Why is everyone moving to Texas?
Five of the 11 fastest-growing cities in America are all located in Texas, according to the latest trove of data revealed by the US Census Bureau.
Texas is apparently the new place to be, according to statistics released Thursday by the United States Census Bureau.
In its annual analysis, the bureau found that five of the nation's 11 fastest-growing cities are all located in the Lone Star state, continuing a trend that has been gathering pace over the past few years.
Georgetown, Texas, took the top spot, in terms of population growth for cities with at least 50,000 inhabitants, ballooning by 7.8 percent between July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015.
Some of the population boom can be attributed to natural increase, but "more than half of our population change is from net migratiom," state demographer Lloyd Potter told The Texas Tribune in December.
But what is it that lures so many?
Analysis by the Texas Demographic Center reveals that the vast majority of immigrants to the state come from other parts of the US, as opposed to other countries – 4.8 million of a total 5.9 million between 2005 and 2013.
California was by far the biggest contributor in the final year of that period, providing Texas with more than 60,000 immigrants, almost double the next most generous state, Florida, which gave about 33,000.
Certainly one of the biggest draws is jobs. As Nela Richardson, chief economist for the real estate broker Redfin, told CNN in 2014, "It take two things to draw people inland in big numbers: jobs and housing affordability."
Until a couple of years ago, the boom in unconventional oil and gas drilling was a critical factor, but with the crash in the oil price, and the subsequent travails of that industry, its allure has faded.
Yet Texas also has other jobs on offer, not least in the arenas of tech, manufacturing, and business services. While those seeking top-end salaries would likely target cities such as New York, San Francisco, or Seattle, there are still plenty of well-paid opportunities in Texas.
There are other advantages to Texas, too: The cost of living is cheaper, land is cheaper and taxes are lower. In fact, Texas is one of only seven states to charge residents a personal income tax of precisely zero.
"California's taxes and regulations are crushing businesses, and there are more opportunities in Texas for people to start new companies, get good jobs, and create better lives for their families," Nathan Nascimento, director of state initiatives at Freedom Partners, told The Washington Free Beacon. "When tax and regulatory climates are bad, people will move to better economic environments – this phenomenon isn't a mystery, it's how marketplaces work. Not only should other state governments take note of this, but so should the federal government."
Yet Texas was only the star of a regional dominance, with all but one of the 15 fastest-growing cities in the Census Bureau's latest statistics being situated in the South or West. And, in considering absolute numbers of new inhabitants, while New York city gained the most, with more than 55,000 extra people calling it home, the next 14 top gainers were also all in the South or West.