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Fort Bend County’s Ratings and Statistics Reflect its Thriving Economy

The northeast corner of U.S. 59 and University Blvd. in Sugar Land is slated to be a hub of economic development. The Texas Instruments facility in the foreground has been open since July 2014; approximately 350 employees work here.

The northeast corner of U.S. 59 and University Blvd. in Sugar Land is slated to be a hub of economic development. The Texas Instruments facility in the foreground has been open since July 2014; approximately 350 employees work here. photo- mara soloway

The Numbers Are Good For Residents, Businesses And New Ventures

Fort Bend County has been thriving over the past few years. It consistently serves as a leader in various economic and other important metrics. Fort Bend’s vibrant economy has received national recognition and consistently ranks in the top 10 for employment growth among the nation’s largest counties, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The county continues to boast a favorable business climate, business development growth, infrastructure and a diversity of industries. The County ranked No. 4 among the fastest-growing counties in the nation and is home to four of the nation’s top 20 best-selling master planned communities. It has been recognized as one of the most educated and diverse counties in the nation. According to the 2014 U.S. Census, Fort Bend County is projected to be the third fastest-growing Texas county through 2050.


Fort Bend County ranks No. 3 for purchasing power in Texas

A resident’s money goes far in Fort Bend County, according to a study by SmartAsset, a New York financial technology company that recently looked at the cost of living from various places in the United States. Fort Bend County ranked in the top 3 in Texas.

With a purchasing index of 96.16, Fort Bend is an affordable place to live, meaning a resident’s standard of living can be maintained in the county. SmartAsset aggregated data using a cost of living calculator, which evaluated living expenses, housing, food, education, childcare, transportation and health care costs, and taxes. SmartAsset then compared median income to the cost of living data nationwide to find the counties where people hold the most purchasing power. In comparison to all other Greater Houston regional counties, Fort Bend County ranked at the top with regard to purchasing power. It also ranked No. 3 in the state and No. 7 in the U.S.

“The SmartAsset report measures purchasing power of counties and is a reflection of income relative to the cost of living,” said Jeff Wiley, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council. “For those who chose Fort Bend County to locate a business or buy a home, the report is positive confirmation of what they already know – Fort Bend County is Greater Houston’s finest address. For those currently looking to locate a business or family, it should be compelling evidence that, the closer you look, the better we get.”

Median income is another area in which Fort Bend County is No. 1 within the Greater Houston area. Fort Bend County ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 36 in the U.S in median income. The cost of living numbers were combined using a weighted average based on how close the county’s median income was to the minimal livable income in that area. According to SmartAsset, the median income in Fort Bend County is $86,407 whereas the cost of living is $43,255.


Fort Bend County ranks No. 1 for incoming investments in Texas

Fort Bend County ranked No. 1 in Texas and No. 5 in the United States as the area with the most incoming investments, according to another report by SmartAsset. The data, aggregated from various sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, showed that the County ranked highly in several further categories, including Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, new building permits and municipal bonds.

“We have always said the best way to predict the future is to create it. While we have not sought out national recognition, it is a byproduct of a dynamic growth story that has been in the making for close to three decades. Successful businesses that have invested in Fort Bend, for example Fluor Corporation, Schlumberger, Eco Labs\ Nalco Champion, Texas Instruments, ALDI and Minute Maid, encourage people to seek work in the County and to live in an area that provides an exceptional standard of living and quality of life,” Wiley said. “This latest analysis simply reinforces how businesses are flourishing and that the future for new ventures in Fort Bend County is promising.”

The thriving economy in Fort Bend County continues to grow year after year, evident in the GDP increase. The County ranked No. 10 in Texas with a GDP growth of more than $3.5 million from 2013 to 2014, demonstrating that incoming investments are producing jobs and driving the County’s increased employment growth rate of 5.5 percent. Fort Bend also ranked No. 1 in Texas and No. 2 in the United States for the highest number of new building permits granted per 1,000 homes.

From 2013 to 2014, the County had a municipal bonds index of 2.13, earning the No. 8 spot in Texas. These bonds preserve and enhance quality of life issues, such as mobility, water and safety, and are responses to the high growth in employment and residential opportunities available in the County.

Fort Bend continues to place in the top 10 in employment growth rate among the largest counties in the nation. The County boasts a diverse workforce that continuously attracts a sizable share of major corporations and Fortune 500 companies. Both the economic diversity and growing workforce are direct contributors to the County’s success.


Fort Bend County among fastest-growing in U.S. in 2014

Fort Bend County is among the top 10 nationwide when ranked by percentage growth. Its population grew from 652,365 in 2013 to 685,345 in 2014, a growth rate of 5.06 percent, ranking it No. 4 by percentage growth, according to data from the U.S. Census’ 1-Year American Community Survey results released in September 2015.

Part of Fort Bend is included in the Census’ Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area, which is among four Texas metro areas that together added more people last year (400,000) than any state in the country except for Texas as a whole, according to Census estimates. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area added about 159,000 residents, which is one of the largest gains of any metro areas in the nation. Texas as a whole gained about 490,000.


The City of Sugar Land’s 6,400-seat indoor performing arts facility named Smart Financial Centre is under construction to the right of TI and expected to open this fall. v Smart Financial Centre under construction. photo- mara soloway

For additional information about Fort Bend County, including a full list of accolades, visit FortBendCounty.com or call 281-242-0000.

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