Texas led the nation in population growth from July 2016 to July 2017, according to the Austin Business Journal. This probably isn’t a surprise to anyone living in our rapidly growing major metros.
However, that growth was not led by immigration to the state as some might perceive, but instead dominated by natural increase – Texans having more children than Texans dying.
Last year, 210,000 more Texans were added as a result of natural increase, while only 190,000 came from outside the state (domestic and international immigration).
Public policy discussion in Austin has been dominated by a discourse of bigotry against “California tech bros” and similar epithets seemed acceptable under the guise of opposing housing in the CodeNEXT process. But this story largely rings untrue in the actual data. Growth in the City of Austin has been dominated by additional people of color, including many children of existing city residents.
We hope to staff up our Texurban department to provide the people of Texas’ major metros with more meaningful understandings of our tremendous growth – with a focus on the Austin region this year in the Growing Weirder Project. Growth policies based upon honest understandings of our reality and our potential can lead to better results for the Texans of today and tomorrow.