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The San Antonio MSA population increased by 18.7 percent from 2000 to 2008 and accounted for 97.2 percent of the region’s growth.

The Alamo region consists of 19 counties and includes the metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) of San Antonio (Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina and Wilson counties) and Victoria (Calhoun, Goliad and Victoria counties). As defined by the federal government, an MSA is a core urban area of 50,000 or more residents accompanied by adjacent communities that have a high degree of economic and social interaction with that core (as measured by commuting to and from work).1

In 2008, the San Antonio MSA had an estimated population of 2,031,445, accounting for 87.5 percent of the region’s total population of 2,320,572.2 Exhibit 9 illustrates the region’s counties and their county seats.

Exhibit 9

Alamo Region Metro Counties

The 11 metro counties are Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Calhoun, Comal, Kendall, Goliad, Guadalupe, Medina, Victoria and Wilson.

Sources: Office of Management and Budget and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Population Growth

The Alamo region’s population rose by an estimated 16.5 percent from 2000 to 2008, nearly matching state growth of 16.7 percent. The San Antonio MSA population increased by 18.7 percent during this period and accounted for 97.2 percent of the region’s growth. Non-metro counties in the region increased their population by 3.8 percent, while the Victoria MSA’s number of residents rose by 2.4 percent. The projected annual population increase from 2008 to 2013 is 1.8 percent in San Antonio, 0.6 percent in Victoria, and 0.8 percent in non-metro counties. The Alamo region and the state are expected to grow 1.7 percent annually during this period. Exhibit 10 presents population change in the form of growth indices relative to the base year of 2000, in which values are equal to 100 for that year.3

Three counties in the region were among the nation’s 100 fastest-growing counties from 2000 to 2008 – Comal (40.5 percent), Kendall (38.5 percent) and Guadalupe (31.6 percent).4 All of these counties are in the San Antonio MSA.

Exhibit 10

Alamo Region Estimated and Projected Population, 2003-2013

see text description.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and Economic Modeling Specialists Inc.

View estimated and projected population table.

Exhibit 11

Alamo Region, Texas and U.S. Population by Ethnicity, 2008

see text description.

Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Inc.

View population by ethnicity table.

Exhibit 12

San Antonio MSA, Victoria MSA and Non-Metro Counties Population by Ethnicity, 2008

see text description.

Totals may not equal 100 percent due to rounding.
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Inc.

View ethnicity by area table.


Exhibit 11 compares the ethnic makeup of the Alamo region to the U.S. and Texas. The Alamo region is majority Hispanic, at 50.5 percent of the population, followed by whites at 40.1 percent and blacks at 5.9 percent. The remaining 3.5 percent fell in the “other” category, which includes persons of American Indian, Asian and Native Hawaiian descent and those claiming descent from two or more races.

Most of the region’s ethnic makeup is determined by San Antonio MSA, where the distribution is 52.6 percent Hispanic, 37.6 percent white and 6 percent Black. In non-metro counties, 61.5 percent of the population is white, 31.6 percent Hispanic and 5.4 percent black (Exhibit 12).6


San Antonio has a younger population than Victoria and the non-metro counties. For example, about one in ten residents of San Antonio are above the age of 65, compared to nearly one in five for persons living in non-metro counties. And 38 percent of the San Antonio population is under 25, compared to 31.8 percent in non-metro counties. San Antonio also has a higher share of its population between the ages of 25 and 44 than in the rest of the region (Exhibit 13).

Exhibit 13

Alamo Region Areas, Texas and U.S. Population by Age, 2008

see text description.

Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Inc.

View population by age table.

Educational Attainment

The average educational attainment of Alamo region residents above the age of 25 is lower than both Texas and U.S. averages. Nearly 30 percent of San Antonio residents have earned an associate degree, bachelor’s degree or higher, equaling the state rate. In Victoria and the non-metro counties, the rate is 22.2 percent and 21.5 percent, respectively. These rates trail the U.S. average of 33 percent and the Texas rate of 30 percent.8

On the other hand, just 18.8 percent of San Antonio’s residents lack a high school diploma, lower than the state rate of 21 percent. This rate is 21 percent in Victoria and 23 percent in the non-metro counties. The U.S. share is 16 percent (Exhibit 14).

Exhibit 14

Educational Attainment of Persons Above the Age of 25, Alamo, Texas and U.S. Averages, 2008

see text description.

Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Inc.

View educational attainment table.


In the midst of an economic recession, the Alamo region’s unemployment rate is lower than national and Texas levels. In July 2009, the Texas unemployment rate was 8.2 percent, well below the U.S. rate of 9.7 percent. All but three counties in the Alamo region measured at or below the state unemployment rate. Gillespie County had the lowest unemployment rate in the region at 4.7 percent and Karnes County the highest at 10.4 percent. Both San Antonio MSA and Victoria MSA also had lower rates than the state, 7.1 and 8.0 percent, respectively.14

Exhibit 15

Median Household Income, Percent of Population in Poverty
and Percent of Population Under Age 18 in Poverty, 2007

Area Median Household Income Percent of Population in Poverty Percent of Population under 18 in Poverty
United States $50,740 13.0% 18.0%
Texas $47,563 16.3% 23.1%

Alamo Region Counties (Ranked by 2007 Median Household Income)
County Median Household Income Percent of Population in Poverty Percent of Population under 18 in Poverty
Kendall County $67,471 8.6% 12.8%
Comal County $58,589 9.8% 13.3%
Wilson County $55,593 11.0% 15.8%
Guadalupe County $52,862 9.6% 14.7%
Gillespie County $49,818 9.9% 15.7%
Jackson County $48,497 14.6% 21.4%
Victoria County $45,436 16.2% 24.9%
Medina County $44,606 14.8% 20.3%
Bexar County $44,587 16.4% 23.1%
Goliad County $44,571 15.8% 22.4%
Bandera County $43,260 13.4% 22.5%
Kerr County $42,642 16.4% 30.4%
Calhoun County $41,822 15.7% 23.2%
Atascosa County $40,186 18.1% 25.6%
Lavaca County $38,025 13.2% 18.3%
DeWitt County $34,806 19.4% 27.2%
Gonzales County $33,751 18.6% 28.7%
Karnes County $31,818 26.5% 32.2%
Frio County $29,583 28.9% 38.6%

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Exhibit 16

U.S., Texas and Alamo Region Per Capita Personal Income Percent Increase, 1997-2007

see text description.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis.

View personal income table.


Exhibit 15 ranks the Alamo region’s counties by median household income for 2007, and lists corresponding poverty rates for all persons and for persons under age 18. Six counties in the region exceed the state median household income of $47,563, led by Kendall County with $67,471 – the fifth-highest in Texas. Four counties exceed the U.S. level of $50,740.15

The Alamo region’s overall income per person averaged $33,596 in 2007, lower than Texas and U.S. averages. Three counties in the region exceeded the state average in 2007 – Kendall, Kerr and Gillespie. Exhibit 16 shows per capita personal income percent growth between 1997 and 2007 and the county’s 2007 personal per capita income value (dollar values adjusted to 2007 values).

Both San Antonio’s and Victoria’s per capita income fell below the state average for metropolitan counties. Per capita income in the region’s rural counties, however, exceeded the Texas average for rural counties.16

University of Texas at San Antonio campus

PHOTO: Patrick Ray Dunn/UTSA Images


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