Aug 31, 2023 - News

Texas economy draws outsiders, keeps natives

Illustration of a suitcase with a sticker shaped like Texas.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Texans are notorious for being loud and proud about our state, and now research backs up what we already know — if you're born here, you stay here.

Driving the news: Texans are the most likely to stay in their home state compared to natives of other states, according to a new Dallas Fed report that measures where people are likely to stick around.

  • 82% of native Texans stay. By comparison, Wyoming has the lowest retention, with just about 45% staying in the state.

Why it matters: Texas is attractive to natives and non-natives alike because it offers several large metropolitan areas to live, ample job opportunities, and a relatively low cost of living compared to other states.

  • That Texans stay is an additional draw to prospective residents, per the report. The state lags only Florida in attracting residents from elsewhere.

Zoom out: The report analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data to determine the share of people born in a state who stay.

  • North Carolina (75.5%), Georgia (74.2%), California (73%), and Utah (72.9%) rounded out the list of "stickiest" states.

State of play: Texas, like the other "stickiest" states, recorded above average job growth between 2010 and 2019, making it more appealing for residents to stay.

  • The latest employment forecast predicts jobs will increase by 3% this year.

Reality check: There is some economic cooling in Texas. Retail sales remained flat in August, and placements of new orders from Texas manufacturers have been declining for a year.

Yes, but: Overall, the Texas economy is still faring well, despite national concerns that this year could bring a recession.

  • "There's reason to be hopeful," Dallas Fed senior business economist Emily Kerr tells Axios. "We don't see a lot of mayday signs."

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