The state of Texas, due to its large size and population as well as its rich history and tradition, has become a national and world economic power. Although the discovery of oil in the town of Spindletop in 1901 is regarded as the birth of the modern economy in Texas, many other industries have since risen to prominence in the state. Agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism and entertainment, and transportation and foreign trade are an important part of the economy of Texas as well as of the United States.
Texas ranks third in the nation in gross farm income. Cotton is the state's leading crop, but beef cattle provide the largest share of Texas's agricultural income. Texas also provides many valuable mineral resources to the United States as well as one-third of the total U.S. production of oil and natural gas. In recent years, the manufacturing of high-technology products has begun in Texas. Texas is one of the top states visited annually as tourists flock to the Johnson Space Center, Sea World, Six Flags, and professional sports events. Thanks to its size, Texas ranks first in the nation for total highway and railroad mileage. With its 12 deepwater ports and over 1,000 airports, Texas is a major exporter of manufactured and agricultural goods.