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Texas Politics - Texas Political Culture
Demographics of race and ethnicity in Texas Demographics of race and ethnicity in Texas
Texas racial and ethnic population trends Texas racial and ethnic population trends
Geographic origins of Texas inhabitants Geographic origins of Texas inhabitants
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For more information on specific nationalities of Texas residents, see the U.S. Census data summary Profile of General Demographic Characteristics for Texas: 2000 and the Profile of Selected Social Characteristics: 2000. To learn more about general characteristics (age, race, education, income) of the people of Texas, visit the Census Bureau's Fact Sheet on Texas, which offers data on a broad set of population statistics and associated maps; it also allows you to view data on other states. The U.S. Census Population Estimates provide recent updates based on both projections and data collection.

5.1    Settlement and Population Characteristics

The Texas population has grown at a very high rate over the past three decades. As of the 2008 American Community Survey, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the state's population at 23,845,989, an addition of almost 3 million residents since the 2000 Census. The increase in the share of the Latino population to more than a third of the overall population and the associated decline in the non-Latino white population to less than half of the state's population have been among the most significant characteristics of the demographic trends in the last two decades.

The state experienced an explosion in population in the last two decades of the twentieth century, and although the growth rate has slowed in the 2000's Texas is still experiencing positive growth. In 1980 there were 14,225,513 people in Texas. By 1990 the population figure was 16,986,510 - a figure representing a total growth of 2.76 million people, or a 19.4 percent growth rate. By the year 2000, the state's population had grown to 20,851,792, or an additional 3.86 million people between 1990 and 2000 for a growth rate of 22.8 percent. In 2006, the U.S. Census estimated that the state's population at approximately 23,507,783, representing an increase of slightly more than 2.65 million people, for a growth rate of 12.7 percent.

These data suggest that, for now, the growth rate has probably peaked and rates in the 20 percent range as we saw in the 1990s are unlikely for a while. But the increase of the absolute numbers of new people in Texas whether from natural population growth or immigration continues

So, who are all these new people? The short answer is that they are from all racial and ethnic groups , and from both immigration to the state and natural population growth among those already living in Texas. The data presented in the Texas Politics feature entitled The Demographics of Race and Ethnicity in Texas, 1990 and 2000 shows that every racial and ethnic group grew during that decade of the 1990s.

The slowest rate of growth, however, was among the non-Hispanic white population, which grew just 6.2 percent over the decade. In contrast, all other racial and ethnic groups grew at much higher rates: the population of Blacks grew by 18.9 percent; Asians by a whopping 80.3 percent (though from a relatively low base number), Native Americans by 79.7 percent (another high rate from a low base number, and perhaps a statistical anomaly resulting from changes in the Census Bureau's question format), and Hispanics/Latinos by 53.7 percent.

By 2008, the Census Bureau estimated that Latinos constituted 35.9 percent of the state's population, illustrating the continuation of the ethnic growth trend evident in the data from the 1990s. Though the growth rate of Hispanics/Latinos was well below that of Asians and Native Americans, it meant the addition of a stunning 2.33 million people over the course of the 1990s. During that decade Hispanics/Latinos went from accounting for 25.5 percent to 32 percent of the Texas population; or from one in four Texans, to almost one in three Texans. Asians accounted for almost 2 percent of the population in 1990, but almost 3 percent at the end of the decade.

Despite the addition of almost 383 thousand Blacks during the 1990s, their share of the population actually fell from 11.9 to 11.3 percent by 2008. But the biggest drop in percentage of the population over the decade was for non-Hispanic whites, who accounted for 60.6 percent of all Texas in 1990, but just 48.3 percent in 2006. According to the Census Bureau. Population estimates for July 1, 2004 showed that non-Hispanic whites became a minority for the first time in the state, making Texas a so-called "majority-minority" state.

Immigration has certainly been a significant contributor to population growth in Texas. The 2000 Census reports that there were 2.9 million people (13.9 percent of the state population) living in Texas in 2000 that were born abroad. Of those, 1.34 million (almost half) entered the state between 1990 and 2000, and approximately 914 thousand (about one-third) were naturalized citizens. Latin Americans and Asians made up the vast majority of these foreign-born residents. Almost 2.2 million (74.9 percent) of the 2.9 million foreign-born Texas residents were from Latin America, and another 466 thousand (16.1 percent) were from Asia. The remaining 261 thousand (9 percent) came from Europe, Africa, non-Hispanic North America, and Oceania, in order of magnitude. [3]

3 U.S. Census Bureau, link: " Profile of Selected Social Characteristics: 2000."

Texas Politics:
© 2009, Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services
University of Texas at Austin
3rd Edition - Revision 115
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