The Rio Grande Valley has seen quite a bit of change over the last couple of decades and the next couple of years is set to continue this trend.
While Hidalgo County officials expect to see the county’s population hit the one million mark by 2020, the Texas Demographic Center projections has estimates falling slightly short of that.
Regardless of the slight variation, the fact remains that the Rio Grande Valley continues to be one of the fastest growing regions in America. In fact, the Mcallen-Edinburg-Mission metro area became the 5th largest Texas metropolitan statistical area in 2015.
Whether or not Hidalgo County will have 1 million residents by 2020 is dependent on net migration. If the numbers remain the same as they were from 2000 to 2010, the million will be reached, but if migration slows, then population changes will fall short of that expected number.
Still, Igor Ryabov, a sociology professor at UTRGV, noted that the region “grows approximately 20 percent per decade, which is quite impressive for the United States.”
This continuous population growth has spurred tremendous business expansion all throughout the area. 2017 will bear witness to new economic activities including:
- Texas A&M College Station in McAllen broke ground in 2016 and is set to open Fall 2017. Students who attend and graduate from the new university will receive a diploma from Texas A&M College Station. The school will offer programs in engineering, technology, biomedical sciences, agriculture, and lab sciences.
- La Plaza Mall will continue to expand with an additional fifty stores, four junior anchor stores, and six restaurants that will add an additional 245,000-square-feet to the retail site.
- The Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg is set to open in late 2017 and will be the largest arena in the Rio Grande Valley. With 8,500 seats, the arena will be a venue for sports, entertainment, and shows. The arena will also be home to the RGV Vipers, the local NBA D-League team, and serve as a venue for UTRGV teams.
- HEB Park, a 9,700 seat, state-of-the-art soccer stadium and outdoor venue, is set to open in 2017. The RGV Toros will call the stadium home, but it will also serve as an outdoor concerts venue, and site for local soccer leagues.
- SpaceX will continue to grow its infrastructure and lure professionals from numerous walks of life. The site has brought in engineering jobs and opportunities for local students attending the region’s colleges and universities.
- The Port of Brownsville has been approved to increase the depth of its port channels. The growth with make it one of the deepest ports in the Gulf of Mexico and make it competitive with other national ports.
- Italian-based SATA group is making the investment to establish a $114 million-dollar manufacturing plant in Brownsville that will help to create over 300 jobs over a ten-year period.
- A $35 million-dollar diabetes research center in the Rio Grande Valley will continue to bring in high paying jobs and economic development opportunities.
- UTRGV, and its associated medical school, will continue to improve the local health care infrastructure and create economic development opportunities.
- Population growth has also had a beneficial impact on real estate sales, with Hidalgo County seeing a 12% increase of total residential sales this past year, and some individual cities seeing even higher rates.
Economic forecasts have the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metro area adding 31,300 job over the next five years and real gross production expanding at a 3.85 percent annual rate.
It’s safe to say the Rio Grande Valley is going places and now is the perfect time to strike while the iron is hot. If you’re interested in developing a business, your Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce can help.
We’re here to provide you with the confidence, connections, and resources you need—from business tips to tourism attraction, from job creation to building a diverse network, from advocacy to creating a welcoming, active Mission community. We’re your ally, your advocate, your greatest resource.