A report by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that more than half of the increase in Texas’ population since 2010 comes from the state’s Hispanic community. The report showed that Texas’ population increased from 25.1 million in 2010 to over 27.8 million in July 2016. Out of that 2.7 million increase, more than 1.4 million identified as Hispanic.
The report also showed that the Hispanic population in Texas has grown in all but 11 of the state’s 254 counties. Harris County, which includes much of the Houston metropolitan area, had the highest increase in its Hispanic population of any county in the U.S., with a net gain of nearly 40,000 Hispanic residents. More than 96 percent of the residents of Starr County, located just west of McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley, identified as Hispanic.
The Census Bureau report also examined the proportion of ethnic populations across the state. Texans who identify as Caucasian made up 43 percent of the state’s population, the largest of any ethnic group, while Hispanics are close behind at 39 percent. Texans who identify as African-Americans made up 12 percent, with Asian-Americans and other ethnicities making up the remainder.
The changing demographic makeup of the state could cause seismic shifts in the political landscape. After the 2020 census, Texas will be required to redraw its boundaries for congressional and legislative districts. These changes could cause districts to shift from one party to the other.
The report also shows that a vast majority of the state’s young people are people of color. Nearly 70 percent of Texans 18 years old or younger do not identify as Caucasian. As these young people approach voting age, their first efforts at voting, combined with the required redistricting plans, could prompt huge changes in the halls of power, both in Austin and in Washington.