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.
“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.”
Steve H. Murdock, a former director of the United States Census Bureau who is now a sociology professor at Rice University in Houston, said most of the growth among Hispanics stemmed from births to families already living here.
Still, migration played a big role, not just from Latin America, but from other states as well. Since 2000, Texas’s population has surged 20.6 percent, or by 4.2 million people, and nearly 45 percent of that growth was from migration, said the state’s demographer, Lloyd B. Potter.The change has obvious implications for redistricting:
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.
Many politicians in Austin expect the Legislature to carve out two new districts from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A third district is likely to be created among the suburbs southwest of Houston. The final district is expected to be in the Rio Grande Valley.
Since much of the growth is among younger Hispanics, the population of Texas is now younger than it was ten years ago, and this will have important impacts on the economy and government services over the next decade or more.