Entries in Population (11)


Is the Texas Twang Dyin', Y'all? Other Accents Blend In -- J.R. and Sue Ellen had it on Dallas. The Texas twang. The "y'all" and the "howdy" -- that slow drawl that is part Southern charm, part Western swagger and pure Texas.

Yes, oil is still king in Texas, and it's easy to find a Longhorn (cow or football player), cowboys and a rodeo if you are in the mood. Neil Armstrong's first words from the Moon were "Houston, Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed."

Barbara Voyce is a transplant from Illinois, and she quickly learned how to say "y'all." "It replaces the Midwestern 'you guys,'" she says. Her two children grew up saying "y'all." At her favorite coffee shop, pretty much everyone she meets has learned to adapt.

But the accent is fading, as people move here from elsewhere, and as media homogenize all regional accents into one American English sound.

Stephen Murdoch, a Rice University professor who once ran the U.S. Census Bureau, understands the demographics of what has happened in Texas.

"The population in Texas has exploded because of migration from other states and other countries," he said. "It most certainly affects the Texas twang because so many of the newcomers are Hispanic and live in the urban cities of Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio."

But says Murdoch, if you are really longing for a down home Texas accent, go west to towns like Amarillo or Lubbock. The rural areas of Texas that depend on ranching and farming and oil exploration haven't grown as rapidly so you are more likely to hear a drawl.

Country star George Strait understands the power of the Texas twang -- it is integral to his music and his identity. His lyrics celebrate the Lone Star State's identity:

"There wouldn't be no Alamo
No Cowboys in the Super Bowl
No 'Lonesome Dove,' no 'Yellow Rose'
If it wasn't for Texas."

Blame the economy. It is so much better in Texas than other parts of the country. Because of the oil and natural gas boom, people are flocking to Texas for jobs. The lure of jobs makes up for the traffic and the 100-degree summer heat.

Politicians understood the power of the drawl -- on both sides of the aisle, from President Lyndon Johnson to former Speaker of the House Tom DeLay to Gov. Rick Perry. Former Gov. Ann Richards delighted the Democratic National Convention in 1988 with this zinger about the Republican presidential candidate, George H.W. Bush: "Poor George, he can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth." It was her Texas accent that made the punchline so memorable.

Yes, real Texans do talk like that. Lyle Lovett certainly does. Not so much actors like Jim Parsons, who hails from Houston, or Renee Zellwegger, from the town of Katy, Texas. Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith of Charlie's Angels were both Houston girls but didn't really drawl. But they were actors, so it didn't pay off as much as it does for a musician or a politician to maintain that Texas persona.

The beauty of a state like Texas is this: It embraces all comers. Come on down, make yourself at home, get a job, and make a fortune.

So even though most of the newcomers to Texas don't drawl yet, there is still time to learn the lingo. You know the saying, "I may not have been born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could." Which means you still have time to learn how to say y'all.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


North Dakota Tops US Fastest-Growing Micro Areas

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Census Bureau has released a list of the fastest-growing micro areas in the nation between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011, and three of the top 10 are located in North Dakota, with Williston, N.D. in the top spot.

North Dakota has seen rapid growth because of the oil drilling boom going on there.  The local paper, the Williston Herald, notes that the census doesn’t even count people living in temporary shelter.

“There are 10,000 people living in man camps in Williams County alone, and well more than a thousand households have been built in the last two years,” the paper reported.

Among the top 50 fastest-growing micro areas, New Mexico contained more micro areas than any other state: Gallup (11th), Portales (12th), Alamogordo (13th), Clovis (15th), Grants (34th) and Los Alamos (42nd).

Not one of the aforementioned areas was among the 50 fastest-growing micro areas between 2000 and 2010, which speaks to the changes in population growth in the last 12 years.

“Our nation is constantly changing, and these estimates provide us with our first measure of how much substate areas have grown or declined in total population since Census Day, April 1, 2010,” Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said.  “We’re already seeing different patterns of population growth than we saw in the last decade.”

The second spot went to The Villages, a retirement community in and around Sumter County in central Florida.  In 2000, The Villages had 8,333 residents -- now it has 97,756.

Here are the 10 fastest-growing micro areas from April 1, 2010, to July 1, 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau:

1. Williston, N.D. (8.8 percent increase)
2. The Villages, Fla. (4.6 percent increase)
3. Andrews, Texas (4.5 percent increase)
4. Dickinson, N.D. (4.0 percent increase)
5. Dunn, N.C. (4.0 percent increase)
6. Statesboro, Ga. (3.8 percent increase)
7. Heber, Utah  (3.8 percent increase)
8. Minot, N.D. (3.6 percent increase)
9. Tifton, Ga. (3.3 percent increase)
10. Guymon, Okla. (3.3 percent increase)

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Population Will Grow to Nearly 312.8 Million on New Year’s Day

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- As the clock strikes midnight this Saturday night, the total number of Americans living in the U.S. will jump to 312,780,968, the Census Bureau projected Thursday.

The rise in population would mark a 0.7 percent increase from New Year’s Day 2011.

Come January, the agency expects the U.S. birth rate to exceed the death rate by four seconds, with one baby being born every eight seconds and someone dying every 12.

When factoring in net international migration in 2012 -- one person added every 46 seconds -- along with deaths and births, the Census Bureau predicts the country's population will grow by one person every 17 seconds.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Census Finds Rapid Growth in Senior Population

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Good news for seniors: It’s getting easier to get a date.

That’s one takeaway from a U.S. Census Bureau number crunch on older Americans.  The senior population not only is larger than ever before -- at 40.3 million -- it also includes a larger proportion of men, given their increasing life expectancy.

In 1990 there were only 82.7 men for every 100 women aged 65-plus.  As of 2010, the bureau reported Wednesday, that was up to 90.5 men per 100 women, courtesy of the narrowing differential in mortality rates.

From 2000 to 2010, the bureau reported, the number of older men rose by three million, to 17.4 million, while the number of older women increased by 2.3 million, to 22.9 million.

The senior population overall grew by 15.1 percent compared with the 2000 Census -- a faster growth rate than that of the U.S. population as a whole, at 9.7 percent.  Seniors now account for 13 percent of the total population, their largest share in history, and up from just 4.1 percent in 1900.

Moreover, the bureau advised, there’s a bigger change coming: The leading edge of the baby boom turns 65 this year, portending a major growth in the senior population in years ahead.

Given the size of the boomer generation, it said, “Future growth of the older population is both highly probable and unprecedented in the United States.”

That population growth is likely to have a variety of impacts, including geographic distribution, given the preference of older adults for warmer climes.  Florida continues to have the greatest percentage of population that is senior -- 17.3 percent -- and 14.9 million of the nation’s older adults live in the South, almost six million more than in the next closest region (the Midwest, with nine million).  That said, the region with the fastest growth in its 65-plus population from 2000 to 2010 was the West, up by 23.5 percent.

There were 53,364 centenarians in 2010, up 5.8 percent from 2000.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Birth Rates Suggest White Majority Could Become Minority

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- New census figures suggest children of minority descent could reflect the face of America's future.

For the first time ever, non-white Americans, Latino, African-American, and Asian American outnumber white children.

"The idea where we had a white, middle-class population that we talked about in the 1950s and 1960s, that's disappearing," said William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institute.

The new generation is still in the cradle, but as the infants grow up America will start to look very different.

Already, the trend lines are becoming clearer: Older Americans are whiter.  Younger Americans are more non-white.

Most of the change is being driven by a surging Latino population with a much higher birth rate than any other ethnic group.  It is further bolstered by legal immigration.

In fact, according to the Census Bureau, more than half of the growth in the U.S. population between 2000 and 2010 was because of growth in the Hispanic population.  Between 2000 and 2010 the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent while the non-Hispanic population grew only 5 percent.

Latinos have already passed African Americans as America's largest minority.  Latino Americans now number close to 50 million people compared to 38 million African Americans.

Whites remain a majority.  About 223 million people in the United States reported they are white, which accounts for 72 percent of all people living in the United States.

A March 2011 study in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry journal about multiracial children pointed out that two million American children have parents of different races, making them one of the fastest growing segments in America.

The implications of this evolving America are poised to touch everything from politics, where Hispanic voters wield increasing power, to education.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Census Data Shows Changed American Landscape

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The American landscape shifted dramatically compared with a decade ago, becoming more Hispanic, multi-racial and mobile with people moving toward the Sun Belt and away from cities to suburbs.

With the final local data from the 2010 Census set to be released Thursday, the country witnessed a significant change in its racial composition.

The expansion in the Hispanic or Latino population accounted for more than half of the growth across the country over the past decade, rising by more than half in three-quarters of the states released thus far.
In Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland and six other states, the Hispanic population more than doubled, and in the booming Southwest, Hispanics accounted for the greatest spike in growth.  In the state of New Mexico, the Hispanic population eclipsed the white population for the first time, rising to make up more than 46 percent of the state's population compared with the 40 percent for whites.  Hispanic populations in California and Texas inched closer to becoming their state's majority.

Some states would have lost a significant amount of their population without the boost in minority growth.  Massachusetts grew by just over 198,000 people while its white population fell by 194,000.  The 46 percent growth in both the Hispanic and Asian populations boosted its overall population and prevented the state from experiencing a negative growth rate.

A large portion of this minority growth is attributed to the rise of Hispanics in the youth population.  In Nevada, 61 percent of children are minorities compared with 41 percent of adults.

In addition to this general uptick in minorities across the country, the locations where many Americans choose to live changed, specifically within the black population as more people identifying themselves as black or African American headed south.

Overall, the Sun Belt experienced some of the greatest population growth in the country.  Nevada outpaced the country, expanding by more than 35 percent while Arizona, Utah and Texas followed with growth more than 20 percent.

The Census Bureau will announce the mean center of population later Thursday, but growth trends of the states released thus far suggest it might move slightly to the South.  In 2000, it rested in Phelps County, Missouri, and in 1790, the year Washington, D.C. was named the nation's capital, the mean center of population sat in Kent County, Maryland.  The mean center represents the middle of the nation's population distribution.

Along with this shift of population to the South, has come a shift from cities to suburbs.  The suburbs of southern cities such as Atlanta, Dallas and Houston, saw record gains in overall populations.  More than half of the cities with large black populations experienced declines in their populations because of an exodus to the suburbs.

As some cities recorded a loss in population to the suburbs, many cities experienced a racial rebalancing with steadily growing numbers of Hispanics and shifting numbers of whites and blacks.  In Thursday's data, demographers expect Washington, D.C. and New York City to increase in the number of whites in their cities for the first time since the 1950s.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Motor City Blues: Detroit Loses 25 Percent of its Population

Comstock/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- With trouble brewing in the auto industry and more people moving to the suburbs, the Motor City experienced a staggering loss in its population, shrinking by one quarter in a decade.  While New Orleans lost 29 percent of its people due to a natural disaster, Detroit experienced a 25-percent population decrease in part because of a disaster of another sort -- economic strife.

2010 Census data released Tuesday shows Detroit shed more than 237,000 people over a 10-year period. When you do the math, the shrinking of Detroit amounts to a loss of 65 people each day for a decade.

The Motor City’s population peaked at 1.8 million in 1950, making it the fifth largest city in the nation in that year.

The state of Michigan was the only state to lose population in the 2010 Census.  The state’s population shrank by .6 percent, or just nearly 55,000 people.

But while the state decreased in population, Michigan did experience the nationwide trend of an influx in Hispanic population.  The number of Hispanics in the state increased by over 34 percent, adding 112,000 people, while the white and African-American populations dropped by 194,000 and 236,000 people, respectively.

And not only did Michigan experience a loss in its population size, but it also lost one congressional seat in the reapportionment process.  With such a significant decrease in its population, the Motor City might be singing the blues again come redistricting decision time.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


2010 Census: Hispanic Population Surges in New Mexico

Spencer Platt/Getty Image(WASHINGTON) -- While the Southwest grew in overall population, New Mexico saw a shift in the composition of its population as Hispanics became the largest group in the state, according to 2010 Census data released Tuesday.

The number of Hispanics in New Mexico surged to become the largest group in the state, making up 46.3 percent of the population.  Whites now make up 40.5 percent of the state.

This is a stark change since 2000, when 44.7 percent of the state’s population consisted of whites.  At that time, Hispanics made up only 42.1 percent of the population.

Part of this leapfrogging can be credited to the faster pace at which Hispanics grew. The Hispanic population increased by 24.6 percent in New Mexico since 2000 while whites grew at only a 2.5 percent rate.

Overall, the state of New Mexico experienced a boom as it expanded by 13.2 percent with its three largest cities -- Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Rio Rancho -- growing substantially at 21.7 percent, 31.4 percent, and 69.1 percent, respectively.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Texas Got a Whole Lot Bigger, Grew at Double the National Rate

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Lone Star State just got a whole lot bigger -- 4.3 million Texans bigger to be exact -- according to 2010 Census data released Thursday.

Texas’ population increased by 20.6 percent since 2000, to just over 25 million people in 2010, expanding at double the national rate of growth.  Much of this growth emerged in the areas of San Antonio, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and the Rio Grande Valley.

San Antonio, home to the Alamo, jumped over Dallas to become the second largest city in the state.

The Hispanic and Latino population in Texas saw a boom -- it now makes up almost 38 percent of the state’s population, up from 32 percent in 2000.  The number of Hispanics and Latinos in Texas grew by nearly 2.8 million people since 2000, accounting for over half the statewide population growth.

This data will help Texas determine its redistricting in the coming year.  Texas was the biggest winner in the reapportionment process in 2010, when it gained four House seats, raising the state’s total seats to 36.  With much of the growth occurring in urban areas, cities like Dallas, Houston and San Antonio are expected to gain some of these representatives. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


New Orleans Population Shrinks By a Third In 10 Years

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- New Orleans may always hold the nickname "The Big Easy," but its population isn't quite as big as it was 10 years ago.

The population in New Orleans shrunk by nearly 30 percent in 10 years according to new data released last week.  Much of that loss was attributed to the ravages of Hurricane Katrina which devastated the city in 2005.

The U.S. Census Bureau released local 2010 Census data, which revealed New Orleans's population stood at 343,829 people in 2010.  Ten years earlier, the city's population sat at 484,674 people, reflecting a 29.1 percent change in the population.

This drop in New Orleans' population size is credited to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the most destructive and costly natural disaster in the history of the United States.

"It's obviously a smaller city," Allison Plyer, chief demographer for the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, said.  "That drop was very much expected.  Obviously, Katrina had a huge impact."

Known for its rich traditions from cultivating the foundations of jazz music to the lively atmosphere and history of the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, the city endured the worst of the 2005 storm.  Nearly 80 percent of its population fled the city to safer locations in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas, but it remains unclear how many of these evacuees eventually returned to New Orleans.

Before Katrina hit, the city's racial composition was overwhelmingly black with over 67 percent of the population identifying themselves as black or African American in the 2000 census.  In 2010, this percentage dropped to 60, with the city losing 119,000 people who identified themselves as black or African American in 2010 while New Orleans saw an influx in its Hispanic population.

In addition to the change in the cultural landscape of the city, the housing sector took a noticeable hit from the storm as well.  Prior to Katrina, only 12.5 percent of housing units were unoccupied, according to 2000 census data, but the 2010 census revealed the occupancy number declined with 25 percent of housing units listed as unoccupied.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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