- Median Age of the Northwest Region: 37.5
- From 2003 to 2013, the per capita persona income growth in the region grew 62%, which is higher than the Texas average of 46% and U.S. average of 37%
- Personal income grew from $14.3 billion in 2003 to $23.5 billion in 2013
- Job growth in the region was 3.8%, which is lower than the Texas average of 19.6% but significantly greater than the U.S. average of 4.7%
- The regional is bolstered by jobs in support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction, Shackelford, Scurry, and Jack counties had the largest percentage of growth in both employment and average wages.
- Dyess Air Force Base
- Sheppard Air Force Base
The Northwest Region is both the least populous region and one of the state’s slowest growing. From 2003 to 2013, its population expanded slowly at 1.3% while the entire state rose by 20%.
The slow growth could presage workforce troubles, given the large share of workers who are nearing retirement in some of the region’s strongest industries.
Animal production operations offer a prime example. The Northwest Region has a dense concentration of these jobs, and 31 percent of these workers are at least 56 years old.
Another industry provides a brighter picture, however. Support activities for mining is a relatively young industry and enjoyed the region’s largest job gains over the decade.
- Sweetwater’s population quadruples in size during rattlesnake roundup
- The Northwest Region’s two largest cities (Wichita Falls and Abilene) both house Air Force bases.
- The total estimated value of 2013 beef production in the Northwest Region? $527 million!
- Wichita Falls’ Sheppard Air Force Base is the only one in the U.S. offering both technical and aviation training.