Texas’ Economic and Demographic Expansion: A Closer Look

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These days, it seems like everyone knows someone who’s moving to Texas. The Lone Star State is one of the hottest destinations for both Americans and people from other countries. New residents are flooding in from virtually all states and every continent in search of the southern lifestyle. 

It’s probably no surprise to learn that Texas is the fastest-growing state in the United States at present. While higher volumes of people are heading to Florida, Texas’s net population edges out the Sunshine State. But why is Texas growing so fast? Let’s take a closer look. 

Why Is Texas Growing So Fast - Texas View

Why Is Texas Growing So Fast? 

Texas is one of the best representative states in the entire country for liberty and freedom. It’s something that locals take a lot of pride in. Hard work, honesty, and hospitality are in abundance throughout Texas. These factors combine to make it a highly attractive place to live. 

To boot, the weather in Texas is typically great year-round. While summers can get very hot, winters are typically mild, apart from the occasional ice storm. But, if southern hospitality and sunshine were the main reasons for Texas’s expansion then why aren’t Alabama and Mississippi on the same trajectory?

Pleasantries and weather aside, there are several other aspects that have led to Texas being one of the fastest-growing states of the decade.  In 2022, almost half of Texas’s population growth was from people relocating from other states. A quarter of the growth was foreigners entering from other countries. 

Like No Other

These types of increases are unprecedented. Only the likes of Florida, New York, and California can rival Texas for this volume of newcomers. And even so, California has seen somewhat of an exodus over the past few years.

So, let’s take a look at five of the core reasons that Texas is growing so fast.

No Income Tax 

One of the major benefits of living in Texas is that there is no statewide income tax. While it’s not the only state that boasts this advantage, it’s certainly the most high-profile one. Naturally, this is a very attractive element for newcomers, particularly those coming from California or New York. 

Texas residents have more saving power than many of their neighbors, which has a compounding effect on other aspects of life. The lack of income tax also feeds into the freedom narrative. In Texas, you’re paid what you work for and nobody else can interfere with your hard-earned dollars (at least directly).

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In comparison to income tax-paying states, workers in Texas can save somewhere between 4 and 12 percent of their income. This extra money can be spent on saving for a nicer house, paying college tuition, vacations, or whatever you like. It’s satisfying to know that you’re getting the most out of your wages. 

Lovett Hall at Rice University in Houston Texas - Texas View

Quality Education 

Texas is known to have a phenomenal standard of schools, from elementary all the way through university. At the high school level, 10% of the top 100 high schools in the country are in Texas. The state is also home to multiple blue ribbon elementary and middle schools. 

The National Blue Ribbon is awarded to both public and private K-12 schools for academic superiority within the state. So, regardless of whether someone wants to put their kids through private or public schools, Texas is a great place to be. With rising living costs nationwide, it’s no wonder people are flocking to Texas. 

Houston Independent School District and Highland Park Independent School District (Dallas) are among the highest-ranking districts in the United States. Another key attraction to the education system here is the focus on closing achievement gaps and providing equity for all students.

College and Universities

Texas has six colleges and universities in the US News & World Report top 100 schools list. Several major cities are popular destinations for students. In addition to academia, many of these are known for their athletics programs too. Some of the most notable high-level colleges and universities in the state include: 

  • The University of Texas at Austin
  • Rice University (Houston)
  • Baylor University (Waco)
  • Southern Methodist University (Dallas)
  • Texas Christian University (Fort Worth)
  • Texas A&M (College Station)
Tourists on the San Antonio River Walk near Rivercenter Mall - Texas View
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – AUGUST 7 2017: Tourists on the San Antonio River Walk near Rivercenter Mall. This interconnected network of walkways on the San Antonio River is a popular tourist destination.

Excellent Employment Opportunities 

Texas has long been a leading state for job creation. The lack of income tax, quality education, and growing population make it an extremely popular location for businesses. Regardless of where you set up in the state, there are ample job opportunities. 

Moreover, Texas is home to a variety of industries so you can find work in whatever niche you specialize in. Over the past decade, several high-profile corporations relocated to Texas, establishing new headquarters in the south. It’s now one of the leading areas for tech companies. 

Tech Companies

Tesla is now based out of Texas, where it handles virtually all of its operations. Other tech companies with a major presence in Texas include Hewlett-Packard (HP), Oracle, IBM, Samsung, AT&T, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Intel. Recently, people have started to use the term “tech-sas” due to the influx of tech companies. 

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Texas is also renowned for its engineering and oil industries. There are several Fortune 500 companies located throughout the state. Each of these provides a lot of money and employment in Texas. Several airlines, including Southwest and American, are headquartered in Texas too. 

At present, there are few better places in the country to find work and relocate. 

Heritage Streetcar McKinney Avenue trolley trolley M Line tram in Dallas - Texas View

Cost of Living 

The cost of living in Texas is below the national average, which may come as a surprise due to the size and popularity of the state. Everyday expenses such as groceries, transportation, groceries, clothing, and utilities are more affordable than in popular coastal states, like California, Florida, and New York. 

Pair this with the favorable tax laws and you quickly realize why so many Californians have moved to Texas over the past few years. As if this wasn’t enough, there’s the added advantage of lower property prices in Texas. However, prices have been on the increase for some time, along with property taxes. 

Although, it’s worth noting that property prices vary drastically depending on your location. Naturally, big cities are the most expensive. Austin, in particular, has experienced dramatic increases in property value recently. But that’s not to say you can’t find value for money in the real estate market in other areas. 

Diversity 

Texas is among the most ethnically diverse states in the U.S. It’s home to people from all over the world, bringing a mix of cultures, traditions, food, music, and art to the state. Cities are full of interesting places to see and do and you can meet people with all types of backgrounds. 

In particular, there is a strong Hispanic presence in the Lone Star State. It shares a border with Mexico so the majority of its Latin population hails from there. The border was the birthplace of Tex-Mex, one of the most popular food categories in the country. Unsurprisingly, Mexican food in Texas is exceptional. 

In recent years, it’s been estimated that 40% of the newcomers to Texas are from other countries. The more particular nationalities and ethnic groups become embedded here, the more attractive it is to their compatriots. If you enjoy cities with tons of culture, Texas is a perfect destination.  

DFW airport passengers in the Skylink station - Texas View

Who Is Moving To Texas?

As we’ve already touched on, people are moving to Texas from all over the U.S. and the world. Texas recently become only the second state in the country to reach a population of 30 million. People continue to arrive every single day and they’re showing no signs of stopping. 

Within the United States, Californians represent the largest demographic of newcomers. Next up is Florida. Other notable origin states of new Texans include Oklahoma, Arizona, Louisiana, New Mexico, Georgia, and Illinois. Texas also has a high retention rate so the population continues to rise. 

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Among the 40% of new Texans from other countries, Mexico, China, and India represent the highest number of residents. The rest of the 60% is a combination of transplants from other states and births from within Texas. 

What Immigrant Group In Texas Was The Largest? 

As discussed, one of the main reasons behind Texas’s rapid growth is its expanding immigrant population. Texas is an ethnically and racially diverse state and has the second-largest Hispanic of any state in the entire country. This is undoubtedly its biggest immigrant group. 

The main reason for this is its proximity to the Mexican border. Over the years, Texas has become one of the go-to places for Hispanic immigrants and because of its strong Latin roots, immigrants continue to see it as a dream destination. The weather and abundance of blue-collar jobs are also major selling points. 

In 2020, over 11 million Hispanics were accounted for in the census, representing almost 39.26% of the state’s population. To give this context, white people represented 39.75% of the population. The Hispanic culture can be enjoyed in all parts of Texas, particularly in the big cities.

Texas is an enormous state with an already large population. In addition, it’s one of the most diverse regions in the country. It’s home to world-class corporations and has favorable tax policies. It’s no surprise that it continues to grow at a rapid pace. 

References

Author Profile

Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.

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