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Numbers of Texas Natives Shrinking as Population Booms

As the population of Texas has swelled since the mid 1970s, the number of native Texans has shrunk, according to a fascinating chart from the New York Times blog The Upshot. In their "Where We Came From, State by State" story, charts for every state in the country show the number of people moving in and where they are from. While better than 60 percent of Texas residents were born here -- quite a bit more than states like Arizona and Wyoming -- there has been a steady upswing of non-native Texans for the last 40 years.

Where they come from is even more interesting.

Neighbor states like Oklahoma and Louisiana have contributed plenty of new Texas residents over the years as have other states in the south, but midwesterners began flowing into Texas in huge numbers during the oil boom of the '70s, and they haven't really let up.

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In recent years, we have seen a rise in people from western states like California. I'm sure Austin natives probably feel about Californians the way Houstonians did about folks from midwest in the '80s, when it seemed like half the license plates on the road were from Michigan.

But the most interesting rise has been in the number of people not from the United States, which has increased from around four percent in 1970 to 17 percent of the state's population today. No doubt much of that is immigration from Mexico and other Latin American countries as a number of cities in Texas now have majority Latino populations.

As the population boom continues, it would not be surprising to continue to see shrinking numbers of native-born Texans -- although, since this is not exactly a retirement state, some of that might be balanced out by people who move here and have little bouncing baby Texans of their own.

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