If Texas seems quite different than it did 20ish years ago, your feeling is pretty valid. The population of Texas has increased a whopping 43% since the year 2000, and for us natives, the difference is jarring, especially in large cities. The last time I visited Austin, I was taken aback by how crowded it is, even in the formerly less dense areas. To be honest, the fun of my last visit was dampened by the sea of people everywhere I went.

So where did this massive influx of population come from? Let's take a look at the numbers. You might be surprised how it all breaks down.

Photo by Carlos Alfonso on Unsplash
Photo by Carlos Alfonso on Unsplash

Texas gained, on average, a little more than 400K residents each year since 2000. Half of this gain is "natural increase," that is, more births than deaths. In other words, half of our new Texans are just that- brand new little Texans (although the ones from 2000 are 23 now).

29% of our population increase is net domestic migration increases, that is, people from other parts of the U.S. This is the part where you get to shake your fist at California and Florida, although it does appear that this trend is rapidly cooling down.

Between 2021 and 2022, 102,442 Californians became Texans. Another 41,747 moved to Texas from Florida, and 30,890 from New York. The Census Bureau says 25,272 people came to Texas from Illinois and 25,192 people from Louisiana made Texas home.

22% of our population increase is international migration, that is, people from other countries. Here's a breakdown by country (these are 2018 numbers but give us a good idea for 2023):

The top countries of origin for immigrants were Mexico (51 percent of immigrants), India (6 percent), El Salvador (5 percent), Vietnam (4 percent), and Honduras (3 percent).

The good news is that Texas is a massive state, and plenty of it is still plenty rural. Excuse me if I spend some time away at a ranch, y'all.

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