Texas

The Republic of Texas joined the United States as the 28th state on December 29, 1845. With a current population of nearly 30 million, Texas is the second-most populous state in the country and the second largest by area. The state ranks in the middle third of the best states to live in based on key measures like its unemployment rate, poverty rate and average life expectancy at birth.

The state continues to attract new residents and ranks among the top tier of states based on population growth. Over the 10-year period to 2019, Texas’s population grew by 14.9%, more than double the national average of 6.6%.

The unemployment rate in 2018 was 3.6%, below the national rate of 3.9% and among the top quarter nationally. However, the low unemployment rate may indicate that many of those jobs must be low paying. The percentage of residents living below the poverty line totaled 13.6%, higher than the national average of 13.1% and in the highest third of the national rankings.

Crime in Texas

Texas’s violent crime rate of 410.9 incidents for every 100,000 residents is well above the national average of 380.6 per 100,000. In 2018, there were 1,322 murders in the state, the second-highest total behind only California. Also like California, Texas was one of only two states to record more than 100,000 violent crimes in 2018.

The state’s incarceration rate is 746 adults per 100,000 residents 18 or older, among the highest in the country. The most dangerous city in the state is Bellmead, which is near Waco.

The Texas Economy

With a 2018 gross domestic product (GDP) of $1.7 trillion, the Texas economy is the third largest among the 50 states. Its largest industry is oil and gas extraction, which employs more than 75,000 people statewide and generates about 0.5% of the state’s total GDP. Between 2013 and 2018, the total economic output of the state’s oil and gas industry soared by 60.3%. Despite rapid growth in that industry, overall economic growth in Texas has been moderate. The state’s GDP grew by 3.4% year over year in 2018, better than the national average of 2.9%.

Texas has an underemployment rate (which accounts for unemployment and people who have taken part-time work out of necessity) of 7.2%. The state ranks in the middle third in the most difficult states in which to find full-time work.

Employment opportunities tend to go up with educational attainment. In Texas, less than a third (30.3%) of the state’s adults have a bachelor’s degree, below the national average of 32.6%. Just 83.6% of the adults in the state have at least a high-school diploma, below the national rate of 88.3%.

The median household income of $60,629 in Texas is below the national median of $63,179.

Lastest Stories Featuring Texas

The diner is a uniquely American institution. Historians trace its origins back to the horse-drawn lunch wagons that began appearing on the East Coast in the 1870s. These evolved into restaurants on...
Colman Andrews
The United States spends more per capita on health care than any other large developed country — and without a single-payer national health care system, much of that spending is shouldered...
Samuel Stebbins
“There’s one thing that’s really great about waking up early,” the comedian Kathy Griffin apparently once said, “and it’s not jogging or greeting the day —...
Colman Andrews
The United States is a large and diverse country with many traditions and laws varying from state to state. It’s no surprise then that some citizens look at people living in far-off states as...
Hristina Byrnes
Property crimes — a category that includes burglary, motor vehicle theft, and larceny — are the most commonly reported crimes nationwide, according to the FBI. There were about 7.2...
Samuel Stebbins
America’s first Chinese restaurant is said to have been Canton, which opened in San Francisco in 1849. Today there are more than 40,000 such eating places nationwide. It’s hard to find a city or...
Colman Andrews
As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to increase in the United States, health organizations and government officials are continuing to warn the most at-risk populations, urging them...
Thomas C. Frohlich
Along with other measures being recommended or instituted to combat the spread of COVID-19, epidemiologists and government officials most strongly highlight the value of social distancing —...
Colman Andrews
“America runs on Dunkin’,” goes the slogan of the widespread chain formerly called Dunkin’ Donuts (it dropped “Donuts” as of January 2019). That might be...
Colman Andrews
Individual income taxes are the largest source of income for the federal government, accounting for 48% of federal tax revenue. Income taxes are similarly important to the vast majority of state...
Samuel Stebbins, Michael B. Sauter
Individual income taxes are the largest source of income for the federal government, accounting for 48% of federal tax revenue. Income taxes are similarly important to the vast majority of state...
Samuel Stebbins, Michael B. Sauter
School district quality is one of the most important factors homebuyers consider when looking for a place to live — particularly for new or expecting parents. A good school district can greatly...
Samuel Stebbins, Michael B. Sauter
School district quality is one of the most important factors homebuyers consider when looking for a place to live — particularly for new or expecting parents. A good school district can greatly...
Samuel Stebbins, Michael B. Sauter
The typical home in the United States is worth about $245,000. Indeed, a home is the largest investment most Americans will ever make. But exactly how much home you get for your investment can depend...
Grant Suneson
The typical home in the United States is worth about $245,000. Indeed, a home is the largest investment most Americans will ever make. But exactly how much home you get for your investment can depend...
Grant Suneson