The Texas Story Is Real
September 23, 2011
As his primary pitch to a nation starved for jobs, Texas Governor Rick Perry entered the Republican presidential nomination race bragging about the job creation record of Texas during his term. This triggered a flurry of debate on whether or not Texas is really all Perry claims for it. But while there is certainly nuance in numbers, and Texas doesn't win on every single measure, on the whole it seems indisputable that Texas did very, very well during the 2000s, says Aaron M. Renn of New Geography.
The following information offers a comparison of Texas to U.S. national averages over the last decade:
- Texas' population grew by 20.6 percent, more than doubling the national growth rate of 9.6 percent.
- While Texas had an unemployment rate that was approximately 10 percent greater than the national average in 2000, that same rate was approximately 10 percent lower than the national average by the decade's close.
- Considering gross domestic product per capita, while Texas was above the national average in both 2000 and 2010, its lead dwindled slightly over the course of the decade as Texas fell from 104.7 percent of the national average to 103.7 percent.
- With personal income, the opposite effect can be seen: while Texas lagged behind the national average at both the open and close of the decade, it closed the gap from 94.0 percent of the national average in 2000 to 97.3 percent in 2010.
- The poverty rate in Texas (17.2 percent) is still substantially higher than the national average (14.3 percent), though Texas did close this gap slightly during those 10 years (approximately 0.2 percent).
It bears mention that these statistics are commonly used throughout the country to compare cities and states, and while every statistic isn't a winner for Texas, most of them are, notably on the jobs front.
Source: Aaron M. Renn, "The Texas Story Is Real," New Geography, September, 19 2011.
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