A vivid contrast is Texas, whose growth lays bare the Obama ruinous national agenda, and whose population grew 5.2 percent between 2010 and 2013, a higher percentage than anywhere else except much tinier North Dakota and D.C. With 8 percent of the nation’s population in 2010, Texas produced 18 percent of its population growth in the next three years. That has largely been the result of relatively high birth rates and high domestic in-migration. Immigration, running about the national average rate, has been a smaller factor, accounting for only one-sixth of the state’s growth.
The shale boom has obviously helped Texas, but it’s far from the sole cause of its strength. Its economy is highly diversified, to the point that it’s gaining high-tech jobs from Silicon Valley. From September 2007 to November 2013, when the nation lost 1.8 million jobs, Texas gained 1.1 million. Texas’s public policies — low taxes, light regulation — have clearly paid off.
Most Texans tell pollsters they’re distressed about the direction of the nation — understandably, since the Obama administration’s policies are so different from their own. But Texas’s demographic numbers suggest that traditional American optimism and willingness to take risks are not altogether dead. They’re alive and thriving just north of the Rio Grande.