Texas is now officially a minority-majority state.
Fueled largely by the burgeoning Hispanic population, Texas joins the ranks of California, New Mexico, Hawaii and the District of Columbia as areas where minority residents as a whole have become the majority.
Based on estimates from the 2000 Census, about 50.2 percent of Texans are considered minorities compared to about 47 percent when the census was taken. A report last August noted the Anglo population has slipped to slightly less than 50 percent for the first time.
Here‘s that report from 2004. I guess I’m a little confused as to what’s changed – if it was the case that as of 2003, “non-Hispanic whites” were 49.5% of the Texas population, then wasn’t the other 50.5% made up of non-whites? I’m not sure how the classifications break down, so I assume there’s another piece to the puzzle.
Anyway, here’s what the state demographer says:
State demographer Steve Murdock said Hispanics and blacks historically have low levels of educational attainment and high rates of poverty.
He noted that in 2000, about 30 percent of the state’s Anglo adults had a college degree, compared with 15.3 percent of blacks and 8.9 percent of Hispanics. During the same period, the incomes of blacks and Hispanics were two-thirds of Anglos, and two to three times more Hispanics and blacks lived in poverty.
“If we don’t change those kinds of socioeconomic differences, clearly Texas will be poorer and less competitive than it is today,” Murdock said. “The challenge is really to ensure that all Texans have the education and skills they need to be competitive in the increasingly international marketplace.”
While Murdock said the state has made “some progress” in narrowing the gaps, there is a “substantial way to go.”
“Without it (improvements) we will be a state with lower consumer expenditures, which is important to the private sector, and fewer resources to spend in the public sector,” he said.
“While at the same time we’ll have a population with increasing … needs for state services.”
Sort of makes you wish the Governor and the Legislature were more serious about school finance reform, doesn’t it?