Texas Now a Majority-Minority State

President Bush’s home state of Texas has become the fourth in the union to have more non-whites than whites.

Texas Now a Majority-Minority State (AP)

Texas has become the fourth state to have a non-white majority population, the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday, a trend driven by a surging number of Hispanics moving to the state. According to the population estimates based on the 2000 Census, about 50.2 percent of Texans are now minorities. In the 2000 Census, minorities made up about 47 percent of the population in the second-largest state.

Texas joins California, New Mexico and Hawaii as states with majority-minority populations — with Hispanics the largest group in every state but Hawaii, where it is Asian-Americans. Five other states — Maryland, Mississippi, Georgia, New York and Arizona — aren’t far behind, with about 40 percent minorities.

Map Graphic shows the percentage of state populations made up by minorities. (AP Graphic)

Public policy analysts said these states and the country as a whole need to bring minority education and professional achievement to the levels of whites. Otherwise, these areas risk becoming poorer and less competitive.

William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., said lawmakers need to start with immigration reform, while striving to bring minorities’ education and salary levels in line with Anglos. “Immigration is good for the United States … it’s important for us to keep our doors open, but we need to keep an eye on the people coming in,” Frey said. “While initially it will be a state problem, eventually it will be a national issue, and education is the best way to deal with it.”

Of course, there’s nothing about “minority” status that precludes getting a good education. Certainly, it has not impeded Asians. Still, ensuring that Hispanics learn English quickly is of paramount importance.

Update (1348): The Blogosphere is starting to weigh in on this one.

LaShawn Barber:

A non-white, third-world influx of illegal aliens is bad for America any way you package it. Unlike European immigrants who came to the U.S. to assimilate into society, Mexicans have little interest in adopting the culture or the language.

Bryan Preston:

The problem with this as I see it isn’t necessarily the numbers of immigrants, it is the quality. Immigrants should respect our laws, respect our culture and adopt our values. Otherwise, if they have no interest in doing these things, they should not emigrate. They should stay where they were born. Adopting our values and way of life should be part of the deal that allows them to come here.

What we have, though, is a bad neighbor to the south that is purging the lower levels of its racially stratified society by pushing them to come here however they can, to live in pockets, and never bother to assimilate into either our culture or values. These illegal immigrants so far don’t seem very interested in becoming Americans. They want to be Mexicans, displaced. And that’s the problem.

Scott Sala:

Does affirmative action now apply to whites in Texas, Hawaii, California and Arizona?

As several commenters below have noted, though, it makes about as much sense to lump all “Hispanics” together as it does all “Blacks” or “whites.” A huge percentage of the Hispanic populations of Texas and California have been there a lot longer than the Bushes and Schwarzeneggers. And speak better English, too.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Of course since “Hispanic” is actually a melange of racial groups not a “race” per se, I am never quite sure how useful these numbers are.

    Further, since a decent number of persons of Hispanic origin have been in Texas since the days of the Republic (and before), they don’t have any more in common with recent immigrants than do people whose family migrated from Iceland in 1900, even if they both have the same last name.

  2. LJD says:

    “Public policy analysts said these states and the country as a whole need to bring minority education and professional achievement to the levels of whites”

    So now affirmative action no longer helps the “minority”, just the non-whites. (…and I thought this would bring more opportunities for whites.)

    These racial bean-counters really need to STOP. People who are underpriviledged, and require assistance to get ahead, are represented in every race, creed, and sex. Providing assitance based soley on race is discrimination. Period.

  3. Scott in CA says:

    The racial bean counters keep insisting on using race or ethnicity to put people into categories, even when the evidence shows this is impossible. Old Texas families whose ancestors came from Mexico in the 18th century have nothing in common with illegal Mexicans coming in now. People in New Mexico whose ancestors came from Spain in the 1600s have no love for the barrio gangbangers in Albuquerque, either.

  4. LJD says:

    Either a bigot, or a sarcastic bean-counter.

  5. Alfred Thompson says:

    I guess it is safe to say that Mexico has reclaimed the land they lost hundreds of years ago.