Three of America’s 10 fastest-growing metropolitan areas are in Texas.
The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area was number one, adding 146,238 residents in 2017. Census Bureau data shows that the Houston area posted the second-largest growth while Austin was number nine.
Florida placed two metropolitan areas on the top 10 list. Orlando showed the eighth-highest level of growth while Tampa-St. Petersburg came in 10th.
A slightly different measure showed similar results. All 10 of the fastest-growing counties were in the South and West. Six were in Texas and one each in Arizona, Nevada, California, and Washington.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “The primary driver behind the growth of the 10 fastest-growing counties, 2016-2017, was net domestic migration”—in other words, people moving into these other markets from other places in the U.S.
In contrast, the counties losing the most population were Cook County, Illinois (Chicago); Baltimore, Maryland; and Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Cleveland).
The vast majority of Texas’ population growth occurs in its metropolitan areas, due to the jobs and economic opportunities they offer. Texas has three of the nation’s 10 most populous cities (Houston at fourth, San Antonio, seventh and Dallas, ninth) and two of its 10 largest metropolitan areas (Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, fourth, and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, fifth).
Women make up nearly half of the Texas workforce. And more women than ever are leading a diverse range of enterprises. In the past 10 years, the number of woman-owned companies in Texas has risen by 146 percent. Today, nearly a million Texas women own their own businesses.
Today, 74% of Texans are white, 37% are Hispanic, 11% are black, 6% are “some other race alone,” 3% are Asian and 2% are multiracial, making Texas one of four minority-majority states along with California, Hawaii and New Mexico. Approximately 26% of the population speaks Spanish at home, and 16% are foreign-born.
Manufacturing is a vital component in Texas’ diverse economy. Chemical, high tech, automotive and other advanced manufacturing operations thrive across the state. Texas’ manufacturing contributed $226 billion to the state gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016.
Texas’ 29 ports of entry play a crucial role in the state’s economy, facilitating nearly $650 billion in trade in 2015.
Military installations in the Lone Star State include Corpus Christi Army Depot, Dyess Air Force Base, Ellington Field, Fort Bliss, Fort Hood, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, Laughlin Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Naval Air Station Kingsville, Red River Army Depot, and Sheppard Air Force Base.
Real Estate and Housing
“Despite the devastation of Hurricane Harvey,” said Kaki Lybbert, Chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, “the Texas housing market had a very strong fourth quarter, helping solidify 2017 as another record-breaking year in Texas real estate.”
According to the 2017 Texas Real Estate Year in Review report from the Texas Association of Realtors, home sales volume and home prices in the Lone Star State reached all-time highs for the third year in a row last year. Overall, Texas home sales jumped 4 percent, with 336,502 homes sold statewide. Home prices also experienced steady increases in 2017, with the median sales price increasing 6.7 percent from the year prior, to $223,990.
Texas single-family home sales should increase 6.6 percent in 2018, say researchers for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. Latest figures from Texas A&M reports show the state’s single-family housing construction permits rose 5.7 percent recently. Texas led the U.S. in permits issued and accounted for more than 17 percent of the national total.
Despite the fluctuations of the state and national economies, businesses and their employees continue coming to the Lone Star State, attracted by its high quality of life and business-friendly tax and regulatory structure.
According to the Tax Foundation, Texas has the nation’s fifth-lowest state and local tax burden, and recently Chief Executive Magazine named Texas the “Best State for Business” for the 13th year in a row. In the year ending in August 2017, Texas added more jobs (nearly 299,000) than any other state.