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« Data Visualization: Tides Versus Koch | WILLisms.com | Texas Cities Versus California Cities (House Price Edition). »

Texas Cities Versus California Cities (GDP Growth Edition).

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 967 -- City Economic Growth-

Did you know:

* That from 2008 to 2011, Midland, Texas' economy grew 42.26%, 58+ times faster than the U.S. average.

* Or that in 2011, Texas had the first and second fastest growing (economically) metros, Odessa (15.2%) and Midland (9.5%), plus the top two "large" metros, Houston-Sugar Land Baytown, TX (3.7%) and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (3.1%).

* Or that California had 11 metros in the bottom quintile for growth. Texas had just one (Lubbock, which retracted a tiny bit after a growth spurt over the past decade+).

* Or that California had just 4 metros in the top quintile; Texas had 12 of them.

While we generally get data on state-level GDP performance on a regular basis, measuring cities is another beast entirely. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released a slew of belated economic growth figures for America's metropolitan areas.

Here's what that 2011 data looks like (click for larger version):

click the above graphic for larger version

Notice how the California cities tend to be near the bottom, with some exceptions, of course. And meanwhile, the Texas cities are near the top, again, with a handful of exceptions.

If you want to examine the numbers in-depth yourself, head over to the BEA website and download the spreadsheet.

Data for one year can be imperfect, because sometimes an area will grow in the double digits for years, then take a year or two to breathe, before marching forward rapidly once more. Conversely, an area may sporadically show signs of life for a single year after crippling periods of stagnation or depression. In these cases, one year of data may or may not accurately reflect true, sustained growth.

So how about a few years?

Here's what the data from 2008 to 2011 looks like (click image for larger version):

click graphic for larger version

You can also see the 2008-11 data dynamically, with search functionality and so forth, here. In the interactive version, you can look for California cities, which tend to be on the left side of the graphic. Almost the mirror opposite of Texas.

And here's a handy map from the BEA showing growth (or lack thereof) around the country:


Indeed, people go where there is opportunity. Jobs. Money. Growth. Freedom. Fewer cumbersome intrusions into life's activities, big and small. Michael Barone pointed out that Texas has 4 of 5 metro areas for population growth over past 2 years. California, of course, had none.

Moreover, while the nation has regained 60% of its jobs lost in the recession, Texas has regained 162% of them. California just 42%.

And going back a bit further, we find that from 2002 to 2011, Texas created a third of the country's highest paying positions despite having only 8% of U.S. population. California, on the other hand, has 12% of America's population but a third of the nation's welfare recipients. Adjusted for cost-of-living, Texas' per capita income is now higher than California's.

Meanwhile, California's mortgage foreclosure rate remains 2.4 times higher than Texas' rate, and California's leftist domination has yielded a far faster expansion of class stratification (the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer, and the middle class evaporating) than the national average.

No wonder Texas continues to get under California's skin.

Oh, and here's a bonus bit of schadenfreude: New London, Connecticut, home of the infamous Kelo Supreme Court case, had the tenth worst growth (contraction, actually: -10.7%) out of 366 metros in the nation from 2008 to 2011. I guess taking Susette Kelo's home from her wasn't the answer, after all.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Tides Versus Kochs.

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Posted by Will Franklin · 25 March 2013 12:10 PM