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The Border: On the Brink
March 2001

This report tells it like it is for the 14 actual border counties. The study "Bordering the Future," issued by this office in 1998, looked at statistics for the original 43-county Border region which was really a South Texas border region. This report provides a closer look at the Actual Border Region which includes the 14 Texas counties whose boundaries touch the U.S.-Mexico Border at some point. Statistics have also been developed for a second group based on the federal definition of the border from the La Paz Agreement with Mexico. This region contains 32 counties and includes the 14 Actual Border counties as well as any county within 100 kilometers of the Rio Grande. See map.

  The 14-county Actual Border region The 32-county Sub-border
(La Paz) region
The 43-county South Texas Border region The 211-county Non-border region Texas Year of Data
Poverty rate 34.0% 33.9% 26.8% 14.3% 16.7% 1997
Percent of schoolchildren in poverty 40.5% of 5-to 17-year olds 40.6% of 5-to 17-year olds 33.8% of 5-to 17-year olds 18.9% of 5-to 17-year olds 22.1% of 5-to 17-year olds 1997
Unemployment rate 11.4% 11.4% 7.5% 4.0% 4.6% 1999
Birth rate 23.6 live births per 1,000 population 23.1 live births per 1,000 population 20.1 live births per 1,000 population 16.3 live births per 1,000 population 17.1 live births per 1,000 population 1999
Death rate from hepatitis and other liver diseases 13.0 deaths per 100,000 population 13.4 deaths per 100,000 population 14.3 deaths per 100,000 population 8.8 deaths per 100,000 population 10.0 deaths per 100,000 population 1998
Death rate from diabetes mellitus 32.6 deaths per 100,000 population 33.5 deaths per 100,000 population 32.7 deaths per 100,000 population 22.8 deaths per 100,000 population 24.8 deaths per 100,000 population 1998
Percent of population that is 5 to 17 years old 24.8% 24.8% 22.8% 19.0% 20.4% 1999
Property crime rate 5,008.6 crimes per 100,000 population 4,818.3 crimes per 100,000 population 5,275.2 crimes per 100,000 population 4,420.9 crimes per 100,000 population 4,595.8 crimes per 100,000 population 1998
Average annual population growth rate during the 1990s 3.0% 2.8% 2.2% 1.9% 2.0% 1990-1999
Average annual employment growth 3.5% 3.3% 3.2% 3.2% 3.2% 1990-1998
Department of Defense active military and civilian direct employment 12,421 12,421 69,960 74,933 148,828 1999
Per-capita spending on elementary and secondary education 1,268.8 1,280.5 1,151.7 942.8 985.6 1996
Department of Defense installations 3 3 13 22 35 1999
Total area 34,670.4 square miles 67,543.3 square miles 79,422.9 square miles 187,854.1 square miles 267,277 square miles 1990
Marriage rate 9.4 marriages per 1,000 population 9.1 marriages per 1,000 population 8.6 marriages per 1,000 population 9.1 marriages per 1,000 population 9.0 marriages per 1,000 population 1998
Growth in number of business establishments 19.4% 17.7% 16.2% 17.6% 17.3% 1990-1998
Violent crime rate 551.5 crimes per 100,000 population 531.0 crimes per 100,000 population 502.8 crimes per 100,000 population 581.9 crimes per 100,000 population 565.7 crimes per 100,000 population 1998
Death rate from HIV/AIDS 2.2 deaths per 100,000 population 2.2 deaths per 100,000 population 3.3 deaths per 100,000 population 5.1 deaths per 100,000 population 4.8 deaths per 100,000 population 1998
Population 1.9 million 2.1 million 4.1 million 16.0 million 20.0 million 1999
Civilian labor force 757,215 824,531 1.8 million 8.4 million 10.2 million 1999
Total personal income $27.2 billion $29.5 billion $74.2 billion $425.9 billion $508.6 billion 1998
Average annual pay in retail trade 14,485 14,367 15,867 18,021 17,691 1999
Average annual pay in government 27,706 27,321 29,323 29,539 29,491 1999
Average annual pay in finance, insurance and real estate 27,572 27,368 35,985 44,661 43,338 1999
Number of farms 5,192 10,258 19,834 174,467 194,301 1997
Average annual pay in mining 34,917 35,127 39,999 70,708 69,584 1999
Average annual pay in wholesale trade 28,416 28,265 32,647 51,267 49,236 1999
Average annual pay in transportation, communications and public utilities 29,318 29,350 34,696 45,870 44,307 1999
Recent growth in annual average pay 1.9% 1.9% 2.9% 4.6% 4.4% 1998-1999
Average annual pay 22,368 22,159 25,287 33,712 32,254 1999
Infant mortality rate 4.9 deaths of infants under 1 year old per 1,000 live births 5.0 deaths of infants under 1 year old per 1,000 live births 5.7 deaths of infants under 1 year old per 1,000 live births 6.6 deaths of infants under 1 year old per 1,000 live births 6.4 deaths of infants under 1 year old per 1,000 live births 1999
Average annual pay in services 19,974 19,653 22,801 32,814 31,195 1999
Motor vehicles per capita 0.59 0.6 0.69 0.87 0.84 1999
Death rate 524.7 deaths per 100,000 population 548.5 deaths per 100,000 population 640.1 deaths per 100,000 population 734.1 deaths per 100,000 population 714.9 deaths per 100,000 population 1999
Divorce rate 1.3 divorces per 1,000 population 1.4 divorces per 1,000 population 2.8 divorces per 1,000 population 4.8 divorces per 1,000 population 4.4 divorces per 1,000 population 1998
Average annual pay in manufacturing 24,282 24,083 28,802 44,175 42,341 1999
Average annual pay in construction 20,671 20,595 26,450 33,869 32,761 1999
Per-capita personal income 14,224 14,180 18,390 27,165 25,803 1998
Number of children under age 19 who are uninsured 221,000 238,000 401,000 1.0 million 1.4 million 1999
Percent of children under age 19 who are uninsured 31.2% 31.2% 29.5% 23.6% 25.0% 1999
Total State Expenditures Allocable to Counties $5.6 billion $6.2 billion $10.7 billion $37.0 billion $47.7 billion FY2000
Share of Total State Allocable Expenditures 11.8% 12.9% 22.4% 77.6% not applicable FY2000
State Expenditures for Highway Construction and Maintenance $292 million $349 million $542 million $2.7 billion $3.2 billion FY2000
Share of Statewide Expenditures for Highway Construction and Maintenance 9.1% 10.8% 16.8% 83.2% not applicable FY2000
State Expenditures for Public Assistance $2.1 billion $2.3 billion $4.0 billion $10.3 billion $14.3 billion FY2000
Share of Statewide Expenditures for Public Assistance 14.8% 16.2% 27.9% 72.1% not applicable FY2000
State Expenditures for Intergovernmental Payments $2.6 billion $2.9 billion $4.7 billion $10.8 billion $15.5 billion FY2000
Share of Statewide Expenditures for Intergovernmental Payments 17.0% 18.5% 30.2% 69.8% not applicable FY2000
State Expenditures for Labor Costs * $497 million $559 million $1.2 billion $6.0 billion $11.2 billion FY2000
Share of Statewide Expenditures for Labor Costs * 6.9% 7.8% 16.4% 83.6% 62.8% FY2000
State Statewide Expenditures for Operating Expenses * $35 million $38 million $112 million $743 million $1.0 billion FY2000
Share of State Expenditures for Operating Expenses * 4.1% 4.4% 13.1% 86.9% 84.7% FY2000
State Expenditures for Capital Outlays * $16 million $16 million $58 million $340 million $0.497 billion FY2000
Share of Statewide Expenditures for Capital Outlays * 4.0% 4.12% 14.6% 85.5% 80.2% FY2000
State Expenditures for Miscellaneous * $29 million $33 million $131 million $842 million $2.1 billion FY2000
Share of Statewide Expenditures for Miscellaneous * 3.0% 3.4% 13.5% 86.5% 46.3% FY2000

* For these expenditure categories, total state expenditures outside of Travis County were used. For state labor costs, operating expenses, capital outlays and miscellaneous expenditures, Travis County represents an unusually large percent. For further information on the definitions of expenditure categories, see the Comptroller publication "Texas 2000 State Expenditures by County."

NOTE: For this analysis, the Texas Actual Border region includes these 14 Texas counties touching the U.S-Mexico border: Brewster, Cameron, Duval, El Paso, Hidalgo, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kinney, Maverick, Presidio, Starr, Terrell, Val Verde, Webb, Zapata.

NOTE: For this analysis, the federal La Paz border region includes these 32 Texas counties either touching the U.S-Mexico border or touching a county on the border: Brewster, Brooks, Cameron, Crockett, Culberson, Dimmit, Duval, Edwards, El Paso, Frio, Hidalgo, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Jim Hogg, Kenedy, Kinney, La Salle, McMullen, Maverick, Pecos, Presidio, Real, Reeves, Starr, Sutton, Terrell, Uvalde, Val Verde, Webb, Willacy, Zapata, Zavala.

NOTE: For this analysis, the South Texas border region includes these 43 Texas counties south of Interstate 10 and west of Interstate 37: Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Brewster, Brooks, Cameron, Crockett, Culberson, Dimmit, Duval, Edwards, El Paso, Frio, Hidalgo, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, Kleberg, La Salle, Live Oak, Maverick, McMullen, Medina, Nueces, Pecos, Presidio, Real, Reeves, San Patricio, Starr, Sutton, Terrell, Uvalde, Val Verde, Webb, Willacy, Zapata, Zavala.

SOURCES: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Agriculture Statistics Service, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, Texas Department of Health, Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Workforce Commission.