New census figures show Hispanic boom

As expected, the new U.S. Census data released today shows an explosion in the state's Hispanic population, up 42 percent over the past decade. Hispanics now make up 38 percent of Texas' 25,145,561 population. Texas' population as a whole grew just over 20 percent within the past decade, more than double the nation's average growth rate. The new numbers show San Antonio grew 16 percent to a population of 1,327,407, making it the state's second-largest city behind Houston, which grew by 7.5 percent to a population of 2,099,451. The other top five cities include Dallas, which barely budged, Austin, which grew 20.4 percent, and Fort Worth, which grew by a staggering 38.6 percent and bumped out El Paso off the list. Bexar County grew from about 1.4 million to just above 1.7 million over the decade. New numbers showing the local ethnic makeup of counties and cities will become available as the Census Bureau continues to release targeted data over the next 24 hours, the bureau said. The release of the new targeted figures is the first step in what is sure to be the long, contentious process of redrawing the state's district lines - and the stakes are even higher given that Texas' Congressional delegation grew by four when the initial numbers were released, more than any other state. Though Republicans will control the redistricting process because of their hold the governor's mansion, the senate and the house, the huge Hispanic boom could mean that some or all of those new seats to go Democrat-leaning regions where that growth was particularly high.


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