gas industry.

Below, we track regional trends in population growth, personal income, jobs and wages, education and health care access — a wildcard issue that, if left unaddressed, is of particular concern to the region.

Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

West Region Counties

  • Andrews
  • Borden
  • Coke
  • Concho
  • Crane
  • Crockett
  • Dawson
  • Ector
  • Gaines
  • Glasscock
  • Howard
  • Irion
  • Kimble
  • Loving
  • Martin
  • Mason
  • McCulloch
  • Menard
  • Midland
  • Pecos
  • Reagan
  • Reeves
  • Schleicher
  • Sterling
  • Sutton
  • Terrell
  • Tom Green
  • Upton
  • Ward
  • Winkler

Overall Personal income in the West Region
grew 136 percent from 2004 to 2014.

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Key Industries 2016

  • Support Activities for Mining
  • Oil and Gas Extraction
  • Pipeline Transportation
  • Crop Production
  • Machinery Manufacturing
  • Utilities
  • Truck Transportation
  • Rental and Leasing Services
  • Specialty Trade Contractors
  • Merchant Wholesalers
  • Support Activities for Agriculture

Population Growth

West Region vs. Texas and U.S., 2004-2014

Population grew in the West Region 18%, compared to 20% for Texas and 9% for the U.S.

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

The West region encompasses 39,731 square miles,
making it the largest of the state's economic regions.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Midland/Odessa have been home to:

  • 2 Presidents
  • 2 First Ladies
  • 1 Texas Speaker of the House
  • 3 Texas Railroad Commissioners

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, personal biographies

Personal Income

West Region Per Capita Income
County 2014 Income 10-Year Income Growth
Midland $96,463 140%
Sutton $66,362 134%
Glasscock $65,970 109%
Irion $60,959 121%
Upton $60,551 130%
Reagan $59,221 138%
Terrell $55,079 74%
Andrews $54,928 104%
Sterling $53,564 107%
Martin $49,193 70%
Borden $48,928 37%
Ward $48,094 115%
Ector $47,069 97%
Crane $45,308 99%
Schleicher $44,732 84%
McCulloch $42,574 76%
Tom Green $42,114 48%
Crockett $41,534 76%
Kimble $41,000 63%
Winkler $40,441 68%
Mason $39,689 58%
Gaines $36,333 46%
Howard $36,313 60%
Coke $33,588 53%
Dawson $33,539 49%
Menard $33,538 44%
Loving $33,453 -56%
Pecos $32,710 85%
Reeves $27,247 59%
Concho $23,920 26%

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

From 2004 to 2014, per capita personal income for the west region grew 100% That's faster than Texas' 47% average and 34% for the U.S.

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Overall personal income in the West Region more than doubled from $14.9 billion in 2004 to $35.2 billion in 2014.
It accounted for 2.9% of the state's $1.23 trillion in personal income in 2014.

Jobs and Wages

The West Region added 80,000 jobs from 2004 to 2014; Midland and Ector counties led this expansion. Their principal cities, Midland and Odessa, accounted for 78 percent of net job growth.

Wages in Midland averaged $61,158 in 2014 — a 93 percent increase from 2004.

Regional wages grew quickly as well. At $55,278, the average wage topped the state average of $52,537.

Job Growth, 2004-2014

West Region increased 36.7%, Texas increased 21.7%, U.S. increased 5.5%.

Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Intl.

Education

West Region Public High School Graduates, 2014

63% of high school graduates came from Ector, Midland and Tom Green Counties.

3 Counties

37% came from other counties in the West Region

27 Counties

Source: Texas Education Agency

San Angelo's International Waterlily Collection houses 90 percent of the world's known wild species and more than 4,000 hybrids.

Source: International Waterlily Collection

Midland has the nation's first commercial service airport also licensed as a commercial spaceport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Source: Federal Aviation Administration

Economic Vulnerability

No other Texas region relies more heavily on oil and gas jobs than the West Region. Activities related to oil and gas account for up to 90 percent of the region's county tax bases, and the mining sector creates more than 15 percent of regional jobs — well above the state average of 2.6 percent.

Workers in oil and gas occupations contribute an estimated 4.6 times more toward gross state product than average Texas workers; consequently, these workers earn above-average wages for their high productivity.

Yet the West Region is one of the state's most economically vulnerable. Industry activity relies heavily on notoriously volatile crude oil prices.

Contribution of Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction Industries to Gross Product, 2014
Component West Region Texas
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction Industries $21,842,439,946 $165,189,550,936
Gross Product Share: Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction, 2014 41.9% 10.4%
Total GRP $52,130,144,078 $1,581,574,784,541

Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Conclusion

Perhaps more than any other part of Texas, the West Region embodies our state's virtues of endurance, resilience and determination. When times are good, they are very good. Workers in these wide-open expanses enjoy some of the nation's highest earnings.

For the past decade, West Texans in and around the Permian Basin have reaped the benefits — and the burdens — of a petroleum renaissance. Lured by lucrative and quickly growing wages, workers have flocked to the region.

Fluctuating oil markets have once again exposed the vulnerability of the region's economy, yet growth has not slowed completely. For those who were born there — and those who came as fast as they could — West Texas remains a place to dream big.

Questions?

Contact the Comptroller's Data Analysis and Transparency Division at 800-531-5441, ext. 6-9231, or via email.

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