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The changing face of Texas: population projections and implications

  • Economics
  • Education


The Changing Face of Texas: Population Projections and Implications - The Face of Texas: Jobs, People, Business, Change - Dallas Fed R 37OCTOBER 2005 | FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS Rich natural resources, abundant land, a central location within the United States and a business-friendly environment have long attracted both immigrants and U.S. natives to Texas. As a result, the state’s population is faster growing, younger and more diverse than the nation’s. These rapid demographic changes present challenges for the future. As the state’s baby boomer population ages, more demands will be placed on housing, health care and social services. Hispanics, already a dominant force in Texas, are expected to become the majority popula- tion group by 2020. The significant increase in this population (both immi- grant and native) has far-reaching impli- cations for education, housing and the labor force. The key issue facing Texas will be to reduce the economic and educa- tional disparities prevalent among the state’s ethnic groups as the population continues to grow and evolve. This article looks at population growth and demographic changes of recent decades. Then, with projections from the Texas State Data Center, we examine some sectors of the economy that will be challenged by these demo- graphic forces in the coming decades. Texas: Big and Getting Bigger Since the early 1900s, Texas has grown faster than the nation. However, during the Texas oil boom, the state’s population growth accelerated. From 1970 to 1980, as oil prices spiraled upward and people flocked to Texas, its population grew by 2.71 percent per year, while the nation’s increased at a 1.14 percent pace (Chart 1). Even during the 1980s, which witnessed an oil and real estate bust, Texas almost doubled the nation’s population growth. During the 1990s, Texas again exceeded expectations and grew by its largest amount yet, adding almost 3.9 mil- lion residents and surpassing New York as the second most populous state. Ma

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