Abilene Industrial Foundation - Community Profile

The following information has been assembled for Abilene, Texas. Please refer to our Publications page for a printable version of this information.

Location

Abilene is located directly on Interstate 20 (I-20) connecting west to El Paso, Texas, and east to Dallas/Ft. Worth. Serving as a hub for US Highways 83, 84, 277, and US Highways 36 and 18, Abilene is the ideal choice logistically from west coast to east coast.

 

U.S. Map of Abilene, Texas

Distance to Major Cities

City Distance
Atlanta, Georgia 963
Austin, Texas 218
Chicago, Illinois 1,080
Dallas, Texas 184
Denver, Colorado 707
El Paso, Texas 453
Houston, Texas 351
Los Angeles, California 1,255
Nashville, Tennessee 844
Phoenix, Arizona 855

 

Climate (Avg Monthly Temperature)

Month High Low
January 62.6 36.7
February 59.7 36.0
March 71.9 51.2
April 76.4 50.9
May 89.8 62.0
June 93.5 68.3
July 97.5 74.4
August 99.0 72.8
September 84.3 60.8
October 78.6 51.1
November 72.5 46.8
December 62.0 34.5
Source: National Weather Service 2020 Temperatures

Transportation

Abilene, Texas offers all major forms of transportation including highways, rail, ground distribution, and air, making the city well connected to all domestic markets.

Ground

Abilene is located directly on Interstate 20 (I-20) that connects west to El Paso, Texas and east that connects to Dallas/Ft. Worth moving approximately 40,000 vehicles on an average day. The City also serves as a hub for U.S. Highways 83, 84, 277 and State Highways 36 and 18. Encircling the east side of the City, Loop 322 links I-20 to U.S. Highways 84/84. Ground transportation services are available from major carriers including FedEx, UPS, Central Freight Lines, R&L Carriers, Saia, Yellow Freight Systems and twenty other providers in Abilene.

Rail

Rail transportation service is provided by Union Pacific and Southern Switching Company ("SSC"). SSC is a "short-line" railroad located in Abilene, Texas. Interchanging with the Union Pacific in downtown Abilene, SSC operates 8.5 miles of railroad within the City. It serves a variety of existing customers that are shipping and receiving commodities such as grain, feed, fertilizers, oil, scrap, corn sweetener, and lumber.

Air

The Abilene Regional Airport (ABI) is a Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 139 certified airport on 1,700 city owned acres and is located approximately three nautical miles southeast of the central business district. The airport is commercially served by Envoy (formerly known as American Eagle) with 14 regular daily flights to and from DFW International (DFW). The airport is ten minutes from practically anywhere in the City and offers travelers common amenities and car rental from Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz.

Public Transportation

The citizens of Abilene also have access to "CityLink," the public transit system for the City of Abilene. CityLink offers an affordable transportation alternative for the citizens of Abilene that provides a safe, efficient, and courteous service to every major area of town. The system includes fixed-route bus service, ADA Complimentary Paratransit Service, and demand- response evening service.

Demographics

Abilene's population is projected to grow at an annual rate of 0.38% over the next five years.

Geographic Area 2020 Population 2025 Estimate
City of Abilene 122,512 123,841
Source: GIS WebTech, 2020

 

Age Distribution
Under 24 36%
25-44 28.1%
45-64 20.7%
65 and over 15.1%
Source: GIS WebTech, 2020

Abilene’s median age is 33.7 years. (U.S. median age is 38 years)

Education Attainment
Nongraduate (<12th grade) 12.7%
High School (or GED) 31.2%
Some College 23.8%
Associate Degree 8%
Bachelor’s Degree 15.9%
Master’s/Professional Degree 8.3%
Source: GIS WebTech, 2020

 

Households and Income
Number of Households 45,327
Avg Household Income $70,127
Avg Household Size 2.47
Avg Work Travel Time 17 min
Source: GIS WebTech, 2020

Workforce

Abilene is the hub-city which serves a 19-county region in Central Texas representing a total labor shed of more than 140,000 people. Located 148 miles west of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metro, the Abilene MSA consists of three counties – Taylor, Jones, and Callahan.

West Central Texas Workforce Development Area

Year Total Civilian Employment Workers Unemployed Unemployment Rate
2020 141,346 132,284 15,440 5.98
2019 145,145 140,608 4,537 3.1
2018 143,637 138,808 4,829 3.4
2017 142,298 136,607 5,491 3.9
2016 141,781 135,607 6,174 4.4
Source: Texas Labor Market Information, Local Area Unemployment Statistics, 2020

Counties included in this region include: Taylor (Abilene), Jones (Abilene MSA), Callahan (Abilene MSA), Knox, Kent, Stonewall, Haskell, Throckmorton, Scurry, Fisher, Shackelford, Stephens, Mitchell, Nolan, Eastland, Runnels, Coleman, Brown, and Comanche.


Leading Employers

As of 2018, the Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that the Abilene economy produces $6.8 billion in gross domestic output for all industries. The employers listed here represent the top 10 public entities, businesses, and organizations.

 

Company Sector Product/Service Employees
Dyess Air Force Base Military Air Force Base 8,400
Hendrick Health System Medical Hospital 3,200
Abilene Christian University Education Private University 1,900
State Supported Living Center Healthcare Mental Health 1,225
Texas Department of Criminal Justic Government Prisons 1,190
Blue Cross Blue Shield Telecommunications Call Center 1,090
Abilene Regional Medical Center Medical Hospital 830
AbiMar Foods Manufacturing Food Manufacturing 680
First Financial Bank FIRE Banking and Financial 540
Rentech Boiler Systems Manufacturing Metal Fabrication 400

Average Salary by Occupation​

SOC Title Abilene Entry Abilene Mean Abilene Experienced State Mean

11-1021

General and Operations Managers 17.29 40.38 51.93 58.30
11-3121 Human Resources Managers 18.15 31.41 38.04 60.80
13-2011

Accountants and Auditors

18.67

31.74 38.28 38.15
15-1251

Computer Programmers

26.01 39.85 46.78 45.97
17-2051

Civil Engineers

24.76 37.62 44.05 46.39
17-2071

Electrical and Electronics Engineers

21.98 44.33 55.50 51.27
17-2112

Industrial Engineers

33.53 48.74 56.35 52.36
17-2141

Mechanical Engineers

32.48 45.33 51.75 49.51
43-2011

Switchboard Operators, Including  Answering Service

9.99 12.03 13.06 13.44
43-3031

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

11.53 16.87 19.54 20.16
43-3061

Procurement Clerks

10.99 16.11 18.67 21.17
43-4051

Customer Service Representatives

10.05 14.43 16.63 16.50
43-4171

Receptionists and Information Clerks

10.31 12.82 14.07 13.68
43-6011

Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

16.60 22.84 25.96 28.54
43-9021

Data Entry and Information Processing Workers

10.81 13.33 14.59 15.41
43-9041

Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks

11.15 16.56 19.27 19.66
51-2090

Miscellaneous Assemblers and Fabricators

9.71 13.59 15.54 15.26
51-4041

Machinists

16.73 21.37 23.69 22.32
51-4121

Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Workers

14.37 21.74 25.43 22.57
53-3031

Driver/Sales Workers and Truck Drivers

9.43 16.51 20.04 13.53
Source: Texas Labor Market Information, BLS Occupational Employment Statistics 2019

Military Installations

For the past 65 years, Abilene has been home to Dyess Air Force Base and for the past 35 years, the B-1B bomber. In recent years, Abilene has seen the arrival of 28 new C-130 J aircraft that are now stationed at the base, making it the largest active-duty C-130 J aircraft base in the USAF. Established in 1943 as Abilene Army Air Base (AAB), the base was named in honor of Lieutenant Colonel William Dyess (a native of Albany, Texas). Today, Dyess is home to the 7th Bomb Wing and the 317th Airlift Group, both of which provide a significant economic contribution to the City of Abilene.

The Military Affairs Committee (MAC) grew out of the Chamber’s War Committee following the end of WWII and the closure of Tye Air Base. The Committee diligently worked with Texas legislators in Washington, officials in the Pentagon, and Strategic Air Command to place a SAC base in Abilene, Texas. The community raised nearly a million dollars to purchase over 5,000 acres of land to give to the Air Force. Dyess Air Force Base came to fruition in the early 1950s with a stipulation that all buildings be permanent structures. MAC is instrumental in ensuring Dyess remains a premier large aircraft installation, modernizing base infrastructure, and supporting our more than 5,000 military and civilians in addition to 8,000 family members and retirees.

 

Dyess Air Force Base Amount
Global Strike Base 1
Air Mobility Command Tenant Unit 1
B-1 Flying Squadrons (including training) 2
C-130 J Flying Squadrons 2
B-1 Aircraft 33
C-130 J Aircraft 28
Employment (Active Duty and DoD Civilian) 6,005
Annual Payroll $379.96 million
Total Economic Impact $448 million
Source: Dyess AFB Economic Resource Impact Statement & Texas Comptroller's Office, 2019

Education

Abilene is home to many institutions of higher education – three private universities, one two- year college, one technical college, and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. There are two main school districts in the City of Abilene: 1) Abilene Independent School District and 2) Wylie Independent School District, as  well as multiple private school systems.


Colleges and Universities

ABILENE CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY

  • Offers 79 baccalaureate, 25 masters and 7 doctoral degrees
  • Enrollment = 5,150
  • Graduates = 1,065

(325) 674-2000          www.acu.edu

HARDIN SIMMONS UNIVERSITY

  • Offers 70 baccalaureate and 7 masters degrees
  • Enrollment = 2,250
  • Graduates = 490

(325) 670-1000          www.hsutx.edu

MCMURRY UNIVERSITY

  • Offers 45 baccalaureate, 15 masters and 2 certificate degrees
  • Enrollment = 1,100
  • Graduates = 245

(325) 793-3800          www.mcm.edu

TEXAS TECH HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER

  • Offers a comprehensive and practical education that encompasses a broad range of health issues with 3 schools
    • School of Public Health
    • School of Nursing
    • School of Pharmacy
  • Enrollment = 560
  • Graduates = 270

(325) 696-0632           www.ttuhsc.edu/campus/abilene   

CISCO COLLEGE

  • Offers 4 associates degrees and 18 certificate programs
  • Enrollment = 2,800
  • Graduates = 580

(325) 794-4400          www.cisco.edu

TEXAS STATE TECHNICAL COLLEGE

  • Officers 14 certificate and degree programs
  • Enrollment = 1,280
  • Graduates = 320

(325) 672-7091          www.tstc.edu

 

 

 

Incentives and Business Climate

The following list identifies many of the economic development incentives potentially available. In addition to the local incentives, the DevelopAbilene Team can assist businesses in gaining the maximum benefit from state, federal, and other government entities incentives programs.

Local Incentives

With low taxes, a predictable regulatory climate and a skilled workforce, Texas leads the nation in economic growth. On November 16, 1989, Abilene was the first city to authorize the creation of a nonprofit corporation, named the Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA), that would use a ½ cent sales tax to promote the creation of new and expanded industry, and manufacturing activity within the municipality and its vicinity. The money is fully controlled at the local level and is not dependent on state or county approval. Every economic development incentive package is prepared to meet the best possible solution for each company’s relocation needs with an emphasis on capital investment and job creation.

State Incentives

Texas Enterprise Fund

The Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) is the largest "deal-closing" fund of its kind in the nation. The fund is a cash grant used as a financial incentive tool for projects that offer significant projected job creation and capital investment and where a single Texas site is competing with another viable out-of-state option. Since its inception in 2004, the TEF has awarded over 100 grants totaling more than $500 million across a wide variety of industries and projects. Projects that meet the fund criteria may apply for this incentive in addition to local incentives provided by the city.

State Tax Incentives

Texas Enterprise Zone Program

The Texas Enterprise Zone Program is an economic development tool for local communities to partner with the State of Texas to promote job creation and capital investment in economically distressed areas of the state. Designated projects are eligible to apply for state sales and use tax refunds on qualified expenditures. The level and amount of refund is related to the capital investment and jobs created or retained at the qualified business site.

Manufacturing Exemptions

Manufacturing Exemptions provide state sales and use tax exemptions to taxpayers who manufacture, fabricate or process tangible property for sale. The exemption generally applies to tangible personal property that becomes an ingredient or component of an item manufactured for sale, as well as taxable services performed on a manufactured product to make it more marketable.

Freeport Exemptions

A Freeport exemption is a property tax exemption. Freeport property includes goods detained in Texas for 175 days or less before they are transported out of Texas. The exemption applies to goods, wares, ores, and merchandise other than oil, gas, and petroleum products (defined as liquid and gaseous materials immediately derived from refining petroleum or natural gas) and to aircraft or repair parts used by a certified air carrier. Goods must be in Texas for assembling, storing, manufacturing, repair, maintenance, processing, or fabricating purposes. Currently, businesses located in the Abilene Independent School District may utilize this exemption.

Data Center Incentive

Texas is ideally positioned for data center operations. The state is centrally located and has access to talented, experienced high-tech workers. A data center exemption applies to state sales and use tax on certain items necessary and essential to the operation of a qualified data center. The exemption is for state sales tax only. Local sales taxes are due on purchases of these qualifying items.

Workforce Development Incentives

Skills Development Fund

The Skills Development Fund is Texas' premier job-training program providing local customized training opportunities for Texas businesses and workers to increase skill levels and wages of the Texas workforce. The Texas Workforce Commission administers funding for the program. Success is achieved through collaboration among businesses, public community and technical colleges, Workforce Development Boards, and economic development partners.

Self Sufficiency Fund

The Self Sufficiency program provides grants to community and technical colleges and community-based organizations to implement customized job training programs in cooperation with employers, to help low-income individuals and those receiving public assistance achieve self-sufficiency and independence.

Taxes

With no corporate income tax and no individual income tax, Texas has one of the lowest tax burdens in the country, ranking as a Top 10 Best State in the Tax Foundation's 2013 State Business Tax Index. Abilene has placed new industry that includes manufacturing of plastics, wind energy towers, fiberglass boats in addition to its world class oil and gas industry.

Sales Tax

Texas imposes a state sales tax on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods, as well as taxable services. 

Taxing Entity Sales Tax Rate
State of Texas 6.25%
City of Abilene 2.0%
Total Rate 8.25%

 

 

 

 

Income Tax

Due to the presence of sales tax, the State of Texas does not levy personal income tax.

Property Tax

Taxes on real estate and real/personal property are levied by the following local government entities on an annual basis.

Taxing Entity Rate/$100 Valuation
Taylor County 0.6183
City of Abilene 0.7877
Abilene ISD 1.2914
Total Rate 2.6974

Corporate Income Tax

Texas has no corporate income tax at the state level, making it an attractive tax haven for incorporating a business. Texas corporations still, however, have to pay the federal corporate income tax. While Texas does not have a corporate income tax, a gross receipts style tax is applicable to all companies and serves a similar purpose. This tax is called the Texas Franchise Tax (sometimes referred to as the margin tax) that levies a 1% tax on calculated margins for businesses in Texas (retailers pay a 0.5% rate), but exempts sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Businesses can elect to deduct either the cost of goods sold or employment costs. Additional rate information and calculation methods can be found online.

Utilities

The City of Abilene offers its businesses and citizens all major utilities and services provided by a mix of both municipal government and private corporations.

Electric

Texas power consumers can choose their electricity service from a variety of retail electric providers (REPs), including the incumbent utility. The incumbent utility in the area still owns and maintains the local power lines (and is the company to call in the event of a power outage) and is not subject to deregulation.

The incumbent utility in Abilene is AEP Texas (American Electric Power). AEP can provide dual parallel circuits to its customers. AEP also operates a looped distribution system which provides the capabilities to serve each site from more than one distribution substation or from multiple distribution circuits. In the event of a power outage, service can be rerouted to the site manually. For a complete list of available REPs, please visit www.powertochoose.org.

Taylor Electric Cooperative serves Abilene, Texas, and the surrounding areas. Taylor EC offers one point of contact business installation with competitive business rates. A community partner for more than 75 years, Taylor EC is the choice for business. Learn more at www.taylorelectric.com.

Natural Gas

Atmos Energy Corporation, headquartered in Dallas, is one of the country’s largest natural-gas-only distributors, serving approximately 3 million customers in more than 1,400 communities from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the East to the Rocky Mountains in the West. The company is a full-service natural gas distribution provider and the retail supplier of natural gas in Abilene, Texas. Atmos serves residential, commercial, and large volume customers, tailored to their specific needs.

For more information, please visit www.atmosenergy.com.

Telecommunications

Abilene is served by three primary telecommunications providers: AT&T, Suddenlink Communications, and FiberLight. These providers offer the latest fiber optic network availability throughout Abilene for phone, internet, VoIP, data center, cloud storage, wireless, and other network-based services. For more information visit www.att.com, www.suddenlink.com and www.fiberlight.com.

 

Water and Wastewater

 

The City of Abilene provides all the water and wastewater resources and infrastructure throughout the city. The Water Utilities Department is responsible for storm water pollution abatement, water operations, and wastewater operations in the City of Abilene, including: providing for adequate, high quality water supply; treating and distributing potable water; collecting all wastewaters discharged to sanitary sewer systems; and transporting and treating all wastewater prior to discharging it into the environment.

For assistance in connecting new service contact the City of Abilene, Water Department.

Customer Service                                                      (325) 676-6405

Water and Wastewater Line Location                        (325) 676-6425

Water

Current average daily water supplied in Million Gallons per Day:          22 MGD

Current system capacity in Million Gallons per Day:                              46 MGD

Water treatment system is conventional coagulation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection. Expansion of the pipeline to O.H. Ivie Reservoir for future expanded water resources has been completed. This project has been funded by the USDA and municipal bonds.

Wastewater

Current average daily user in Million Gallons per Day:                          11 MGD

Current system capacity in Million Gallons per Day:                              24 MGD

Raw water at three plants undergoes complete treatment including coagulation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection in order to meet or exceed State and Federal rules and regulations.

For more information, please visit www.abilenetx.gov.

Quality of Life

Abilene's quality of life presents a wide array of benefits for its citizens. Residents can enjoy cultural events, a thriving arts scene, unique museums, sporting events, parks, children's activities, hunting, fishing and so much more. These combined with a low-cost of living, warm climate and a ten minute commute time ensures those that move to Abilene, stay in Abilene.

#1 More Home for the Money

Abilene home prices are nearly 35 percent below the U.S. average. That’s an extra 764 square feet! It also leaves $323 extra in your pocket every month based on a 30-year mortgage.

#2 Lifelong Learning Opportunities

In addition to two highly-regarded public school systems, Abilene has six institutions of higher learning and nearly 10,000 students pursuing higher education.

#3 A Spirit of Community

The Chronicle of Philanthropy estimates that Abilene is among the top 20 percent in median community contributions among metropolitan cities in the U.S.

#4 Lower Taxes

Texas is one of only seven states without a state income tax, allowing Abilene residents to keep more of their earned wages.

#5 Low Cost Energy

Located directly in the heart of Texas, Abilene benefits from one of the nation's leaders in energy production. Residences and businesses alike spend 25% less than the nation's average city for electricity, dramatically reducing the cost to live and work.

#6 A Lively Downtown

Abilene is known for a vibrant downtown featuring small businesses, the Abilene Civic Center, The 12th Armored Division WWII Museum, The Grace Museum, Center for Contemporary Arts, National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, the beautifully restored Paramount Theatre and a storybook sculpture garden.

#7 Shorter Commutes

Abilene’s commute time of 17 minutes significantly less than U.S. average of 25.4 minutes. Over a full year, that gives Abilenians an extra 4,212 minutes or nearly 70 hours of additional time to spend in their business, their family or pursuing their passions.

#8 Low Cost of Living

Abilene’s cost of living is 93% of the U.S. average according to the Council for Community and Economic Research, making every dollar earned go that much further.

#9 Sports and Recreation

With prime land and scenic lakes, the Big Country boasts a solid reputation for hunting and fishing. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy playing around on one of several world class golf courses, or finish a set at one of the tennis centers.

#10 Commitment to Dyess AFB

A community support award given out each year by the U.S. Air Force, Air Mobility Command, was won so frequently by Abilene, the Air Force said Abilene could no longer compete.  Instead, the award was re-named the "Abilene Trophy".

Cost of Living

Abilene's cost of living index ranks one of the most affordable places to live in the United States. With Abilene’s housing 26% below the U.S. average, homeowners find living significantly cheaper. The Cost of Living Index measures relative price levels for consumer goods and services in participating areas. The average for all participating places in each quarter equals 100, and each participant's index is read as a percentage of the average for all participating places. The following table summarizes Abilene's "cost of living index" relative to other major cities in the U.S.

Source: Cost of Living Index, 2020

Source: National Association of REALTORS, Q3 2020