Carpe Diem

Oil-rich Midland, TX is nation’s fastest growing metro area, with highest per-capita income in the country at $83,000

Paul Lowry (Flickr) (CC by 2.0)

Paul Lowry (Flickr) (CC by 2.0)

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released data today on “Local Area Personal Income” with new estimates for personal income in 2012 for the nation’s 381 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). Here are a few highlights:

1. Midland, Texas is clearly America’s “economic miracle city.” For the third year in a row, Midland was the nation’s fastest growing MSA, with growth in personal income in 2012 of 12.1%. Midland also led the country as the MSA with the highest per capita personal income in 2012 at $83,049, followed by Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($81,068), San Francisco ($66,591), the Silicon Valley MSA of San Jose-Santa Clara-Sunnvale ($65,679) and Washington, DC ($61,743).

2. Following Midland’s income growth of 12.1% in 2012 were nearby No. 2 Odessa, TX (11.5%), No. 3 Grand Forks, ND (11.5%) and No. 4 Bismarck, ND (10.1%), which are all benefiting from America’s Shale Revolution that has made Texas and North Dakota the shining stars of the Great American Energy Boom. Other Texas and North Dakota MSAs that experienced strong personal income growth in 2012 were No. 7 Fargo, ND (8.3%), No. 14 Victoria, TX (7.1%), No. 16 Houston (6.7%) and No. 22 Austin (6.1%). Of the top 22 fastest growing metro areas in 2012, eight were either in Texas or North Dakota.

3. On a per-capita basis, the Grand Forks MSA led the country in 2012 with personal income growth of 9.5%, followed by No. 2 Odessa (7.9%), No. 3 Elkhart, IN (7.8%), No. 4 Bismarck (7.6%), No. 5 Columbus, IN (7.4%) and No. 6 Midland (7.2%). Of the six MSAs with the highest per-capita income growth in 2012, four were either in North Dakota and Texas.

MP: More evidence from today’s BEA report that America’s Shale Revolution is creating shale-based wealth, income, jobs and prosperity, especially in the states of Texas and North Dakota, the two shining stars of the Great American Energy Boom. And Midland, Texas has emerged as America’s “economic miracle city” with the highest per-capita income in the country ($83,049), higher even than average incomes in Silicon Valley ($65,679) by 26.4% and Washington, DC ($61,743) by 34.5%.

18 thoughts on “Oil-rich Midland, TX is nation’s fastest growing metro area, with highest per-capita income in the country at $83,000

  1. and the lesson we learn from this is that wealth doesnt come from intelligence or initiative, but the luck of being born into an area that’s sitting on natural resouces…

    are you sure that’s what you want to be teaching, Mark?

    • Because as we all know, if you simply live in Midland, the natural resources, all by themselves, crawl out of the ground and into your bank account, right?

      Are you really claiming that it takes no intelligence or initiative to scrape enough capital together to harvest natural resources or to even move to a place where those natural resources are or to learn the skills needed to be employed by those harvesting those resources?

      I used to think lefties really weren’t this stupid, but after the vigorous defenses of the clearly wrong “You didn’t build that”, I was clearly wrong.

      • @Ken

        Are you really claiming that it takes no intelligence or initiative

        Yes.

        “generated oil royalty payments of $20 million every day of the month. In addition, I estimated an additional $520,000 in payments every day for natural gas royalties. Those generous royalty payments are translating into the record number of North Dakota “income millionaires” reported above”

        • Just an FYI, it takes intelligence and initiative to purchase land. Nothing you linked to attempts to claim otherwise. And of course, you failed to explain just how, exactly, those resources simply extracted themselves from the ground and put themselves in someone’s bank account.

          Being lazy is no way to go through life son.

          • The North Dakota income millionaire will see her royalty cheque decline from $1,000,000 to $500,000 one year later and to $300,000 two years later if all well sites on her land are drilled, fracked and in production with a constant price of oil. Easy come, easy go in the land of shale oil resource extraction. I bet she wished that she had the mineral rights to a conventional oil well royalty.-:)

            The Bakken income millionaires will peak before oil production peaks sometime in the next 5 years.

    • Venezuela seems to sitting on an abundance of natural resources, and yet just the simple presence of lefties, like you and “hitssquad”, has reduced them to a state of poverty, chaos and despair.

      Perhaps, that’s the difference, Texas and North Dakota have fewer left-wing morons.

    • Just to make you feel better about yourself, oil income doesn’t percolate down to teachers. We work for the same low income as the rest of Texas teachers but get to teach in overcrowded classrooms and pay inflated rental fees when we can find a place to rent. Limousine liberal !

      • Same with healthcare. I definitely feel your pain. My husband and I were born and raised in Midland and were practically ran out by the lack of common courtesy and not being able to get ahead! There is no enjoyment in paying your bills and having nothing left over in the end!

    • That’s the most idiotic statement you could possibly make. There is more ingenuity and creativity in the Oil & Gas industry that any other industry out there. Not to mention, people out here in West Texas have jobs and they actually get up and go to work instead of staying home and feeding off of Obama’s handouts. I caution you against making comments about people and an industry that you know nothing about.

      • Thank you…..people who actually work for a living and not to mention bust their rear ends and put their lives in danger everyday out in the oil field are by no means lazy or unintelligent. The majority of “West Texans” actually work for a living and do not rely on government handouts to survive!

    • I worked as a geotech in Midland under my dad, who’s a geologist. Let me assure you, you have to have intelligence and initiative to work in the oil business. Drilling a hole in the ground won’t get you oil – I spent hours sifting through logs, doing “detective work” to match up individual wells with old faded logs, plugging in well data into map databases, calculating depths of wells, etc. and I was doing the easiest work in the office. My dad used the maps and info I gathered to decide where/how to drill next. It takes mathematical skills and a fair amount of intuition to guide the process. My dad didn’t get into the oil business because he wanted riches, he did it because he loves geology. As a kid, my family vacations consisted of fossil hunts and visits to national parks, where my dad told us all about natural history – which dinosaurs lived where, how the mountains and rock formations came to be, and a lot more. The cliched and misled view that West Texans are dumb rich creationists is NOT TRUE. If my dad thought evolution was false and the world was 3000 years old, he would be pretty bad at finding FOSSIL fuel.

  2. To give a bit of historical perspective this is the second boom in Midland in the last 50 years. The first started about 1980 when the price of oil was decontrolled. For a while the Rolls Royce Dealership in Midland had larger sales then anyone else in the US. The the price of oil collapsed,
    and Midland went to sleep. I recall being there in the late 1990s and there was no rush hour for example. So being having a resource based economy leads to booms and busts in the local economy. So soon enough the price of oil might collapse and Midland will go into hibernation again.

    • It may be true. But that doesn’t mean that people should not take advantage of the situation when the market is hot.

      Midland will be much better off in the next bust, with this boom than it would be had the boom never happened.

      • However it does suggest that buying real estate now in Midland might be a bad deal, as prices could crash as they did in the late 1980s (This actually happend in most of Tx then my house in Houston had its assesed value cut 50% for example. Boom towns can be hazardous if you can’t get your profits out quick. All be it they were faster look at any number of ghost towns in the West.

  3. rjs>>>and the lesson we learn from this is that wealth doesnt come from intelligence or initiative, but the luck of being born into an area that’s sitting on natural resouces…<<<<

    I will fix it for you-It took/takes incredible intelligence and initiative to figure out how to extract the resources from the Permian. It takes a free market/private property rights and the rule of law to have a natural resources boom that establishes broad prosperity in the region of the boom.-

    I doubt you or anyone else will do this-but please compare the differences in the Midland/Bakken boom with Natural Resources rich hellholes like Angola/Nigeria/DRC and Venezuela.

  4. Marmico>>>The North Dakota income millionaire will see her royalty cheque decline from $1,000,000 to $500,000 one year later and to $300,000 two years later if all well sites on her land are drilled, fracked and in production with a constant price of oil. Easy come, easy go in the land of shale oil resource extraction. I bet she wished that she had the mineral rights to a conventional oil well royalty.-:)

    The Bakken income millionaires will peak before oil production peaks sometime in the next 5 years.<<<<

    Of course, you are assuming a completely static technology where no advancements are made in recovering more of the Original Oil in Place and no further discoveries of more producing layers are made.

    I submit that the oil companies will be playing with the Bakken wells for a long time. Even something as simple as refracking the early wells is being done now.

    • Breaker Morant is exactly correct. The Bakken millionaires are collecting royalties on an average of 2 wells/drilling unit across the Bakken oil patch. It is anticipated that there will be active drilling through 2030 as the operators move to a minimum of 14 wells/drilling unit and as many as 30 or more wells in some drilling units in the better Bakken.

      Regardless, most North Dakotans would be happy with $1 million this year, $500,000 next year, $300,000 from “their” oil wells.

  5. Simple solution: BOYCOTT Turn off your electricity–hand in you car keys–turn off your phone and shut down your computer. Don’t use any of that nasty West Texas energy anymore!

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