Census Data Show a More Diverse Texas in the Coming Years: Will This Affect State Decisions?

Data according to the 2020 Census show that more people of color have relocated to Texas and will likely surpass the white population by 2022.

The Texas Tribune writes, “Texans of color accounted for 95% of the state’s population growth. The 2020 census puts the state’s population at 29,145,505 — a 16% jump from 25.1 million in 2010.

Hispanic Texans were responsible for half of that increase. Non-Hispanic white Texans now make up just 39.8% of the state’s population — down from 45% in 2010. Meanwhile, the share of Hispanic Texans has grown to 39.3%.

How significant is this growth, and what changes will it bring? 

In an article by The Guardian, Arturo Vargas, CEO of the Naleo Educational Fund, a Latino advocacy group, said that the steady growth among the nation’s Latino population “sends a clear message to policymakers that they need to consider how their decisions will affect Latinos across the country.”

However, this could be a challenge considering Texas’ history of discriminating against people of color through redistricting.

Redistricting is the process of redrawing legislative districts and could be used to subvert the democratic process when politicians select voters.

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“The history of redistricting in Texas is that despite dramatic growth in the Latino population, particularly in comparison to non-Latino folks in Texas, the legislature never recognizes that growth by appropriately creating majority looking seats,” says Thomas Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (Maldef).

While several Texans claim to welcome this diversity, this fluctuation in the population may set the stage for a bigger fight on political representation. 

Lately, Texas lawmakers sparked controversy over the newly enacted anti-abortion law, where private citizens can sue women seeking an abortion by six weeks into their pregnancies, as well as people involved in abortion processes.

Despite the backlash the law has garnered, it is duly noted that the state had enough power and votes to cast the bill into law. 

Some of the other controversial laws passed in Texas include restrictions on the vaccine and face-mask requirements in schools. Texas schools are also reportedly aiming to ban the teaching of “critical race theory” in classrooms. 

Whether or not the growth of a POC population in Texas would affect state decisions would still rely on the people in power within the state. 

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