This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

As Texas Goes...

I've just flown from San Diego to Orlando and the cross-country flight gave me the opportunity to read Gail Collins' new book "As Texas Goes...How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda." She is an engaging writer, covering an obviously important story--how did the US wind up where we are at the moment? Her answer is that the culture of Texas has played a huge role over the past few decades. It's history, politics, and demographics all wrapped up together. The demographics come toward the end of the book as she notes that the Lone Star state is already majority-minority and will soon be Hispanic-majority, which will have implications for the future political scenarios in Texas and, in her view, the rest of the nation. She adroitly sought out Steve Murdock, Professor of Sociology at Rice University, who is former State Demographer of the State of Texas and former Director of the US Census Bureau.

             Murdock has made it his great mission to educate the state about what's coming. The degree to which Texas is prepared to become a majority Hispanic state, he feels, will decree the success to which the state will march into the future.

             And where Texas goes, so goes the nation.

           "This is the US," says Murdock, pointing to one of his many piles of printouts. "Look at the under-eighteen. Had there not been Hispanic growth in the number of children, we'd have had the largest decline in the number of children since the 1930s."

This is an excellent book on all counts--something close to required reading, in my view.

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