West Texas consists of 30 counties and has many unique economic conditions. According to the census of 2018, the median age of the residents was slightly younger than that of the state. However, Loving County has the region’s oldest average population – and it is also one of the least populated counties of West Texas.
Hispanic and Non-Hispanic people share almost 93% of the region’s population. In addition, West Texas had Texas’ most volatile local economies in the past ten years. The employment rate of Midland MSA’s rose nearly three times compared to the state rate.
If West Texas were a stage, it would have the fifth-highest per capita income in the USA. What differentiates this region from others in Texas is the concentration of extraction and transportation of natural resources industries.
There are three metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in West Texas:
- The Midland MSA: Martin and Midland counties
- The Odessa MSA: Ector County
- The San Angelo MSA: Irion and Tom Green counties
The total population of West Texas was approx. 660,000 (as of 2019), or you can say about 2.9% of Texas’ total population. This is an increase of almost 90,000 people since the consensus of 2010. The median household income of this region was $62,171 as of 2018.
The climate of West Texas is arid and semi-arid. The region sees much less rainfall compared to the rest of Texas. Therefore, most of its scant agriculture heavily depends on irrigation. While most parts of Texas are at or near sea level, much of West Texas has a rugged terrain that comprises many small mountain ranges.
- Angelo State University
- The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Junior and Community Colleges
- Howard College
- Midland College
- Odessa College
Top Certificates and Degree Awards in West Texas
- Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities
- Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences
- Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services
- Personal and Culinary Services
- Security and Protective Services
- Engineering Technologies/Technicians
West Texas is well-known for being a strong fort for conservative politics, except for the Trans-Pecos region. Including one of the former presidents of the US, George W. Bush, numerous Republican supporters have spent a large chunk of their lives in West Texas. The fact that West Texas strongly advocates conservative political views can be fact-checked by the figures showing that several counties in the Midland-Odessa and Panhandle have never supported a Democrat since 1948.
West Texas is laden with huge industries of livestock and natural gas production. Moreover, there are numerous business avenues for textiles and petroleum in this region. West Texas is also famous for boosting the defense industry, mainly because of huge military installations, such as Fort Bliss. Alternate and environmentally efficient energy production is also a booming industry in West Texas, with thousands of Wind Turbines functioning for benefiting the environment.
Places to Visit in West Texas
1. El Paso
Also known as the Sun City, El Paso is almost always sunny. If you come from a colder or tropical region, this city will be a heaven of the bright shiny sun. This kind of climate leaves you with ample choices of outdoor as well as indoor activities. You can visit various parks, such as Franklin Mountains State Park, which is one of the largest urban parks in the country. You can also enjoy the sun and bask in its goodness while hiking through the old mines.
El Paso is one of the liveliest cities that is brimming with activities and street foods. El Paso Museum of Art is also a fantastic place to visit while you are in town.
2. Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site
If you are even a teeny bit into rock climbing and bouldering, then you would not want to miss out on a visit to this park. The rocks and their crazy arrangements with an unfathomably large landscape are sure to draw anyone’s attention. You can plan a day hiking through the mountains or settle in for a nice cozy picnic under the beautiful sun.
3. Fort Davis
If all the Sun City vibes make you bored, then head over to Fort Davis for a little escape from the sun. The beauty and natural location of the Davis Mountains, also known as a sky island, will leave you spell-bounded as this mountain sits beautifully surrounded by an ocean. Davis Mountain State Park is also a must-visit place as it offers a lot of scenic views with an impressive Skyline Drive, which is ideal for watching sunsets.
Marfa is the most popular small town in Texas. It is considered a major thriving art center in West Texas. During the 1970s, Donald Judd, an acclaimed minimalist artist, came to this town and converted it to the exemplary art center it is today. Marfa is the most talked-about town that attracts a major chunk of the tourists heading to West Texas.
5. Big Bend National Park
West Texas is filled with national parks, some not being accredited for what they are worthy of. Big Bend is one of the most popular national parks. It offers a stunningly beautiful landscape with river canyons and lots of mountain hideaways. It is a must-visit for every tourist.
West Texas – An Overview
West Texas is what the real Texas we all imagine to be: with longhorn cattle and pickup trucks on the roadside with deeply tanned cowboys with muddy boats and slim-cut jeans. Although most parts of Texas have transformed into metropolitan states, West Texas still gives the Old Texas vibes. El Paso is a major city in West Texas, but it is also not overly-populated. It is a small cozy town with a culture deep-rooted in the authentic Texan culture.
West Texas has several museums and historic sites, including Spanish missions belonging to the 17th or 18th century, saloon from the 1800s, and frontier forts restored to preservethe history. This region is also fraught with scenic natural views and has some of America’s most incredible caves.