Jul 14, 2023 - Business

Texas part of national GDP's shift from the Northeast to the South

Change in state share of national GDP
Data: BEA; Map: Simran Parwani/Axios Visuals

Texas is among the six fast-growing Southern states that now add more to the national GDP than the Northeast, which has been the perennial powerhouse, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Americans are spreading out physically and economically — and Texas has been a key beneficiary of the change.

The big picture: Florida, Texas, Georgia, the Carolinas and Tennessee are all part of a "$100 billion wealth migration" tilting the U.S. economic center of gravity south, per Bloomberg.

  • Those states accounted for 23.8% of the country's GDP last year, while the Northeast accounted for 22.4%, Bloomberg reports.
  • The switch happened during the peak of the pandemic, and there's no sign it'll reverse.

Yes, but: Texas dropped to No. 6 in CNBC's 2023 list of top states for business. North Carolina was ranked No. 1 for the past two years.

  • Texas was ranked No. 1 in 2018 and No. 5 in 2022.
  • Though Texas tops the ranks for access to capital and second for workforce, it fell to the last spot for life, health and inclusion.

State of play: Nearly 2.2 million people, comparable to the population of Houston, moved to the Southeast in the last two years, per Bloomberg.

  • The transplants helped steer about $100 billion in new income to the Southeast in 2020 and 2021 alone, while the Northeast bled out about $60 billion, Bloomberg writes from IRS data.

Of note: GDP also takes the business sector into account, and the growing number of corporations moving to regions like North Texas is a factor in the Southeast's growing economic power.

Zoom in: In 2022, nine of the nation's 15 fastest-growing cities were in the South, the Census Bureau said in May.

  • Texas was the only state with more than three cities on the list of the 15 most populous cities: Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth.
  • Fort Worth had the largest numeric population increase among large cities in 2022, and Little Elm was one of the fastest growing large cities by percent change.

Meanwhile: Texas has been able to expand its political power because of its population increase.


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