Population ‘Tipping Point’ in Texas, as Hispanics Get Closer to Parity With Whites

SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson talks about the demographic shift in Texas and what that may mean for the four additional seats it picks up in Congress.


HOUSTON — A phenomenal surge in Hispanics has fueled the population growth in Texas, which gained more people over the last decade than any other state, according to United States Census Bureau figures released on Thursday.

People who identify themselves as Hispanic accounted for two-thirds of the state’s growth in the last decade. Hispanics now make up 38 percent of the state’s 25.1 million people, up from 32 percent a decade ago.

At the same time, demographers say, the growth in the population of white people who are not Hispanic has slowed markedly, rising by only 4 percent. Non-Hispanic whites now make up just 45 percent of the Texas population, down from 52 percent in 2000. Blacks continue to be about 11 percent of the state’s population.

“It’s not just a sea change, it’s a tipping point,” said State Senator Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, where about two-thirds of the residents are Hispanic. “San Antonio looks like what Texas is going to look like in 15 years.” . . .

The detailed data released on Thursday will be used to redraw districts for Congress and the State Legislature. Texas is picking up four Congressional seats.

“Most of the new population that drives the four additional seats is Hispanic, but in the Texas state government the people who draw the boundaries are all Republicans,” said Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

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