Perryman: Cities dominate but rural Texas is crucial segment of state’s economy

The pretty mention of “Texas” conjures vivid photos of wide-open spaces, gushers, cattle drives, cotton fields, and other stuff of legends. Regardless of this enduring legacy, a developing majority of population and financial activity is concentrated in metropolitan places. Nonetheless, the rural components of the state are producing a notable element of general development and, in the method, offering a great deal of the fuel, meals, and fiber that sustains us. Let’s concentrate on my roots and this crucial segment of Texas.

A Metropolitan Statistical Location (MSA) is a county or group of counties with at least one particular urban center with a population of 50,000 or additional. Adjacent counties with financial ties to the central location are also integrated. In Texas, 80 of 254 counties are in MSAs. They represent significantly less than 20% of the land location, but about 88% of output, 92% of employment, and 90% of population.

Rural counties are expanding, but not at the torrid pace of the state as a entire. More than the previous 20 years, rural population enhanced by 9.four%, compared to 38.three% across all of Texas. Rural employment rose by 18.eight%, a great deal slower than the 44.four% general.

We are projecting that the development gap will persist but narrow substantially more than the coming two decades. Our forecast calls for population gains of 18.1% in rural counties via 2043, notably slower than the Texas improve of 30.1%, but not as drastically decrease as not too long ago observed. For employment, we anticipate an improve of 25.six% for rural jobs, compared to 33.four% for the state. (Of course, some counties may possibly be reclassified as sprawl persists.)

– FWBP Digital Partners –

Despite the fact that agriculture instantly comes to thoughts, this sector accounts for comparatively couple of jobs. Most persons are operating in overall health care, education, retail, meals solutions, public administration, manufacturing, building, and other segments. The crops and livestock they create, even so, are an essential element of our export base and crucial to financial properly-becoming.

Of unique note is the concentration of jobs in oil and gas extraction, which is not surprising offered that most of the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford, and other plays are in rural places. In truth, labor productivity in rural places is drastically greater than elsewhere. Amongst oil and gas (exactly where massive worth is made with a couple of persons) and agriculture (exactly where one particular farmer and a sophisticated tractor can function wonders), that pattern will persist. Rural regions also boast main concentrations of renewable power and outside recreation possibilities.

Population and employment expansion has been and will continue to be concentrated in metropolitan places. Although rural counties face quite a few notable challenges going forward, they will continue to expand and help crucial components of Texas production and exports – not to mention defining a great deal of our heritage and identity. Remain protected!

Dr. M. Ray Perryman is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Perryman Group (, which has served the wants of more than three,000 clientele more than the previous 4 decades.

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