We are a unique blend of new leading edge urban mixed with traditional rural… a great quality of life with a business/technology friendly environment… a little bit country and a little bit cosmopolitan… making Collin County an enviable something-for-anyone home in the heart of North Texas.
We aren't just the Metroplex's country cousin anymore. In just a few years, we have grown into a destination county for individuals, families and corporations alike. So it's no surprise that Collin County continues to grow at one of the nation's fastest rates, welcoming almost 100 new residents every day. Our population topped 782,000 in 2010, punctuating a stunning growth spurt since the 2000 Census. The Census Bureau estimated our population at 914,127 in July 2015. But population growth is just one indicator of why Collin County is a jewel in the Texas crown.
The education level of the Collin County workforce is almost twice as high as state and U.S. averages. Almost half of our workers 25 and older possessing Bachelor's or advanced degrees. There were 104,000 more jobs in the civilian labor force here in 2006 than in 2000, far outpacing the county's 42-percent population growth spurt for the same period. The unemployment rate here, according to the
Texas Workforce Commission in November 2016, was 3.2%, compared to 4.2% for Texas and 4.4% nationwide (not seasonally adjusted).
Almost every Collin County industry grew by double-digit percentages from 2000-2006. Service jobs grew by almost 90 percent in those seven years. Two out of the 24 Fortune 500 companies choosing the Metroplex for their headquarters are located in Collin County, along with other major corporate headquarters.
Our residents' mean work commute time is only 28 minutes. Though 80 percent of Collin residents drive alone to work, public transportation use has more than doubled in the last eight decade. People here also work at home at a much higher rate than the state average. And to maintain reasonable get-around times, Collin County's vital road and highway projects continue to keep pace with our fast growth.
Collin County recevied $1.5 billion from Highway 121 (Sam Rayburn Tollway) toll revenues to start new road expansion projects on Highway 121; this vital east-west project stretches 25.9 miles through Collin, Dallas and Denton counties. Meanwhile, Dallas North Tollway expansion continues to push northward along the western county line. Voters here also approved a $235.6 million transportation bond package in November 2007 to support street and highway improvements throughout the county. And our Road & Bridge workers have continued to pave more and more rural, county roads each year.
The average tax value of a Collin County home today is $317, 599. With a five percent homestead exemption and a property tax rate decreases in 2008, 2010 and 2013 (we haven't raised our county tax rate in 21 years), our average homeowner paid about $526 in 2016 county property taxes. These reasonable housing costs continue to attract new residents from all over the nation, and contribute to high occupancy rates.
Per capita income ($38,883) in this part of North Texas is almost $10,000 a year higher than the U.S. norm, while our median family income outpaces the national rate by almost $30,000, at $100,839. On the flip side of the economic coin, about 7.6 percent of residents are considered living at or below the federal poverty level, less than half the national average and three times lower than the Texas average. It's estimated that less than two percent of our families received public cash assistance.
When Forbes magazine rated our nation's public school districts in July 2007, Collin County rated second in the nation when it came to getting the most educational bang for the taxpayers' buck. And while total school enrollment has grown as the general population has grown -- almost 250,000 of the county's population is enrolled in school -- the biggest growth here (2000-2006) came from college student (undergraduate and graduate) enrollments, which climbed by almost 47% in the seven-year period. These students made up about one quarter of all enrolled students in the county, which underscores how employers here have a highly educated labor pool.
Add all this up, and include great communities, fine recreation, entertainment, and retail, deep ties to our ranching and farming heritage, a rich sense of history, and a friendly small town heart, and you've got Collin County… first in growth, second to none.