It’s no secret Texas has become one of the fastest growing states in the nation, and Comal County has become of the fastest growing counties.
If the projections of Texas demographers are accurate, the Texas of tomorrow will look very different than the Texas of today both in structure and in its people.
Driving much of the growth in Texas — and the entire nation — is the boom of the Hispanic population — a population that will almost double by 2050.
Birth rates driving change
While many people may believe immigration is driving Texas growth, the largest driving growth factor in Texas is actually natural birth rates, followed by domestic migration, said Steve Murdock, former Census Bureau director and Texas State demographer, during the 2019 Texas Demographics Conference on Thursday.
“That is the most common for most places over time,” Murdock said. “Look at the actual increase (from births)? Almost half. And migration, 39%, international migration, 17%. So we’re growing from both natural increase and domestic migration — it’s not people coming from other countries.”
Non-Hispanic whites are not reproducing at a level that replaces a person and his or her spouse, Murdock said.
“It’s just not happening,” he said. “It’s not just not happening in Texas, it’s across the country.”
In Texas, 228 of 254 counties have had growth of the Hispanic population in the past decade, because Hispanics are reproducing at a higher rate, Murdock said.
The face of the future
Projections show that in 2010, Non-white Hispanics made up 45% of the state, but will only make up 28% of the state by 2050. Comparatively, in 2010 Hispanics made up 38% of Texas, but by 2050 are predicted to make up as much as 43%.
“What I’m going to say very boldly is the reality of it is the future is tied to its minority populations,” Murdock said. “Because people that look like me are literally dying out.”
Could this projection be incorrect or change? Sure, Murdock said. But for the trend to turn around, “you’re going to have to have some fertility among non-Hispanic whites like none we’ve ever seen,” Murdock said to laughs from the audience.
Comal County is no exception, according to information from the Texas State Data Center.
From the 2010-2011 school year to the 2017-2018 school year, NBISD has seen a 2.3 percent increase in Hispanic students, growing from 45.3 percent Hispanic students to 47.6 percent, according to Texas Education Agency data.
Similar numbers are at play at Comal Independent School District campuses. From the 2010-2011 school year to the 2017-2018 school year, CISD’s Hispanic student population grew by 4 percent, increasing from 35 percent to 39 percent of the total student body.
“This is the under 18 population,” Murdock said, pointing to a chart. “What’s coming? Two of every three are Hispanic.”
Hispanic growth is seen in every scenario, from predicting metropolitan growth to county growth, Murdock said.
“Harris County, Travis County, whatever scenario you look at it’s the same, Hispanics and Asians will drive the growth,” Murdock said. “This is Dallas County, Bexar County, similar patterns.”