Aug 21, 2023 - Business

Newcomers to San Antonio, Hill Country make more money

Net change in income from migration, 2020 to 2021
Reproduced from Economic Innovation Group analysis of IRS data; Map: Axios Visuals

New residents of San Antonio and the Hill Country are making this a wealthier region.

Driving the news: Moves into Bexar County resulted in a 0.6% increase in adjusted gross income between 2020 and 2021, according to an analysis of tax data from the Economic Innovation Group, a nonpartisan think tank.

  • Hill Country counties north of San Antonio showed even higher increases in adjusted gross income during that time due to newcomers.

Why it matters: Cities depend on residents' income to support their housing market, retail sales and tax base — even without a local income tax in Texas.

State of play: When millions of Americans rethought their living situation during the pandemic, their moves changed the geography of where money is made in the United States, Axios' Neil Irwin reports.

  • Not only did residents leave the biggest cities, but those who left disproportionately had high incomes, meaning the hit to the local economies was larger than migration numbers alone might imply.

By the numbers: Migration to Bexar County migration resulted in a nearly $212 million boost in adjusted gross income.

  • Migration to Comal County, home to New Braunfels, resulted in a 16% increase in adjusted gross income from 2020 to 2021. The county added more than $510 million in income.
  • Hays County had a similar total increase in income, adding almost $563 million.
  • Kendall County, home to Boerne, had a 14% increase, with more than $188 million added in the same time period.

What's next: The data runs through 2021, but based on other evidence, the trend likely eased but does not appear to have reversed, said Connor O'Brien, who conducted the analysis at EIG.


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