Fueling projections that Texas' population will double by 2050, the state's white, black and Hispanic populations all grew in size from 2010 to 2014, according to new race and ethnicity figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
But while the percentage of black and Hispanic Texans ticked up slightly — black Texans by 0.2 percentage points, Hispanics by nearly 1 percentage point — the percentage of white Texans fell by nearly two percentage points.
Tarrant County differed from the state, seeing higher minority growth than neighboring Dallas County as well as statewide. There was a small 2 percent growth in the white population here while the population of black residents grew by 13 percent and Hispanic residents grew by 11.4 percent, data shows.
As Hispanics make up a larger portion of the workforce in Texas — one of four majority-minority states — they are moving into the state’s fast-growing suburbs and counties adjacent to urban centers, in search of affordable housing and a better quality of life, said State Demographer Lloyd Potter.
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With job growth increasing in urban cores like San Antonio and Austin, it's no surprise that “suburban ring counties” like Hays, Comal and Williamson are experiencing fast growth among their Hispanic populations, Potter said.
“More and more, our labor force is being driven by and is increasingly of Hispanic descent,” Potter said. “Essentially, as jobs are being created, that’s where you’re going to see more Hispanics moving because that’s just the dynamics of our overall demographics.”
A sizable increase in the Hispanic population in Montgomery County — home to most of The Woodlands and Conroe — is contributing to the fast growth of cities that were established as suburbs of Houston.
Though Hardin and Orange counties have small Hispanic populations, the East Texas counties experienced large growth among Hispanics largely because of the refinery industry in the area, Potter said.
Booming Midland and Ector counties — the two West Texas counties among the top 10 counties with the fastest-growing Hispanic populations — saw their populations boosted by an influx if Hispanic oil workers.
Starr County in the Rio Grande Valley is the county with the highest share of Hispanics at 95.8 percent. Five other border counties aren't far behind.
Among non-border counties with populations larger than 50,000, Nueces County — home to Corpus Christi — topped the list, with Hispanics making up 62.4 percent of the population.
Urban cores like Bexar, Harris and Dallas counties were among the 10 non-border counties with the largest share of Hispanics. They alsohave a larger share of Hispanics than the state overall.
The rural areas with the biggest Hispanic populations are largely on the outskirts of larger cities like San Angelo and Amarillo.
Staff writer Anna M. Tinsley contributed to this report.
Here’s a look at population shifts between 2010 and 2014 in North Texas for white, black and Hispanic populations. Unless noted, the population grew.
Percent shift in white population
Percent shift in black population
Percent shift in Hispanic population
Source: Texas Tribune