By Breanna Deutsch
Texas is getting even bigger.
According to a U.S. Census Bureau report released this week, seven of the top fifteen fastest growing cities are in the Lone Star State.
Three of those cities — San Marcos, Frisco and Cedar Park — experienced growth rates of at least 5 percent between 2012 and 2013.
And Austin, the state’s capital, gained more people (nearly 21,000) than any other city with fewer than one million residents.
People are not moving to Texas for the weather.
This year, Chief Executive Magazine nominated Texas for the tenth year in a row as the most business-friendly state based on its performance in the categories of tax and regulatory regime, the quality of the workforce, public education system, access to affordable housing, and the overall quality of the living environment.
Entrepreneurs have taken note of Texas’s hospitable climate for conducting business affairs and have decided to break ground or relocate to the state – and create thousands of jobs while they are at it.
From 2000 to 2013, Texas experienced stronger job growth than the rest of the nation in all four wage quartiles, including the middle two wage quartiles, where growth in the rest of the nation was negative or sluggish.
Employment numbers in the state reflect this activity with only 5.2 percent of its labor force out of work, compared to the national unemployment rate of 6.3 percent.
More than any other state, Texas has California to thank for its population increase.
In 2012 alone, 63,000 people moved from California to Texas, while 43,000 in Texas moved to California.
California has an unemployment rate of 7.8 percent and its high taxes and strong regulatory environment has continuously led it to be ranked as one of the worst states to do business.
As a whole, the Census Bureau report found that cities in the South and the West are growing faster than competing regions around the country.
Economists point to the boom in energy production west of the Mississippi as one of the major catalysis of job growth and population expansion in the region.