7 shifts in Texas’ demographics including wealth, population and education growth

Growth seems to be the key word for Texas, according to the newly released 2015 census data, published Thursday, Dec. 8. The information reveals a larger, more wealthy and more educated population. The growth, however, does not stop there. Here are seven key demographic shifts recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau, and what the organization indicates about residents of the Lone Star State. Population Texas continues to add more residents. In 2015, the state added 446,581 new residents to the population. This number indicates smaller growth from the year before, but not by much. In 2014, Texas added 452,660 new residents. Education The number of educated Texans continues to grow year to year. The majority of this growth is focused in areas of higher education. While the number of residents achieving a high school diploma, an associate’s degree and a professional school education all saw growth, it is the number of residents claiming bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees that increased the most. The percentage of Texans with a bachelor’s degree grew from 17.95 percent to 18.22 percent in 2015. The percentage of those with a master’s degree increased from 6.57 percent in 2014 to 6.77 percent in 2015. Diversity Texas is becoming a more diverse state. In 2009, the percentage of the population that was white only was 47.8 percent. Since then, that portion of the population has decreased to 43.8 percent. The percentage of the population that is of Hispanic or Latino origin has been growing alongside this decrease. In 2009, the Hispanic or Latino population totaled 35.9 percent. In 2015, this number grew to 38.4 percent. Wealth Texas’ residents are growing richer each year, by and large. The median household income increased from $52,576 in 2014 to $53,207 in 2015. This jump in wealth is also reflected by a notable decrease in the percentage of residents living below the poverty line. New census data shows a significant shift in 2015; it marks the first time since before 2005 that the portion of Texans living below the poverty line has dipped under 16 percent. In 2015, 15.9 percent of Texans lived in poverty, compared to 17.2 percent in 2014. Housing Prices Heightened wealth may be boosting prices in the housing market. In Texas, both the median price of a house and the median monthly rent jumped in 2015. In 2014, homes cost a median price of $131,400. This number leaped more than $4,000 in one year to $136,000. Median rent prices jumped from $870 to $882, continuing a trend of increasing median rent prices for a number of years. However, higher rent prices have not placed an increased burden on renters, according to the census data. The number of residents being burdened by their rent—defined as paying more than 35 percent of their income per month—decreased from 40 percent in 2014 to 39.5 percent in 2015. In addition, more renters statewide are paying less than 25 percent of their monthly income on rent. The percentage changed from 39.7 percent to 40.2 percent in 2015. Housing Market The housing market saw new growth last year. In 2015, 118,418 new houses were on the market. This is the biggest increase real estate market inventory in five years. Following the trend of the last six years, the vacancy rate fell from 11.5 percent to 11.2 percent in 2015. Workforce More Texans are driving to work on their own than ever before. In 2015, 10,145,748 residents chose to take to the highways on their own. This is in comparison to the 9,869,007 that took to the roads solo in 2014. The number of commuters carpooling and using public transit shrank from 2014 totals. The Texas workforce as a whole continued its growth, adding 280,757 new employees to its ranks. This growth has been trending since 2009. Of the 12,556,719 members of the Texas workforce, the largest group, of 21.6 percent, is engaged in professions within the educational services, health care and social assistance fields. The next largest group of workers, totaling 11.6 percent of the workforce, devotes their time to retail trade. Texas’ smallest work sector is information, with only 1.8 percent of Texans in the field. Reprinted from Community Impact Newspapers.  Click here for original article
December 15, 2016

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