It’s good time to move to Texas. At least, that’s what the numbers tell us. The state’s population is booming, as is its economy, the WSJ reports:
Aided by the promise of plentiful employment and a low cost of living, Texas added 1.3 million people from 2010 to 2013, more than any other state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Lone Star State’s population has pushed past 26 million and is projected to reach 40 million by 2050. […]Many states were hit hard by the recession, but the Texas economy barely contracted. It shrunk by 0.5% in 2009, the state’s economic trough, and expanded by 4.1% in 2010, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. From 2010 through 2012, it grew faster than that of any other state except for North Dakota, which is bustling thanks to an oil boom.
But the state’s growing population is putting a tremendous strain on its infrastructure. Traffic is getting worse all the time, and a possible water crisis also looms. Texas will soon have pay for upgrades and expansions, but that has many in the small-government-loving Lone Star state wringing their hands.In an age of ever more fuel-efficient vehicles, one attractive option would be to raise the state’s gas tax to help offset the costs of road repairs. Some are even calling for privately-owned toll roads. But there’s another option that could ease traffic congestion without raising taxes: Texans should telework.The state will also have to beef up its spending on water infrastructure, and water scarcity remains one of the state’s biggest long-term challenges. But all in all, an excess of growth is a problem many states would love to have, chief among them California, which is also facing water shortages. Texans may grumble about their growing pains, but at least they’re growing.