Texas demographer on Hispanic population gains: ‘It’s basically over for Anglos’

immigration seal
(image: New Mexico Independent)

“It’s basically over for Anglos,” Texas demographer Steve Murdock told the Houston Chronicle this week, discussing demographic trends in Texas that suggest that Hispanics may soon comprise a substantial majority.

He went on to declare that a Hispanic majority would mean a decrease in education levels for Texans as well as a decrease in average income.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Looking at population projections for Texas, demographer Steve Murdock concludes: “It’s basically over for Anglos.”

Two of every three Texas children are now non-Anglo and the trend line will become even more pronounced in the future, said Murdock, former U.S. Census Bureau director and now director of the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas at Rice University.

Today’s Texas population can be divided into two groups, he said. One is an old and aging Anglo and the other is young and minority. Between 2000 and 2040, the state’s public school enrollment will see a 15 percent decline in Anglo children while Hispanic children will make up a 213 percent increase, he said.

The state’s future looks bleak assuming the current trend line does not change because education and income levels for Hispanics lag considerably behind Anglos, he said.

Unless the trend line changes, 30 percent of the state’s labor force will not have even a high school diploma by 2040, he said. And the average household income will be about $6,500 lower than it was in 2000. That figure is not inflation adjusted so it will be worse than what it sounds.

“It’s a terrible situation that you are in. I am worried,” Murdock said.

SOMOS Republicans Political Director Alex Gonzales said Murdock was right that the Hispanic population of Texas is growing quickly while the Anglo population is falling. He said, though, that the demographic shift does not spell doom and gloom for Texas.

“Those are the same claims people were making in California in the early 1990s,” he said.

What Murdock is missing, he said, is that just like Europeans before them, Hispanics are becoming integrated in American society. “By the second generation, Hispanics become middle class, they begin speaking primarily English, they become fully integrated.

“There is no evidence that a Hispanic majority will lead to the detriment of Texas,” he said.

“He (Murdock) is xenophobic,” said Dee Dee Garcia Blase, executive director of SOMOS, a group representing Republican Hispanics across the U.S.

“He is trying to scare people into thinking Hispanics are a drain on society, but it just isn’t true,” she said.

“Hispanics are following the same path as every other group that has come to America,” Gonzales said.

Conservative Denver Post columnist Vince Carroll wrote today that Hispanics are being integrated into American society more seamlessly than has been the case with many other groups of immigrants over the years.

Like Murdock, though, he points to lagging academic achievement as a problem. He, though, says it is a problem to be solved, rather than feared.

From Carroll:

No, the most alarming upshot of the demographic shift is not friction among ethnic groups but rather the educational failure of so many non-Asian immigrant children, as evidenced by atrocious test scores. The debate over future immigration policy is almost a sideshow compared to this challenge — which no one really knows how to overcome.

But since we’re being upbeat today, let’s not forget that the rise of ethnic whites wasn’t instantaneous, either. As late as 1945, it was still relatively rare for Americans of Jewish, Eastern European, Italian, and even Irish extraction to reach the top in national politics and at large corporations, elite law firms and prestigious universities.

No, the most alarming upshot of the demographic shift is not friction among ethnic groups but rather the educational failure of so many non-Asian immigrant children, as evidenced by atrocious test scores. The debate over future immigration policy is almost a sideshow compared to this challenge — which no one really knows how to overcome.

This nation has absorbed a host of previous groups into the mainstream. Surely it’s not too much to hope that a similar marvel can be engineered once again.

In Colorado, while Hispanic populations have risen around the state, a recent study indicates that illegal immigration to Colorado has fallen sharply in the last few years.

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