Latin American, Asian Figures Diverge in Texas Immigration Report

Terry Garcia plays with his son, Eli, 1, at the Festival Viva Mexico 2013 on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, in advance of Mexican Independence Day at a former greyhound racetrack in Corpus Christi.
Terry Garcia plays with his son, Eli, 1, at the Festival Viva Mexico 2013 on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, in advance of Mexican Independence Day at a former greyhound racetrack in Corpus Christi.

Following the dramatic increase in the number of Asians migrating to Texas, the state demographer found that a new pattern of immigration is emerging in the state.

Though people born in Latin American countries continue to make up the largest group of immigrants in Texas, the rate at which they are moving to the state has decreased in the last decade. Meanwhile, the percentage of immigrants moving to the state from Asia has more than doubled in recent years, according to a report released Thursday by State Demographer Lloyd Potter and his staff.

“With this shift in immigrant origins, the immigration stream to Texas has become much more diverse than in the past,” Potter said.

In 2005, immigrants born in Asia made up 17.3 percent of annual international migration to the state. By 2013, the number had jumped to 40.4 percent. In that same time period, both the share and the raw number of individuals from Latin America has declined, dropping from 69.4 percent in 2005 to 42.9 percent in 2013.

 

As immigration from Mexico fell after the 2008 economic recession, immigration from Asia began to climb both as a percentage of all noncitizen immigrants — or foreign-born individuals who lived abroad the year before — and in numbers.

The 50,969 Asian immigrants who moved to Texas in 2013 was more than double the number of immigrants who arrived in 2005.

Migration by people born in Europe and Africa has remained relatively steady.

Potter said the increase in Asian immigrants was a “significant shift” in Texas migration patterns, adding that he didn’t expect the rate of Asian immigration to slow down.

“You start realizing that the Asian population has kind of got a fairly strong foothold in Texas, and that results in both firming and growing the migrant flow between" Texas and Asia, Potter said.

 

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