Tarrant County’s Hispanic, black and Asian populations keep growing, whites less so

Tarrant County’s growth is mostly due to an increase in minority populations, especially in the Hispanic community, according to new U.S. Census Bureau estimates released Thursday.

Tarrant County’s Hispanic, black and Asian populations have seen intense growth over the last eight years, while its white population has seen a growth rate of less than 2%.

The new figures show that through July 2018, Tarrant County’s Hispanic community increased the most, by an estimated 126,259 people, since 2010. The county’s black population increased by 84,541, its Asian population by 33,707, and its white population by 18,031 during that time period.

While whites were still the largest racial group in Tarrant County, at 957,432 people last year, they experienced the smallest growth rate since 2010 at 1.92%.

The Asian population grew the fastest, with a growth rate of 40.05%. Blacks followed at 32.07% and Hispanics at 26.14%.

According to Census Bureau estimates, 2013 was the first year that all minorities combined — including racial groups such as American Indians, native Hawaiians and people of two or more races — surpassed Tarrant County’s white population.

In population estimates from July 1, 2017, to July 1, 2018, Tarrant County added about 27,000 residents, the eighth-biggest increase in the nation. Tarrant County’s estimated population was brought to 2,084,931 in 2018.

Fort Worth is also now the 13th-largest city in the U.S. behind Jacksonville, Florida, and ahead of Columbus, Ohio, as well as San Francisco, according to Census Bureau population estimates released in May.

Between 2017 and 2018, Texas State Demographer Lloyd Potter said, a little more than half of the population change in Tarrant County was due to more births occurring than deaths. And a little more than 30% of that change was due to international migration, Potter said.

“That also is likely to result in diversification of the population because most of the migrants coming into Texas and certainly into the urban cores, are going to be from Mexico, Central or South America, or an Asian country,” Potter said.

Tarrant County’s demographic changes are similar to those statewide.

“Essentially, what’s happening statewide, is what’s happening in our urban areas because that’s where the population is,” Potter said.

The state’s Hispanic population increased to an estimated 11,368,849 people last year, inching closer to surpassing the state’s white population of 11,912,849. Texas’ Hispanic population is predicted to become the state’s largest population group in 2022, according to the Texas Demographic Center’s population projection tool.

The only other state with a larger estimated Hispanic population is California with about 15.5 million Hispanic people last year, according to the Census Bureau. Texas, California and Florida were the only three states with Hispanic populations of 5 million or more last year.

Texas also had the third largest Asian population last year. New York had the second-largest at about 1.9 million and California had the largest at nearly 6.9 million in 2018.

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Tessa Weinberg is a state government for the Star-Telegram. Based in Austin, she covers all things policy and politics with a focus on Tarrant County. She previously covered the Missouri legislature where her reporting prompted an investigation by the Attorney General’s office. A California native and graduate of the University of Missouri, she’s made her way across the U.S. and landed in Texas in May 2019.