From the Office of State Senator Troy Fraser
For Immediate Release
March 1, 2002
Contact: William A. Scott - (512) 463-0124
Tale of theTexas Tape: How We Stack Up Against Other States in Key Area
By Senator Troy Fraser
Texas is famous for a lot of things, but a few traits come to mind right away: great barbeque, great country music, a big-time devotion to football (at all levels), and, of course, the Texas-sized pride that we show in our state.
But to gauge how the Lone Star State really ranks against the other 49 states, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts compiles comparative facts and figures on a variety of important issues like agriculture, business and industry, criminal justice, education, transportation and government spending in recent years.
The results of the report, "Texas: Where We Stand," show that we have a right to be proud in many areas, but, as might be expected, there is room for improvement in others.
Not surprising is that Texas ranked number one in the production of crude oil, marketed natural gas, farm income from livestock, and the number of insured commercial banks. We are also first in the number of bridges with 47,886, but unfortunately, also in the number of "deficient bridges" at 10,378.
We also have the dubious distinction of being atop the list in the number of tornados from 1950-1999, with a total of 6,336, although we can hardly be blamed for that.
Texas ranks second in several categories, including population with 20.8 million people (only behind California), but we are number one in population of non-metropolitan areas with 3.1 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
We are also second in the size of the employed civilian labor force, with 9.8 million workers, and the percentage of decrease (44 percent) in food stamp program participation.
Categories -- all positive -- in which we ranked as third best: Gross State Product at $687.3 billion; total acres planted, with 23.3 million; and the percentage of change in public high school graduates, with 23.9 percent.
Three areas in which we ranked dead last: per capita state government revenue at $2,926; per capita state government expenditures at $2,584; and the average monthly benefit per participant in the Women, Infant and Children Program at $26.12.
In between the best and worst, you'll find that Texas ranks:
- 18th in property taxes per capita ($843)
- 22nd in the amount of state tax levied on a pack of cigarettes, (41 cents)
- 23rd in per capita personal income ($27,871)
- 24th in the state tax rate on gasoline (20 cents per gallon)
- 30th in the percentage of adults who smoke (22.4 percent)
- 31st in the median household income ($35,254)
- 34th in the percentage of households with telephone service (94 percent)
- 39th in the number of dentists per 100,000 population (44)
- 44th in home ownership rate (63.8 percent)
- 47th in average Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) score (993)
Although these and other statistics compiled by the Comptroller's Office provide only a snapshot, the report provides readers with some hard data for a fairly wide spectrum of indicators.
For further information, or a complete copy of the report, please call the Texas Comptroller's Office at 1-800-531-5441 or go to www.window.state.tx.us/comptrol/wwstand/wwstand.html
State Senator Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, represents a 21-county district that includes the Highland Lakes region