Texas Remains a No Brainer Winner

Written by Richard Hokenson 

Our opinion has long been that Texas has one of the best, if not the best demographic profile of any state in America. NAFTA is a big positive as the state has the longest border that is contiguous with the economically interesting areas of Mexico. As we have remarked before, “Texas is in the way” which is corroborated daily by the number of semi-trailers with Midwest licence plates transporting goods and the means of production on the I35 corridor. The proximity to Mexico is not the only positive as many argue that the state works hard to be welcoming, i.e. maintaining low taxes, less regulation and an accommodating business climate. Texas also excels at retaining its existing residents - 82 percent of those born in the state remain there.

The very favorable demographic profile of Texas was recently reconfirmed by the release of county and metropolitan area populations. Of the top 10 counties with the largest numerical increase in population from 2016 to 2017, six are in Texas (see Table 1). Of the top 10 metropolitan areas with the largest numerical increase, three are in Texas (see Table 2). The largest gain was posted by the Dallas-Fort Worth- Arlington metropolitan area (146,238) followed closely by the Houston-Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area (94,417). These two metropolitan areas account for 60 percent of the total increase in the population of the state of Texas (399,734).

Domestic migration is a major factor in the relative fortunes of counties or metropolitan areas. Of the top 10 counties that had a decline in population, all of them had a decrease in net domestic migration that more than offset gains from natural increase (more births and deaths) and international migration (see Table 3). The same holds true for the top 10 metropolitan areas that recorded a decline in population (see Table 4).

The current sabre-rattling regarding the status of NAFTA, of course, is a potential negative. We will continue to monitor the situation while we remain hopeful that nothing overly negative will transpire.


This update was researched and written by Richard Hokenson, as of April 6 2018