A demographic shift that has been expected for years was confirmed Thursday by the Census Bureau: Latinos now outnumber non-Hispanic whites in Texas.
The new data reveals that Latinos make up around 40.2% of the state’s population, a sliver more than non-Hispanic whites, who make up 39.8%. The results are hardly surprising, as the Latino population in Texas and the country at large has been steadily increasing over the past few decades. In 2020, the census found that just over a quarter of all children in the U.S. are Latino, and the number of Latino children grew by over a million in just a decade.
This demographic milestone probably occurred around 2022, according to the federal bureau charged with collecting demographic information on the U.S. population. For years, unofficial estimates have shown that Latinos were on track to outnumber non-Hispanic whites, reflecting decades of transformation in Texas.
Of the estimated 12 million Latinos living in Texas, most are concentrated in five counties: Harris, Bexar, Dallas, Hidalgo and El Paso. San Antonio is the city with the highest percentage of Latinos, around 64%.
Texas had a white majority from 1885 until 2004, when the state’s non-Hispanic white population dropped below 50% for the first time. It is the second most populous state behind California, where people of color have accounted for 95% of its population growth in the past decade, according to the 2020 Census.
Texas, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada and New Mexico are the only states where non-Hispanic whites make up less than 50% of the population.