Texas is Big, and Getting Bigger, in Population and Influence

The Texas of today is a bright and shiny new frontier, a land of opportunity boasting the nation’s fastest-growing cities and a surging, diversified economy that has helped the state largely outpace the rest of the country in population growth and job creation.

Texas leaders have been open about their efforts to woo businesses and investments from the East and West Coasts. And the influx of major corporate relocations from California is apparent evidence that it’s working.

Is Texas the New California?

Compare the Lone Star State and the Golden State. Texas has been at the receiving end of 200+ relocations from California, more than any other state. Many are household brands like Apple, Amazon, eBay and Restoration Hardware, that moved their headquarters or opened or expanded other operations in the state.

For the 12th year in a row, Chief Executive Magazine has rated Texas the best state in which to do business. The magazine asked 513 CEOs to rank states they were familiar with based on the friendliness of the states’ taxes, regulation, workforce quality and living environment. The results of the annual Best & Worst States for Business survey were announced in early May.

Texas and Florida top the list, as they have every year for more than a decade that the survey has been conducted. Despite having been hit hard by the shale energy bust, Texas is still held in high esteem by CEOs for its favorable economic reforms.

“Once again, CEOs across America have agreed there is no place better for conducting business than Texas,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “Our winning formula is simple — low taxes, reasonable regulations and investment in a quality workforce.”

Census data shows that 170,103 more residents moved into Texas from other states than left in 2015 – averaging 466 new residents each day. That was the biggest gain in more than two decades, excluding those who left Louisiana for Texas after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Dallas Attracting New Growth across Board

In particular, Dallas tops the job growth list in Texas, according to an April 25 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dallas added 129,900 jobs during the 12 months, trailing only New York (193,200) and Los Angeles (145,300) in the raw number of jobs created over the period.

The state’s most recent big deal was Toyota Motor Corporation’s decision to relocate its North American headquarters to Plano, generating roughly 4,000 jobs and $350 million in investments. Even more, the nation’s third largest insurer, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance, plans to have 5,000 employees working on a new campus in Plano by the end of 2017.

North Texas also has welcomed MoneyGram, Zoes Kitchen, NYLO Hotels, Encana Corporation and Top Golf. Telecom giant Frontier Communications is looking at North Texas for a major expansion that could bring hundreds of jobs to the region. By some estimates, according to the Dallas Business Journal, greater Collin County could quadruple to 4 million people in 15 years.

Moving company Mayflower said Dallas was the No. 1 U.S. city where millennials moved in 2015, based on their business results. Dallas even surpassed Chicago, Denver and Seattle as places where millennials are relocating. After moving for employment reasons, the other top factors that millennials say are driving their relocations are, not surprisingly, romantic relationships and family needs.

Dallas inspires big ideas. This big and bold approach has resulted in world-class arts, culture, architecture, dining, business and more, which are changing the face of the city. As the fourth-largest metro area in the United States with more than $20 billion in urban development underway, the city offers a tsunami of corporate relocations, 20 square blocks of artistic and cultural destinations in the Arts District, a battalion of celebrity chefs, great shopping and a national sports spotlight year-round.

Former Governor of Texas, the late Ann Richards used to say that Texans’ favorite bird is the crane, but not the kind you think. She often joked, “Look up in the sky. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a building crane!”