Texas Almanac, 1949-1950 Page: 91
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The Umnited States Bureau of the Census
estimated the population of Texas at 7,230,000
as of July 1, 1948. This was a gain of
815,176 over the population of 6.414.824
enumerated min the decennial census of 1940.
or 12.7 per cent. If this estimate is sustained
by the census of 1950, the population increase
of 1940-1950 will be materially larger than
that of the preceding decade. 1930-1940. when
the increase was 590,109, or 10.1 per cent.
(See table at top of page 96 for growth of
Texas population, 1850-1948.)
During the last two years (since publica-
tion of the Texas Almanac, 1947-1948) the
Texas population has been relatively more
static than during the war and immediate
postwar years. Notable, however, has been
the continued growth of the large cities, part
of which has come from outside Texas and
part of which has come from Texas rural
areas. It has become clear that there will
be no general reversal of the heay rural-to-
urban migration that took place during the
During the period. 1940-1945. an estimated
600,000 Texas people moved from rural to
urban environment and occupation. The
movement was accompanied by a rapid de-
cline in farm tenancy, especially sharecioppei
tenancy, increase in the average size of farms
and farm mechanization. At the same time
then, was a continued decline in cotton acre-
age and increase in diversified cropping and
livestock raising which require less laboi
force than cotton growing. At the end of
1948 it was obvious that the new conditions
had come to stay. Probably the census of
1950 will show Texas predominantly an urban
state for the first time in its history.
Rapid City Growth.
Outstanding in recent years has been the
tendency toward population concentration in
urban industrial areas. The state's four larg-
est cities (Houston. Dallas, San Antonio and
Fort Worth) had (as of Jan. 1. 1949) an
estimated 23 to 27 per cent of the state's
total population. They had less than 20 pei
cent in 1940. There has been relatively rapid
growth generally in places of more than
Rural areas which lost heavily during the
war years generally regained some poouli-
tion during 1947. 1948 and the -arlv ')art o
1949. However, they are still estimatd i
smaller populations than in 1940. ,he
scholastic population dropped between 1940
and 1948 In 181 of Texas' 254 counties. This
does not mean that total population dropped
in so many counties because number of
scholastics in 1948 represented 'arely the
low birth rate of the depression years. How-
ever. the aeclining scholastic figure in rural
areas confirms other evidences of rural-to-
urban shift of population.
While most of the older rural areas de-
clined in population, this was not universal.
Rural population has increased in most coun-
ties of the High Plains, the Rio Grande Valley
and some of the Gulf Coast counties, notably
in the Corpus Christi area.
Density of population varies greatly, thin-
ning generally from east to west. Highest
population density in 1940 was Dallas County
with 446.3 persons per square mile; lowest
was in Cuiberson and Loving with .04 each.
Average for the state was 24.3. or 27.4 on
basis of the 1948 estimate.
TEXAS POPULATION GROWTH
Early estimates of the population of Texas
are indefinite. In Yoakum's History it is
stated that the population of the state was
probably about 1,500 in 1744. At this time the
population was centered largely about San
Antonio. though there had been a few small
settlements in East Texas near Nacogdoches
and along the Rio Grande. These estimates.
of course, include all European, Mexican and
Yoakum estimates the population of Texas
at 7,000 in 1806, and it was not much greater
fifteen years later when Stephen F. Austin
founded his colony on the banks of the
Brazos. The era of colonization of the period
1821-35 brought many settlers to the state.
Yoakum estimated the population at 20,000 in
1831. The vote for the first President of the
Republic in 1836 would indicate a population
of about 50,000, and the %ote of 1845, the
last year of the Republic. indicated a popula-
tion of approximately 125,000. A partial
enumeration was made in 1847, showing 135,-
000 population, of whom 39,000 were slaves.
Growth Halted by War Between the States.
Settlement of Texas was rapid until the
period of the War Between the States. which
temporarily halted the estward movement of
population throughout the United States. The
decade 1860-70 shows the smallest increase of
population of any of the nine ecennlal
periods for hlch enumeration of population
has been made.
Following the war. however. conditions in
the Old South gave impetus to the westward
movement. With the institution of slavery
gone and the agricultural industry revolu-
tionized many planters turned their faces
west, and cast their fortunes with the great
new empire o1 Texas. It is not surprising
that the population of Texas increased 94.5
per cent between 1870 and 1880. (See table at
top of page 96.)
The population o 1 exas is largely stock
descended from families which came from
the states of the Old South. However. a
noteworthy evident development in migra-
tion of population to Texas in recent years
is the growing percentage of persons from
the North. There is still a large migration
from the older Southern States, but it is
probable that since 1920 the migration from
Northern States has been greater.
There is basis for argument that the in-
crease in Texas population will accelerate
during the next two or three decades rather
than being retarded, despite the fact that it
is usual for the increase in population of any
state or nation to be retarded in later stages
Texas, foi a number of reasons, has had to
overcome obstructions to migration from
other states In the first place, Texas was
disadvantageously located for rapid popula-
tion increase in its early development. The
barrier of the great lower Mississippi channel
and its wilderness alley made the route to
Texas circuitous. Furthermore. Texas was
directly west of the Old South where there
was not the westward urge that existed in
the northeastern states, the population of
which surged into the Middle West causing
this region to develop more rapidly than
Texaa. The gold rush of 1849 and subsequent
years fixed attention on California. adding to
the tendency to by-pass Texas.
Again. Texas' political affairs were a handi-
cap. The early chapters of Texas history
consisted of colonization under the Republic
of Mexico. revolution, uncertain independent
status, annexation to the United States, diffi-
culties with Mexico leading to the Mexican
War. secession with the Confederacy. re-en-
trance to the Union and Reconstruction. Thus
for half a century, from 1820 to 1870, Texas
was looking to an uncertain future.
The same factors which impeded population
impeded the other great need of Texas, which
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Texas Almanac, 1949-1950, book, 1949; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117167/m1/93/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.