Building prosperity and quality of life: Strategic Framework

This look at prosperity and well-being is the seventh of our seven-part blog series, “Strategic Framework: 7 Key Findings,” which highlights some of the most compelling data from our new Strategic Framework.

Increased prosperity and well-being statewide, through 2036 and beyond, ensures current and future Texas generations of Texans will thrive

Chart: Year-to-Year Change in State GDP

Economic growth, opportunity and a high quality of life work together to ensure Texas is the best place to work, live and raise a family. They also enable Texas to attract and retain the talent our state needs. 

Indeed, Texas’ decades of economic growth depended on the talented workforce our state attracts, as well as supportive infrastructure and a business-friendly environment. 

Among 12 peer states — those of similar size with which we compete for business and talent — Texas was in the top five for an increase in real Gross State Product between 2016 and 2020. But Texas faces increased economic competition from other states; our state is last among peer states in Gross Domestic Product growth from 2020 to 2021. 

By 2036, 10 million more people are expected to call Texas home, attracted by a relatively low cost of living and career opportunities. 

However, other factors may negatively impact future growth and ultimately limit the economic benefits Texans enjoy. 

Texas ranks 11th among 12 peer states in an index quality of life. 

The cost of living, particularly housing affordability, helps determine where people choose to live, and is an important indicator of economic opportunity for everyday Texans. 

According to a 2021 cost of living index, Texans enjoyed the third lowest cost of living among our peer states. However, rising housing costs may threaten this relative advantage — Texas home prices rose 45% from March 2020 to their peak in June 2022. 

For Texas to have a prosperous, growing economy, a strong quality of life and economic opportunity for all the state needs to make significant progress on the goals found across the six policy pillars that define the broader mission and day-to-day work of Texas 2036: education and workforce, health and health care, infrastructure, natural resources, justice and safety, and government performance.

Because metrics update frequently, please visit the Strategic Framework at to view the most up-to-date trends.