New Census Figures Show Shift in East Texas Demographics

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Misty Boggs
Misty Boggs is the Creative Director at MSGPR. She lives in Angelina County and is pursuing her bachelor's degree in Public Relations and a minor in Creative Writing at Stephen F. Austin State University. Between studying and working, she enjoys teaching her niece and nephew the fine art of never growing old.

The latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show a continuing shift in the overall population in the 12-county Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) region.  Not only are we experiencing people moving out of the DETCOG Region,” said DETCOG Executive Director Walter Diggles, “but there is also a shift in the makeup of the population.” In the four years since 2010 the region’s overall population decreased by 216.

 “What we found in our “State of the Region” report earlier in the year continues to be echoed in these numbers,” said Diggles, “most of the regional economic and census growth is occurring in the 5 DETCOG Counties along the Hwy 59 corridor: San Jacinto, Polk, Angelina, Nacogdoches and Shelby.”  The 2014 Census figures show those five county’s populations increasing by 2,870 people since 2010.  The increase in those 5 counties means the remaining 7 counties in DETCOG lost a total of 3,086 people in the four year period. 

Not only has there been an overall shift in population in the DETCOG region, but there have been changes in the demographic makeup. The number of Whites has dropped by 1.2%, and Blacks decreased by 0.1%. At the same time Hispanics in the region increased by 1.3%.

There are only two age groups in the region showing an increase in population.  Individuals 65 years of age and older increased by 8.3%.  The region wide count for 18 to 24 year-olds increased by 1.9%.

Statewide the overall population has increased 7% to 26,956,958 from 2010 to 2014.  The state is also undergoing a demographic shift. The Hispanic portion of the state’s population increased by 1.3% in the four year period, Blacks decreased by .03% and Whites dropped by 1.6%.

The Deep East Texas Council of Governments Region includes the counties of Angelina, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity and Tyler.  Its members include local governments, school districts, water districts, non-profit organizations and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.

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