State figures show group gaining ground at an increasing rate
Hispanics are still on pace to outnumber Anglos in Texas by 2020 and may even do it sooner, according to new state population estimates.
The Texas State Data Center’s biennial population projection, released this week, is based on figures that show Hispanic growth continued in the financially troubled early 2000s while all other groups held steady.
Hispanic growth was more rapid from 2000 to 2002 because fewer people were coming to Texas while the economy was down, but the Hispanic birthrate in the state was much higher than that of other groups, said Texas state demographer Steve Murdock.
“It accelerates the diversity of the population, where we become less than half Anglo,” he said.
The traditional projection has non-Hispanic whites becoming less than half the populace next year, Hispanics edging past non-Hispanic whites in 2020 and Hispanics becoming a majority by 2035. If trends continue as they did from 2000 to 2002, non-Hispanic whites could lose the majority this year. Hispanics could become the largest group by 2015 and a majority by 2030.
The Texas State Data Center, at the University of Texas at San Antonio, is the state’s official demographer. The center puts out a population projection for the state every two years, making estimates based on different growth scenarios.
All scenarios have the non-Hispanic white and black populations staying virtually flat while Hispanics mount huge gains along with “other,” which comprises Asians, American Indians and any other group that doesn’t fit into the three largest categories.
In fact, “other” will rival the black population by 2040 if growth continues as it has in the first part of this decade, Mr. Murdock said.
The trends are not expected to hold in the state’s largest urban areas. Non-Hispanic whites will probably continue to outnumber Hispanics through 2040 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and Hispanics aren’t expected to overtake whites in greater Houston until around 2035.
In terms of overall population, planners in the San Antonio region should anticipate the Austin area passing them in population as both approach 2 million around 2020, the data center’s projections show.