Hispanic population in Crossroads, Texas surges

Gabe Semenza

Feb. 17, 2011 at 7 p.m.
Updated Feb. 16, 2011 at 8:17 p.m.

The Crossroads' Hispanic population ballooned by 16 percent during the last decade, according to 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data released Thursday.

This surge in Hispanic population is also evident, even more notable, at the state level. Since 2000, Texas' Hispanic population grew from 6.7 million to 9.5 million residents - or by 42 percent.

The increase in the Hispanic population helped Texas to grow more than at any point in its history, and at about twice the national rate, according to the Associated Press.

"I'm not surprised by this," said Joe Brannan, executive director of the Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission. "We are a border state. Growth in our region is just reflective of growth in the state."

Today, 38 percent of the state's and region's residents are Hispanic. That's up from 32 and 34 percent respectively a decade ago.

A closer look at the highlights from the Crossroads shows:

At 5,154, Victoria experienced the greatest increase in Hispanic population in terms of resident numbers. Victoria now has 38,113 Hispanic residents, up from 32,959 in 2000.

At 41 percent, Lavaca County experienced the greatest percentage increase in Hispanic residents. A decade ago, the county had 2,183 Hispanic residents; today it has 3,077.

At -.1 percent, Refugio County is the only county in the region to have fewer Hispanics today than it did 10 years ago.

Refugio County Judge Rene Mascorro, who took office in 2007, attributes this loss to job stagnancy.

"More and more people are moving to where the jobs are, to more urban areas," Mascorro said. "We're working on changing that trend. Population decline was part of the reason why I ran for office in the first place."

This U.S. Census Bureau data will be used by legislators to redraw federal, state and local districts line, all of which will take into account population shifts since 2000.

The Crossroads' total population, meanwhile, grew by only 2 percent during the last decade. This minimal regional growth is in stark contrast to Texas, which grew by 20 percent.

Most of the state's growth - from 21 million people in 2000 to 25.1 million today - occurred in Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, the Austin-San Antonio corridor and lower Rio Grande Valley.

That growth led to the addition of four seats to the Texas Congressional delegation, which now has 36 representatives in Washington, D.C.

"Certainly, growth in this region would be better," said Brannan, the regional planning commission executive director. "More growth means you have more people, more jobs and more wealth. Overall, though, I don't think our minimal growth is that much of a negative. Little growth is easy to absorb and doesn't strain our public services."



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