"The future is Latino": U.S. Census Bureau says Hispanics now largest demographic in Texas
Hispanics are now the predominant population in 77 of 254 Texan counties and the media age is lower than the rest of the U.S. at 35.5 compared to the national median age of 38.9, evidencing an increase in young Latino voters
June 23, 2023 8:52am
Updated: June 23, 2023 9:15am
The Hispanic American population in Texas has grown larger than the non-Hispanic white population in Texas, according to new data published by the U.S. Census Bureau.
According to Vintage 2022 (V2022) population estimates published on Thursday, Hispanics now dominate the Lonestar state with more than 12 million residents, as compared to non-Hispanic whites who are estimated to be at 11.9 million. The “vintage year” (V2022) refers to the final year of a time series in which the U.S. Census estimates the population and housing unit on a flow basis throughout each year.
“Each new series estimates (referred to as a “vintage” is revised annually beginning with the date of the most recent decennial census to incorporate the latest administrative record data, geographic boundaries, and methodologies,” the U.S. Census explains.
The most recent vintage recorded from July 2021 to July 2022 shows that Texas had an increase of 262,000 new White people and about 223,000 Hispanics, but that the Hispanic population still outnumbered Whites by 128,938 residents.
While the shift may come as a surprise to some, it did not catch census takers off guard since last year’s population estimates revealed a trend suggesting that Hispanics were on track to surpass Whites as the larger group in the Lonestar state.
Last year, Hispanics made up 40.2% of the Texas population while non-Hispanic White Texans made up 39.4%, according to estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS) for 2021.
“While not as certain as a decennial census, the finding highlights a prediction that demographers have made for decades,” The Dallas Morning News reported in a Sept. 15, 2022 article.
In that report, the ACS estimated as of July 2021 that a third of Texas was of Mexican origin, 1% descended from Puerto Rico, then Cuba and then by “other Latinos” who combined made up 6%.
This could have significant impact on the political situation in the Lonestar state since 25% of Texas Hispanics lean Republican, 44% lean Democrat, but 31% remain undecided or don’t lean toward either party, according to a past Pew Research Center study.
“The future is based on Latinos” University of Houston political scientist Jeronimo Cortina said to the Dallas Morning News last year. “If we want the Texas economy to keep growing… we need the human capital here ready to go. That has to be a call of action for state leaders to seriously invest not only in Latinos but in all communities.”
A Jan. 27, 2022 Gallup report says that while Hispanics are traditionally Democratic, there has been a recent shift showing an increase in Hispanic Republican voters although the question remains whether the shift is enough to have enough impact in elections.
A 2021 Wall Street Journal poll showed that Hispanic voters were split among both major parties, reporting that, “Asked which party they would back if the election were today, 37% of Hispanic voters said they would support the Republican congressional candidate and 37% said they would favor the Democrat, with 22% undecided."
An October 2021 report from Texas Monthly titled, Why Texas Democrats Are Losing Texas Latinos explained that Democrats are failing to target the right issues to Hispanics living in the southwest U.S. as opposed to those groups living in the Northeast among more liberals.
“Banking on an identity-based appeal, Democrats last year trotted out the sort of bilingual messaging in South Texas that has played well among Mexican Americans in Los Angeles and Puerto Ricans in New York, focused on a celebration of diversity and immigration,” the report said.
“Republicans, by contrast, recognized that Hispanic South Texans share many of the same values as non-Hispanic white voters elsewhere in Texas and swept in with a pitch about defending gun rights, promoting the oil and gas industry, restricting abortion, and supporting law enforcement. Republicans proved more persuasive.”
While the shift has been noted by several outlets, Republicans did not see the red wave they hoped in the 2022 midterm congressional elections.
It did however, result in a record number of Hispanics taking a record number of seats in both Congress and state legislatures across the nation.
On Dec. 5, 2022 ADN America published a report suggesting that after Democrats swept the Generation Z youth vote Republicans had an opportunity to pick up future gains by focusing on the issues they care about most: crime, inflation and infringement of civil liberties.
“One million young Hispanic Americans are expected to turn 18 every year for the next 15 years, according to the Pew Research Center, making Hispanic American youth a key target demographic for both parties as a million new eligible voters will be borne from the group each year for the next decade and a half,” ADN reported.
This evidences an undeniable, significant increase in young Hispanic voters.
In Texas, current U.S. Census Data reports that Bexar (San Antonio outside of Dallas) and Harris (Houston area) counties have the largest Latino populations in Texas. Those three areas are the highest population areas in the state.
According to the new numbers Bexar County now has 1.2 million Latinos, Dallas County has more than a million and Harris County has 2.1 million.
Those numbers show a 1.9% increase in the Hispanic population since last year, according to Census demographer Kristy Wielder, who spoke to the Dallas Morning News.
Other counties with high Hispanic populations between 657,000 and 822,000 include El Paso, Hidalgo and Tarrant, marking Hispanics as the predominant population in 77 of 254 Texan counties.
Census Bureau data also showed that the median age in Texas was lower than the rest of the United States. As of July 2022, the median age in Texas is 35.5 while the national median age is 38.9
Texas is one of the largest states in the union, boasting 268,596 square miles and has more than 30 million residents as of 2023, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics.
The federal census agency also reported that from 2021-2022 the state marked the largest population gain in the country with an increase of 470,708 people, making the most significant state population increase in the nation, Hispanic.
With that increase, Texas joined California as the only state in the nation to boast a residency of more than 30 million people.