By Jim McAlister IV
President and Chief Executive Officer
The entire state of Texas is greatly outperforming the rest of the country in terms of population and employment growth. The extent of this outperformance is pretty amazing.
Over the past 10 years Texas has gained more than 700,000 new jobs, more than the next 19 top job growth states in the U.S. combined! Additionally, Texas’ growth projections for the next 10 years are even stronger than the past decade.
While all the cities within the Texas Triangle are seeing exceptional growth, Houston is on the cusp of becoming the next global city and is truly poised to make a quantum leap.
The Brookings Institute, one of the premier “think tanks” in the world, named Houston as North America’s fastest growing metro area. The report analyzed gross domestic product, employment, income and population rates by major metro area.
Some of the driving factors behind the success of Houston include:
There is no city in North America that benefits more from a healthy energy sector than Houston.
The worldwide demand for energy is increasing daily as countries like China and India transform from Third World nations to industrialized economies. Yet much of the easy and inexpensive oil fields have already been tapped out, and much of the new drilling requires expensive equipment and technology. The equipment and technology companies who can meet that need are primarily located in Houston.
In other words, energy is going to play a more dominating role in world economics than in the past and Houston will find itself at the center of that industry.
Texas Medical Center
Houston is also home to the largest and most sophisticated medical center in the world, the Texas Medical Center. The Texas Medical Center has been rapidly expanding for decades, and today demand for new medical space is stronger than ever.
For the next several decades, our country’s demand for medical attention from baby boomers will increase. Houston is poised to benefit from that demand more than any other city in North America. It is already established as THE place to go for serious medical needs (as was demonstrated by Gabrielle Giffords’ remarkable treatment and recovery) and has become a destination for others around the globe, in particular in Central and South America, with serious medical needs.
The Texas Medical Center is also a capital for research. Houston is leading the charge in the future of medicine, genomics and other similar areas.
Port of Houston
As worldwide commerce increases, ports play a larger role. The Port of Houston has been growing at a staggering rate for decades and is now the second largest port in the U.S.
The port’s traffic will see more growth than it has in the past once the widening of the Panama Canal is completed in 2014. Super tankers from the East have not been able to reach Houston because the Panama Canal’s capacity.
What is already a tremendous boon for Houston’s economy is about to see unprecedented growth.
Entrepreneurial, Capitalistic and Ethnically Diverse City
Since the 1920s, Houston has measured worthiness on smarts and hard work, an attitude which has helped it become known as the most entrepreneurial city in the world.
Houston also benefits from the capitalistic government of Texas. Texas is a “right to work” state, which keeps wages under control and gives employers the right to promote or cut jobs as needed. In addition, Houston businesses and individuals gain from having no state income taxes. Tort reform, another pro business measure, is also found here in Texas.
In addition, Houston is the most ethnically diverse large metropolitan area in the nation. This blending of cultures leads to constant new ideas while also helping to feed the city’s entrepreneurial spirit.
With the Texas Triangle greatly outpacing the rest of the country in growth and Houston morphing into the next global city because of energy, the Texas Medical Center, Port of Houston, entrepreneurial attitude, capitalistic atmosphere and ethnically diverse environment, the Lone Star State’s future looks very bright.