Texas Almanac, 1939-1940 Page: 83
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EXPANSION OF TEXAS POPULATION.
The stage upon which the colorful
drama of Texas has been played, and the
drama itself, have been discussed in pre-
ceding chapters. This chapter is devoted
to concrete evidences of the development
of Texas as shown in the growth of popu-
lation from the beginning of white man's
habitation in this region to the present
The population of Texas was 6,172,000
as of July 1, 1937, according to official
estimate of the United States Bureau of
the Census. This estimate showed an
increase of 347,285, or 6 per cent, for the
period, 1930-1937, and it would indicate
an increase of only about 8 per cent for
the period extending from January, 1930,
to January, 1940, when the next census
will be taken. The preceding census
decennium, 1920-1930, registered an in-
crease of 24.9 per cent.
The census estimates of Texas popula-
tion between 1920-1930 did not do justice
to Texas population growth, which was
approximately 50 per cent more than the
Census Bureau indicated a short time
prior to the actual taking of the census
m 1930. The bureau may be too conserva-
tive in its present estimates; only the
census of 1940 can tell. There is some
justification for the conservative estimate
m the figures for scholastic population,
which have not shown as rapid increase,
1930-1937, as they did during the period,
Natural Resources and Population.
Whatever record shall be established
as that for the population growth of
Texas in the current decade, this State
will undoubtedly continue its record
growth of population in the future. This
statement is made on the basis of availa-
bility of Texas natural wealth for sus-
taining an increased population. The
density of population in Texas, on basis
of estimate for 1937, is 23.5 per cent, only
a little more than one half the density of
population for the entire United States
which was 43.5 as of the same date. Yet
Texas has in its fertile soils, temperate
climate and abundant mineral resources
the natural wealth to support a density
of population much greater than that of
the country as a whole. The production
of crude materials in Texas is now more
than twice as great per capita as it is in
the United States as a whole. This great
production of cotton, oil, wheat, corn,
grain sorghums, petroleum natural gas,
sulphur and approximately 100 other
kinds of raw materials constitutes a
sound economic basis for the building of
a great manufacturing industry. Depend-
ent on this development will be the
future increase in the population of
If Texas had today the same density of
population that Massachusetts has its
total population would be 145,000,000. Yet
the Texas annual production of new
wealth in the form of raw materials is
about $260 per capita, whereas that of
Massachusetts is only $18 per capita.
However, Massachusetts produces in an-
nual values added by manufacture, that
is in values created by manufacturing
processes, about $222 per capita, whereas
Texas' production is only $51 per capita.
These figures are given to illustrate the
importance of the manufacturing indus-
tries to the support of population.
Certainly, with only 18 per cent of
Texas' area in cultivation, with great
mineral resources discovered but unde-
veloped and with development of manu-
facturing only in its infancy, Texas is
destined to a much greater population
than it has at present. There is no rea-
son why the passing of two more decades
should not witness an increase to 8,000,-
000 or 10,000,000.
Probable Future Increase.
Aside from Texas' resources, there are
important and significant reasons for
anticipating a continued growth of Texas
population. For one thing, Texas has a
higher birth rate than the average for
the United States and this will be re-
flected in the steady growth of population
in the future.
Secondly, rapid progress being made in
the control of malaria, pellagra and other
subtropical diseases has rapidly lowered
the mortality rate. Undoubtedly the de-
velopment of air conditioning will have
its favorable influence upon the growth
of population in Texas and other South-
ern States in the future, making the
Southern climate more attractive as a
year-round home place.
Thirdly, the diversity of industry that
is springing up in Texas extends an
opportunity to make a livelihood to peo-
ple from the North as well as those from
the Old South. Until comparatively
recently, Texas has been a land of oppor-
tunity primarily for the cotton farmer
and has drawn its population primarily
from the Old South. More is said on this
subject later in this chapter.
Opening of Mexican Border.
Fourth, the opening of a highway system
into Mexico has greatly stimulated com-
merce between the United States and that
country, which in turn will greatly
increase traffic in and across Texas.
Although no great migration of Mexicans
into Texas can be expected in the future
to increase the population of this State,
as in the past, yet the opening of tourist
and commercial relations with Mexico has
been similar to placing doors in a blind
wall. The development will be similar to
that which has come with the establish-
ment of deepwater ports on the Gulf
Coast. An obstacle to the development of
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Texas Almanac, 1939-1940, book, 1939; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117163/m1/85/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.