From Staff Reports
Parker County was recently ranked the fourth-best county in Texas to “get rich,” according to a study by financial website CreditDonkey.com.
“We’ve put together a list of the 10 counties in the Lone Star State that have high pay, strong innovation and big growth that could help you on your way to your 10-gallon-hat dreams,” wrote Livia Gershon for the website.
The study looked at data from 203 counties in Texas with populations of 5,000 or more and factored in the percentage of high-income households; local income growth; and patents granted.
Using U.S. Census Data, the study first looked at the percentage of households in each area with incomes of $150,000 a year or more to give a sense of the number of high-salary jobs in the area.
“On average, in the counties we examined, just over 5 percent of households made that much,” wrote Gershon.
Next, the study looked at how quickly fortunes are rising in each county. The Bureau of Economic Analysis’s personal income summary numbers were used to determine the change in per capita income changed between 2006 and 2011. On average the study found that per capita incomes rose 27 percent over that period, non-adjusted for inflation.
The study also looked at the number of patents granted in each county in 2011, based on data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The average number was 37.
Coming in first in the ranking was Midland County. “If you’re wondering how people get rich in Midland County, which is not far from the New Mexico border, you’ll find a clue on the Midland City website, which features a drilling rig in its logo,” wrote Gershon.
Following Midland County were Kendall, Chambers and then Parker counties.
On Parker County, Gerson wrote: “This collection of small towns in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is home to about 150,000 people. Like Chambers County, Parker boasts a population where more than 12 percent of households make $150,000 or more a year, although income growth has not been as rapid. The county seat, Weatherford, is home to a two-year college, Weatherford College. In addition, the county has a reasonable level of innovation for its size, to judge by the 24 patents issued in 2011. But it’s not a huge center of employment, with many residents commuting to Fort Worth, according to the Texas State Historical Association.”
The study placed Parker County’s high-income percentage at 12.5 percent and its income growth at 25.9 percent.
Counties ranked five through 10 were Gillespie, Fort Bend, Hartley, Ector, Comal and Rockwall.
For more about this study and the 10 counties ranked, go to www.creditdonkey.com/texas-get-rich.html.