Over the last decade, Texas, the second most populous state in the United States, has undergone significant changes in its population and demographics. The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest data reveals that Texas experienced a remarkable growth rate of 15.9%, which is more than double the national average of 7.4%, by adding approximately 4 million people between 2010 and 2020.
Some parts of the state have boomed in population growth, while others have seen declines or remained unchanged. The diversity of Texas has also expanded, with changes in age structure, housing characteristics, and racial and ethnic makeup.
Population Growth and Decline
A discernible trend that has emerged is the contrast between urban and rural localities. Counties that are heavily urbanized such as Tarrant, Bexar, and Travis, have continued to experience growth. However, some of the most populous counties like Dallas and Harris have seen a decrease in their population. This could be attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prompted people to look for areas that are less crowded or more affordable.
In contrast, the suburban counties that are in close proximity to major cities, including Collin, Denton, Fort Bend, and Williamson, have witnessed a considerable surge in their population. This can be attributed to various factors, such as better employment prospects, reduced living expenses, enhanced standard of living, and larger living areas.
Population growth in Texas varied across regions, with Central and North Texas experiencing significant growth, while South and West Texas saw only moderate or negative growth. A range of factors, including differences in economic opportunities, natural resources, climate, and culture, could help explain these disparities.
Racial and Ethnic Diversity
The diversity landscape in Texas has undergone a significant change, with a noticeable increase in racial and ethnic diversity. According to the 2020 Census report, the state now has almost an equal number of Latino and white residents. The report also indicates that the state has seen a rise in the number of Black, Asian, American Indian, and other ethnic groups. This shift highlights the state’s growing diversity, with the only exception being a decrease in the white population compared to 2010.
Texas counties exhibit different degrees of diversity, with Harris County being notably more diverse compared to King County and other counties.
The age structure in Texas has undergone some noteworthy changes. The median age of the state rose from 33.6 years in 2010 to 35.1 years in 2020. Despite this increase, Texas still has a comparatively younger population than the national median age of 38.4 years. However, the Lone Star State also witnessed a 46% surge in the number of people aged 65 and over. This reflects the aging of the baby boomer generation. Conversely, the population of those under 18 years old decreased by 1%. This decline was influenced by lower birth rates and higher mortality rates among children and adolescents.
Between 2010 and 2020, Texas witnessed a significant transformation in its housing landscape. The number of housing units increased by 11.1%, which was higher than the national average. However, there was a slight decrease in occupancy rates, and the vacancy rate increased. The shift was also observed in the types and sizes of housing, with single-family detached units being the most prevalent.
Texas has undergone significant changes in population over the past decade, significantly impacting several aspects of life in the state. These changes have had a far-reaching effect on politics, the economy, education, healthcare, the environment, and culture. In order to prepare for the next decade, Texas must proactively address the challenges and opportunities presented by these demographic shifts.
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