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Our young population

From last week, a story about new Census data that shows (among other things) how young Texas’ population is.

The state’s median age — meaning half of residents are older, and half younger — is 33.6, substantially lower than the national median of 37.2.

It is even lower in Harris County, at 32.2, and drops to 28.3 in several counties along the Mexican border.


Unlike parts of the Midwest and New England, Texas will have plenty of people to replace aging baby boomers.

But there is a downside.

The huge number of young children – there were almost 2 million children younger than 5, more than any other age group – indicates more demand for education, from preschool through college.

Plans to cut state public education funding by $4 billion over the next two years raise more questions.

“We’re in trouble,” said Luis Salinas, a sociologist at the University of Houston. “People are not (more likely) to stay in school if their classrooms are bigger. They’re not going to finish college faster if there are fewer classes and less financial aid. We’re going to have the numbers, but those numbers aren’t going to be employable.”

And according to Dan Patrick, as quoted by R.G. Ratcliffe, that $4 billion cut to public education this session is permanent, so we’ll ensure all these kids remain poorly educated going forward. That’s his solution to the structural deficit in the state’s budget that was caused by the 2006 property tax cut. I don’t remember hearing anyone campaign on a promise to permanently cut public education funding in 2010, but at least it’s out in the open now. All we have to do is make sure everyone knows that this is what the 2012 election is about.

Most of the rest of the article is about the region’s booming Asian Indian population, which has now surpassed the Vietnamese population to be the largest subgroup of Asians in the state. As it happens, this cover story from this past week’s Houston Press is also about the Indian population, in particular the Little India district on Hillcroft. Both are worth your time to read.

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  1. […] at a time when Texas has a population that is much younger than the national average, which is a key driver of the state’s population growth, Dan Patrick thinks we need to cut […]