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Economy of Texas
Texas flag map.svg
GDP $2.0 trillion (2021)
GDP per capita
$67,202 (2021)
Population below poverty line
15.8% (16.5% considering cost of living)
Labor force
13,126,900 (January 1, 2015)
Unemployment 4.4% (March 2022)
Public finances
Revenues $71.5447 billion
Expenses $71.4094 billion
Texas vs US Unemployment 1976-2021
     Texas unemployment rate, 1976–2021     US unemployment rate

The economy of the State of Texas is the second largest by GDP in the United States after that of California. It has a gross state product of $2.0 trillion as of 2021. As of 2015, Texas is home to six of the top 50 companies on the Fortune 500 list and 51 overall (third most after New York and California). In 2017, Texas grossed more than $264.5 billion a year in exports—more than the exports of California ($172 billion) and New York ($77.9 billion) combined.

As a sovereign country (2016), Texas would be the 10th largest economy in the world by GDP, ahead of South Korea and Canada and behind Brazil. For 2019 Texas's household income was $67,444 in ranking 26th in the nation. The state debt in 2012 was calculated to be $121.7 billion, or $7,400 per taxpayer. Texas has the second largest population in the country after California.


USA-World Nominal GDP
Texas compared to other countries GDP is in the same range as Canada, Australia, Russia, the Netherlands, or South Korea (corresponding with the Department of Finance figures in 2005).
Texas industries timeline
Boom periods of the four major industries that built the early Texas economy.

Historically four major business enterprises shaped the Texas economy prior to World War II: cattle and bison, cotton, timber, and oil. The first enterprise to enjoy major success in Texas was cattle and bison. In the early days of Anglo-American settlement furs and hides were the major products derived from cattle. Beef was not particularly popular in the United States. However soon Texas entrepreneurs pioneered the beef industry and demand steadily increased. The cattle industry enjoyed its greatest financial success in the later 1870s and 1880s.

Cotton production, which had been known in Texas since Spanish times, gradually increased throughout the 19th century. By the early 20th century Texas had become the leading cotton producer in the nation. By the 1920s the cotton industry was past its peak as government regulation and foreign competition took their toll.

The forests of Texas have been an important resource since its earliest days and have played an important role in the state's history. The vast woodlands of the region, home to many varieties of wildlife when Europeans first arrived, provided major economic opportunities for early settlers. They today continue to play an important role economically and environmentally in the state.

The densest forest lands lie in the eastern part of the state. In particular the Big Thicket region, just north of Houston and Beaumont, has historically been home to the most dense woodlands. The Big Thicket was mostly uninhabited until heavy settlement from the U.S. began in the mid-19th century, and was even used as a refuge by runaway slaves and other fugitives. The Rio Grande valley in South Texas was home to a large palm tree forest when Spaniards first arrived, though today very little of it remains.

The development of railroads in the eastern part of the state during the mid-19th century led to a boom in lumber production in the 1880s. This era of financial success lasted approximately 50 years finally coming to an end as Texas' forests were decimated and the Great Depression dropped prices.

In 1901 the Gladys City Oil, Gas, and Manufacturing Company struck oil on Spindletop Hill in Beaumont. Though petroleum production was not new, this strike was by far the largest the world had ever seen. The find led to widespread exploration throughout Texas and neighboring states. By 1940 Texas was firmly established as the leading oil producer in the U.S.

Texas instruments gate3 dallas tx usa 2009-08-07
The headquarters of Texas Instruments

Texas remained largely rural until World War II though the success of the petroleum industry rapidly expanded the economy with heavy industry of many types taking root. The second world war created tremendous demand for petroleum and a variety of products that Texas was in a unique position to provide. By the end of the war Texas was one of the leading industrial states and the population had become predominantly urban. Additionally the economy had diversified sufficiently that, though petroleum was still the largest sector by the end of the war, the business community in the state was truly diverse.

The Texas economy today relies largely on information technology, oil and natural gas, aerospace, defense, biomedical research, fuel processing, electric power, agriculture, and manufacturing.

Fortune 500 companies
based in Texas for 2011

according to revenues
with State and U.S. rankings
State Corporation US
1 ExxonMobil 2
2 ConocoPhillips 4
3 AT&T 12
4 Valero Energy 24
5 Marathon Oil 29
6 Dell 41
7 Sysco 67
8 Enterprise Products 80
9 Plains All American Pipeline 99
10 AMR 118
11 Fluor 124
12 Tesoro 128
13 Kimberly-Clark 130
14 Halliburton 144
15 USAA 145
16 J.C. Penney 146
17 Baker Hughes 170
18 Texas Instruments 175
19 Waste Management 196
20 National Oilwell Varco 202
21 Dean Foods 203
22 Southwest Airlines 205
23 Apache Corp. 206
24 Anadarko Petroleum 223
25 KBR 242
26 GameStop 262
27 Tenet Healthcare 266
28 Whole Foods Market 273
29 CenterPoint Energy 279
30 HollyFrontier 289
31 Energy Future Holdings 292
32 Kinder Morgan 294
33 Western Refining 298
34 Enbridge Energy Partners 309
35 Calpine 349
36 Energy Transfer Equity 351
37 Commercial Metals 361
38 Cameron International 375
39 EOG Resources 377
40 Celanese 388
41 Frontier Oil 389
42 CC Media Holdings 391
43 Dr Pepper Snapple Group 404
44 Group 1 Automotive 413
45 Targa Resources 416
46 Spectra Energy 441
47 Atmos Energy 473
48 El Paso Corp. 481
49 RadioShack 492
50 NuStar Energy 497
51 D.R. Horton 499
Further information:
List of Texas companies

Source: Fortune


In 2014, for the thirteenth year in a row, Texas led the United States in export revenues. Texas exports for 2008 totaled $192.2 billion. In 2002, the Port of Houston was 6th among the top sea ports in the world in terms of total cargo volume;

Wealthiest places in Texas

  1. Southlake, Texas town, Texas $176,427
  2. Barton Creek CDP, Texas $110,504
  3. Westover Hills town, Texas $98,573
  4. Highland Park town, Texas $97,008
  5. Hunters Creek Village city, Texas $88,821
  6. Bunker Hill Village city, Texas $86,434
  7. Hill Country Village city, Texas $77,374
  8. Mustang town, Texas $75,692
  9. West University Place city, Texas $69,674
  10. Hilshire Village city, Texas $66,620
  11. Olmos Park city, Texas $65,697
  12. University Park city, Texas $63,414
  13. The Hills village, Texas $61,363
  14. Southside Place city, Texas $57,021
  15. West Lake Hills city, Texas $55,651
  16. Onion Creek CDP, Texas $54,758
  17. Tiki Island village, Texas $54,611
  18. Parker city, Texas $54,099
  19. Lakeshore Gardens-Hidden Acres CDP, Texas $52,512
  20. Rollingwood city, Texas $52,280
  21. Hedwig Village city, Texas $52,153
  22. Lost Creek CDP, Texas $52,147
  23. Heath city, Texas $51,049
  24. Colleyville city, Texas $50,418
  25. Shavano Park city, Texas $47,705
  26. Sugar Land, Texas city, Texas $47,597
  27. Bellaire city, Texas $46,674
  28. Lakeway city, Texas $45,765
  29. Ransom Canyon town, Texas $45,675
  30. Alamo Heights city, Texas $45,640

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