Happy New Year, Texas. Now that it’s 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau’s report that 387,000 people became newly-minted Texans in 2013 is old news.
Welcome to Texas, everybody!
Now for the question of 2014: How many new people do we expect in the next twelve months, and how long will it take for last year’s 387,000 to complain about how all of 2014’s newcomers are responsible for the overcrowded highways, the soaring real estate prices in certain urban areas, and a loss of the Texas identity that attracted them to the state in the first place?
The answer to the first question is “probably even more than we saw in 2013,” according to Texas State Demographer Lloyd Potter, whom the Austin American-Statesman interviewed about last year’s 1.46% spike in the state’s population.
Potter said Texas will continue to grow, partly because of its relatively young population. Whereas some states have hefty graying populations, Texas is home to many people of childbearing age. And since a growing percentage of those young people are Hispanic, who tend to have high birth rates, Texas’ rate of growth should remain steady, Potter said.
While the raw numbers are up—and will probably continue to grow—the percentage increase is actually slightly slowing. Over the previous decade, we saw growth closer to 2%, but as the raw total grows, the rate of growth is likely to shrink a bit. That’s something that, according to Potter, is a good thing, for reasons you’re probably already aware of:
The state government, cities and other entities are struggling to keep pace with the rapidly growing population, by planning for and building necessary infrastructure, especially related to water and transportation.
In any case, more than 50,000 more people moved to Texas in 2013 than to California that same year. While we’ve still got a ways to go before we overtake the Golden State in population (they’ve got an advantage of almost 12 million at the moment), we’re looking forward to welcoming all of the new Texans we’ve yet to meet in the coming year—but at Whataburger, not at In-N-Out.
Correction: An earlier version of this article appeared with the headline, “387,000 People Moved to Texas in 2013.” That statement is incorrect as the number of new Texans in 2013 includes births. We regret the error.