Freedom is a magnet. We saw more evidence of that when Tesla recently announced plans to move its headquarters from California to Texas—joining a growing list of companies that have made the same move.
The fact is, Texas is by far the most popular destination—a decade-long distinction—for company headquarters leaving California in unprecedented numbers, according to a business relocation study recently published by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
When choosing where to relocate and expand their businesses, more and more innovative industry leaders find themselves at home in the Lone Star State. They recognize the competitive business advantages found only in Texas. And they are in good company.
Texas has earned the Best State for Business title for a record 17 years in a row. The nation’s leading CEOs cite our pro-growth economic policies—with no corporate income tax and no personal income tax—along with our young, growing, and diverse workforce, easy access to global markets, robust infrastructure, and predictable regulations.
These business advantages found only in Texas grow more than the bottom line. When freed from the stranglehold of over taxation and runaway regulation, new ideas flourish here.
As I talk to innovative job creators each week, they point to that freedom and our welcoming business climate as the Texas advantages that allow their companies to grow and their employees to succeed, to afford a home and to enjoy a high quality of life.
Those unmatched advantages are why "Made in Texas" is such a powerful global brand. Texas is the top exporting state, now for 19 years in row, and the top tech exporting state, now for eight years in a row—beating second-place California in both.
Those unique Texas advantages are why the Lone Star State also leads the nation in attracting capital investments and relocation and expansion projects, including 212 new corporate headquarters since 2015, with more announced this year than any other year—and more yet to come.
And those advantages are the reasons why Texas is growing—while states like California, New York, and Illinois lost population last year. People vote with their feet, and Texas is the top vote getter when it comes to business.
Now at 29 million Texans and counting, almost half of our population growth is newly born Texans. They represent a continuing strong workforce, as Texas is by far the stickiest state: More than 8 in 10 born in Texas stay in Texas.
Businesses are drawn to this growing and skilled talent pool across a wide range of industries, from aerospace, finance, biotech, and corporate services to energy, high-tech, manufacturing, and more.
In addition to this workforce pipeline, Texas offers unique logistic advantages with our central location and easy access to global markets and trade and supply chain routes via air, land, and sea.
Businesses thrive here because of the Lone Star State’s economic advantages including lower land costs with fewer land-use restrictions, lower energy costs, lower costs of living, faster permitting, and added civil liability protections for businesses, as well as the opportunity for creative collaboration with other transformative business leaders within and across industries.
Texas also offers room for businesses of all sizes to grow—and succeed. In fact, across every region of Texas, innovative startups are growing alongside the world’s biggest brands, including nearly 50 Fortune 500 corporate headquarters.
We are seeing increasing business investments in our urban centers as well as our smaller communities. And our local, regional, and statewide economic development teams continue to partner together to develop existing local business, attract new business, and retain the talent that fuels continuing business success.
When attracting businesses and jobs from across the country and around the globe, one Texas advantage tops them all: We want businesses to succeed in Texas, because when businesses succeed, all Texans succeed.
Greg Abbott is governor of Texas.