red nose day

Students from Comal ISD play tug-of-war during Red Nose Day at Cypress Bend Park on Thursday, May 23, 2019.

The Texas of 2050 will look very different than the Texas of today.

In the next three decades, non-Hispanic whites will go from making up 45% of the state population in 2010 to just 28% of the state population in 2050, while Hispanics will go from making up 38% to 43%, according to state demographers.

With the Hispanic population driving much of the growth in the United States and Texas in the next 30 years, Texas demographers are saying it is vital to consider the state of present socioeconomics.

“What I’m going to say very boldly is the reality of it is in the future is tied to its minority populations and how well they do is how well Texas will do,” said Steve Mirdock, former Census Bureau director and Texsa State demographer during the 2019 Texas Demographics Conference in Austin on Thursday. “Because people that look like me are literally dying out.”

Present conditions

Median household incomes in the United States in 2017 show on average, the Asian population makes the most at about $81,331 annually, according to the Census Bureau. Non-Hispanic whites average at $68,145. Hispanics average at $50,486. 

Texas is no exception. The Asian population averaged $78.6K in 2017, followed by non-Hispanic whites at $67.4K. Hispanics made about $42.5K on average, comparatively.

Comal County also saw similar numbers. In 2017 in Comal County, the Asian population averaged about $65K. Non-Hispanic whites averaged $52K and Hispanics averaged $45.5K.

“The future of Texas is tied to its minority populations and how well they do is how well Texas will do,” Murdock said. “That’s not a philosophical, that’s not a social justice or anything else. It’s just the numbers, and the numbers tell us that.”

Future conditions

By 2050, Murdock said projections show that two out of every three people in Texas will be Hispanic. 

“If we’re not going to be poor and less competitive in the future … if we want to change some of the socioeconomics that go with the demographic we see growing, we need to ensure that we have good educational institutions,” Murdock said.

Education is the number one predictor of how economically successful a group will be, Murdock said.

“The fact is education is related to income. Has been, and will be,” Murdock said. “You’re saying, ‘Oh you’re a college professor, you just want me to go to school and want my money,’ No. The reality of it is that this has shown for every part of the country for every period of time.”

Murdock said people may think to just tell people to get by doing labor work, but that won’t work for a large group as a whole.

“Look at where growth is going to be in terms of that population — When you look at this, you can see how important education is in terms of how well people will do as they go forward,” Murdock said.

This is why its important people invest in where Hispanics are going to school now — because they will be the workers of tomorrow, Murdock said.

“And this is just public education,” Murdock said. “What I want you to see is that for public education, half the kids starting out in 2010 were Hispanic. The reality is we need to change those if we’re going to insure that Texas has the education and skills it needs to be competitive.”

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