Everything is Bigger in Texas! And Getting Bigger!
Texas has woven many a tall tale down through its history, and it has suffered the brunt of many jokes, and rightfully so, perhaps, on both counts.
Texas and Texans, you see, enjoy life to the extreme, and enjoy life, like everything else, in a big way.
It comes with the territory.
For one, until Alaska officially became a state in 1959, Texas was the largest state in the Union. (*Many Texans argue today that Texas is still the largest if you don't count all the ice in Alaska:) And in addition, Texas, and Texans, are fiercely independent - and proud of it.
Most will tell you it is, in part, because of all the 50 states, Texas was the only territory that was a Republic before becoming joining the Union.
But the real truth, when you get down to the brass tacks, Texas is blessed with a whole lot of resources, and for whatever the reason, folks that aren't from Texas have often seemed to resent that Texas has always had what seems to be an unfair share of the wealth and resources of the nation. And while that's no fault of our own, Native Texans will be quick to point out that such harsh feelings toward the Lone Star State might well have a lot to do with us being so darn protective and prideful.
However you look at it, Texas has a lot going for it.
It leads the nation in beef production. In Texas, you don't have to look far to find a good steak. Texas is also the leading producer of cotton and grain sorghum, wool and mohair, natural gas and oil reserves. In fact, Texas is the richest oil state. In fact, Texas accounted for nearly a third of both crude oil and natural gas reserves in the United States in 2012. The state has more than 9.6 billion barrels of proven reserves, a capacity that expanded rapidly in 2011 and 2012 when the state discovered 55 million barrels of reserves from new oil fields and more than 3.6 billion barrels from existing drilling sites. With more than 932 million barrels of oil produced in 2013, and 27 refineries capable of processing nearly 5.2 million barrels per day, Texas leads the nation in virtually all facets of the oil industry.
Texas leads the nation with the strongest economy of all 50 states. Unemployment is a little over 4 percent, a full percentage point lower than the national unemployment rate. And while the oil and gas industry is a major contributor to the economy, agriculture, high tech companies and banking and finance are high on the list of major contributors.
Texas must be doing something right.
According to the latest statistics, five of the ten fastest growing major cities are in Texas, and four of the fastest growing metropolitan statistical districts are in Texas. For fastest growing cities, the latest numbers look like this:
Most population growth between 2013 and 2014
1. New York, NY: +52,700 (total pop. 8.5 million)
2. Houston, TX : +35,700 (total pop. 2.2 million)
3. Los Angeles, CA: +30,900 (total pop. 3.9 million)
4. Austin, TX: +25,600 (total pop. 912,000)
5. San Antonio, TX: +24,900 (total pop. 1.4 million)
6. Phoenix, AZ: +24,600 (total pop. 1.5 million)
7. San Diego, CA: +21,200 (total pop. 1.4 million)
8. Dallas, TX: +20,300 (total pop. 1.3 million)
9. Fort Worth, TX: +18,100 (total pop. 812,000)
10. Charlotte, NC: +16,000 (total pop. 809,000)
For Metro Districts:
Austin ranked #2 fastest growing in the nation (population: 1.83 million)
Houston ranked #8 (population: 6.18 million)
San Antonio ranked #9 (population: 2.23 million)
Dallas/Fort Worth ranked #10 (population: 6.7 million)
According to CNN Money, Austin remains America's big growth story. Since 2010, Austin's population has risen by 100,000. In fact, more people had moved to Austin over that time span than to San Francisco and Philadelphia combined. Just last year, over 25,000 people moved to Austin, bringing its total population to just below a million. New York City, with nearly 8.5 million people, only had about 53,000 people move in last year.
According to another CNN Money report, more Americans moved to Texas in recent years than any other state, a net gain of more than 387,000 in the latest Census for 2013 alone. And despite a sagging oil industry because of low crude prices, Texas has continued to show strength and growth.
So enough, you might say. The evidence is clear. Texas is generally a healthy place to live, to do business, or to visit. But in spite the pride most Texans feel for their native land, most of us realize it's not perfect. It needs more fine tuning. It can be improved, and that's where you come in. Texas was built through the years by people just like you, that came to the state with ideas and contributions to make. We celebrate our diversity, and we welcome positive change.
Forgive us for boasting of our many blessings. The jealousy of others, and the hard time many have given us for many years over our good fortune, has made us sometime brash and somewhat braggadocios at times. But once you warm up to our enthusiasm you will realize we are fairly decent folk who simply enjoy life to the fullest, and we welcome you to join us and do the same.
As the new year approaches, here's wishing great success for all of us in the months ahead!
Everything is Bigger
The Texas State Capitol in Austin is taller than the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. by 26 feet, the tallest in the nation.
Everything is Bigger
The San Jacinto Mounument, commemorating Texas' Independence from Mexico, is 12 feet taller than the Washington Monument
Everything is Bigger
The Allen High School football stadium is a $60 million facility that demonstrates not only Texas' commitment to football, but a demonstration of how largeness is Texas' middle name. Allen is a suburb of Dallas.