Former U.S. Census Director Analyzes Changing Demographics

The latest census shows the Houston metro grew by 26.1 percent in the past decade, with the Hispanic population in Texas accounting for two-thirds of the state's staggering growth. The new demographic data will be used to redraw boundaries for Congress. Ed Mayberry reports.

Texas is gaining four new Congressional seats, and will now have 36 representatives and 38 presidential electoral votes. Former U.S. Census Director Steve Murdock, now a professor at Rice University, says the issue is — where those seats will be located.

"There's a lot of logic to think that they'll be in the four parts of the state that have the most growth. Those were the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Houston/Galveston area, the San Antonio to Austin corridor and in the Valley, particularly around the Brownsville/McAllen area." 

Murdock maintains that two separate populations are evolving.

"We have an old aging set of Anglos and we have a vast young minority population. And both populations need one another. You know, that older aging Anglo population needs a younger population to support its social security and its Medicare and, in fact, to provide some of the direct services that it will need. That younger population, in turn, needs that Anglo population to help support education and other factors that can make them a competitive population."

Murdock says the Texas of today is in many ways the U.S. of tomorrow. In census figures of six of 11 states released so far, there are declines in Anglo population.

"This is a process that we used to think of as a Texas and California and Arizona and, you know, Florida and New York — it's no longer the case. The diversification is a diversification of America in a true sense across the country and in most states." 

The Houston City Council will also gain two new seats as a result of the 2010 census.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...