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Hispanic Migration And The Texas Miracle

September 11, 2011

With all the talk around Rick Perry’s run for a Republican presidential nomination, the debate around the so called “Texas Miracle” or better said, the ability of the Texas economy to grow almost twice the national average, has raised awareness around the value that Hispanic immigrants has brought to this state for the past 20 years.

In an article wrote for the NY Times, Paul Krugman wrote,”For this much is true about Texas: It has, for many decades, had much faster population growth than the rest of America — about twice as fast since 1990. Several factors underlie this rapid population growth: a high birth rate, immigration from Mexico, and inward migration of Americans from other states, who are attracted to Texas by its warm weather and low cost of living, low housing costs in particular.”

Paul Krugman’s view of the Texas Miracle seems to be in line with Richard Fisher, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Mr. Fisher said in a report that aired on NPR, “population expansion is driving growth. Every day, about 1,000 people are either born in or move to Texas. That means new housing, roads, retail, schools, police, fireman, the list goes on. And while Gov. Perry touts the success of job creation in the private sector, job growth in government employment has been just as strong.”

Bill Hammond, the president of The Texas Association of Business puts these ideas of the Texas Miracle in practical words. Bill indicates that the reason why a new 4-bedroom/3-bathroom house in a Dallas suburb can be bought for $189,000 is because of immigrants, both legal and illegal. Most of these “immigrants” are obviously Hispanic immigrants that have been willing to shingle those roofs in 100-degree heat for relatively low pay, as Bill indicates.

So, according to these experts, do Latinos deserve the sole credit of the Texas Miracle? Certainly not. Other components such as the oil industry in Texas also play a key role; nevertheless, no one seems to debate the fact that Hispanic population growth has fueled the Texas economy for years.

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