Texas has been majority white since at least the mid 1800s, but Hispanics have been expected to overtake the majority for some time. Now, new data shows that happened at some time in 2022.
The U.S. Census Bureau updated its official population estimates, and the numbers confirm Latinos have officially made up the largest share of the state’s population since at least last July.
Lloyd Potter, state demographer of Texas and director of the Texas Demographic Center, said Hispanic Texans made up 40.2% of the state’s population last summer, edging out non-Hispanic white Texans, who made up 39.8%.
“When we look at demographic and population change, there’s what we refer to as components of population change,” Potter said. “The three major components are births, deaths and net migration. So when we look at and when we compare population change between the non-Hispanic white population and the Hispanic population, the dynamics of those elements are different.”
For example, Hispanics tend to have higher birth rates than the non-Hispanic white population, Potter said.
“That’s been a real driver for growth of the Hispanic population,” he said. “The non-Hispanic white population has really low birth rates. So that’s been a very significant factor. And then there’s the death element of it. When we look at the non-Hispanic white population, as most people are aware, we have a baby boom and that baby boom from the 50s and that baby boom-age generation is now in the high mortality years. So we’re starting to see, you know, increasing mortality rates for the total non-Hispanic white population as a function of the baby boom generation aging into those high mortality years.”
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Texas’ population is also growing overall, and part of that growth comes from migration from other states and countries.
“When we look at the net migration component of change, that certainly has been a significant factor in Texas growth. Certainly with the pandemic, we saw a significant decline in international migration, not just into Texas but into the United States,” Potter said. “Between 2020 and 2021, domestic migration made up over half of our population change. And so when we look at that, that’s a factor for growth of all racial and ethnic groups. Certainly it’s a significant factor in the continued growth of the non-Hispanic white population … the domestic migration flow also includes people from all race/ethnic groups and increasingly people that are of Hispanic descent.”
Texas is now seeing a rebound of international migration, which Potter said makes up about a quarter of the state’s population change. The U.S. Census Bureau numbers show that Asians and Asian Americans are the fastest-growing groups in the state.
“When we look at population change between 2021 and 2022, the Asian population grew at a rate of about 5.5%, whereas the non-Hispanic white population only grew 0.3%,” Potter said. “So that’s a really meager growth for the non-Hispanic white population. And the Hispanic population grew at a rate of about 1.9%. So the Asian population is growing very fast.”
The non-Hispanic African-American population is also growing quickly, according to Potter.
“They grew at a rate of about 2.6% (between 2021 and 2020). And I think one thing that often surprises people is that Texas has more people who are African-American than any other state,” Potter said. “We have the largest African-American population compared to any other state in the union. So that’s a significant thing in that segment of our population is growing significantly and fairly quickly.”