While Florida, Arizona, Nevada and California grew thanks to the housing bubble, Texas experienced population gains while keeping its housing market under control. Now, the state stands to be the "most prominent Sun Belt survivor," according to Brookings Institute demographer William Frey.
And Austin, the Lone Star state capitol, was the fastest growing city thanks to a diverse economy and a low unemployment.
* Will likely see a bump in federal funding, up from the $3.6 billion earned in 2008.
* Texas could add at least three congressional seats to its current 32.
NEXT: Winner: Phoenix