Hispanics Will Soon Outnumber Whites
The demographics in Texas are changing rapidly, and the man considered by many as a future political star in the Lone Star State has taken note. Investor George P. Bush, who is reportedly planning a run for statewide office in 2014, recently told the Associated Press that Texas will be "majority Hispanic" in six years. Bush, who is half-Hispanic, is the grandson of President George H.W. Bush and the nephew of President George W. Bush. His comments came as a call for Republicans to find candidates who can connect with the growing Hispanic population. But his prediction was a bit off, according to Rice University professor of Sociology Stephen Klineberg. "A plurality of the state will be Latino by the end of this decade, and a majority of the state will be Latino between 2038 and 2040," he tells KTRH.
George P. Bush may have mixed up plurality with majority, but he is on the right track as far as where the demographics of Houston and Texas are heading. "We are moving from a bi-racial southern state dominated by white men into the most ethnically diverse state and city in the country," says Klineberg. Indeed, the 2010 U.S. Census showed whites as 45% of the Texas population, with Hispanics at 38%. The Texas State Demographer's Office predicts a similar timeline as Professor Klineberg, that Latinos will be a plurality by 2017 or 2019, but not a majority until closer to 2040.
Regardless of how fast it's happening, the trend is undeniable and Klineberg argues that Texas leaders, whether current ones or potential future ones like George P., are wise to recognize it. "The only question we can ask isn't how can we stop this, because we can't stop it," he says. "How do we make it work...how do we make sure this ethnic diversity becomes a great asset for this city and this state as we position ourselves in the global economy of the 21st century."