Strategic Framework Guide: Introducing the 2nd edition

This report on the second edition of the Strategic Framework is part of our guide series to “Shaping Our Future: A Strategic Framework for Texas.” The Strategic Framework provides in-depth, cross-cutting data to inform key decisions about the most significant issues facing the state.

In 2036, just 14 short years from now, Texas will celebrate its bicentennial: 200 years of growth, change, adversity, perseverance and achievement, the likes of which have rarely been seen. 

As we look ahead to Texas’ third century, it’s time to take stock of where we have been as a state, where we are today and where we want to go in the future. 

What is Texas 2036’s bold vision for the future?

Texas 2036 was born out of a love for Texas and a recognition that vigilance is required to ensure we enjoy a future that sustains and expands opportunities for all who call this great state home. 

Texans today, like the generations before us who wrought by hard and deliberate work the prosperity and quality of life many of us enjoy today, must look ahead to what the future could be, build upon our legacy of success and overcome challenges that lie beyond the horizon in pursuit of a bold vision: Texas as the best place to live and work for another hundred years. 

How is Texas’ economy doing?

Texas’ economy — which, if we were a country, would rank in the global top 10 — continues to grow, buffeted but never defeated. Texas leads the nation in exports and has for the past 17 years in a row. 

Texas is the nation’s leading producer of both carbon-based and alternative energy. A leading producer of agricultural products, Texans feed and supply ourselves and our nation. 

And throughout Texas, businesses — from the Fortune 500 to recent startups — are serving consumers and clients across the country and around the world, financing trade and innovation, building nanotechnology and skyscrapers, and pursuing the next frontiers from the cells in our bodies to space beyond our world. 

How big will our population change between now and 2036?

Our population is big and growing quickly. Today, Texas, with 29 million residents, is the second most populated state in the nation, and nearly 10 million more Texans are expected to live here by 2036. 

We are diverse and becoming more so, and we are becoming both younger and older at the same time. Our growth has been and will continue to be primarily in our urban areas, yet rural Texas is more populous than 40% of U.S. states.

What challenges will a growing population create for Texas?

This population growth is a double-edged sword: necessary for sustaining our economic growth and yet straining our state’s infrastructure and services. 

Texas has struggled to effectively prepare all students to be active participants in an increasingly global economy. 

Health expenditures are ballooning while Texas ranks in the bottom half of U.S. states on many health measures. 

We must prepare for a radical shift in how people and goods are moved, as alternative types of mobility become commonplace. We must ensure that the utilization of our natural resources balances economic value with stewardship for future generations. We must better protect our most vulnerable populations. 

And we must think differently about how this $250 billion enterprise we call the State of Texas best allocates resources to provide the greatest opportunity for the greatest number of Texans. 

What’s changed in the Second Edition of the Strategic Framework?

In pursuit of a vibrant future for Texas, we offer this second edition of “Shaping Our Future: A Strategic Framework for Texas,” rooted in our commitment to tackling the most pressing issues our state faces in the best way we know how: the “Texas way.” 

This is likely the only long-term, comprehensive, statewide strategic assessment of its kind for Texas. 

The first edition of the Strategic Framework was a starting point for what has become a robust and growing conversation across Texas about the future of our great state. 

We have seen firsthand how comprehensive and relevant data can break down party lines to unify Texans, identify pragmatic solutions and move our state forward. 

The feedback and ideas we heard over the last two years from Texans across the state have helped shape this second edition as we articulate a clear and compelling future for Texas. 

Join the conversation:

We know this work is audacious, but if anyone can do it, Texans can. We have talent, resources and the will to succeed on our side. But, most importantly, we have each other — Texans determined to leave Texas better than they found it for those who will come after them. 

We invite you to partner with us as we pursue a strong future for all Texans. 

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