America’s Hispanic Future: La Salle County, TX

A triumph of assimilation: 7% foreign-born, 63% Spanish speaking. And La Salle County isn’t even on the border.]A commenter responds to the NYT article about how we don’t have enough welfare programs for all the poor people in the oil boom region of La Salle County, Texas by checking out the Census Bureau’s Quick Facts page.

Noah172 says:

June 30, 2014 at 10:13 pm (Edit)

Census data for LaSalle County, Texas, the focus of this article:

Only 7% foreign-born, vs. 16 for Texas and 14 (IIRC) for the US.

According to the Census Bureau, 97% of the locals identify as white racially, but 85% say they are Hispanic ethnically.

This low immigration number of immigrants is common in places that have been heavily Hispanic for a long time, such as the state of New Mexico. In the long run, highly Hispanic populations aren’t economically dynamic enough to keep attracting more immigrants.

Yet, there’s an oil boom going on right now in La Salle County (although it might have been more nascent during the 2010 Census). My impression is that oil and gas service firms aren’t as aggressive about hiring cheap illegal alien labor as many other businesses. Look how high blue collar wages have gotten in North Dakota.

Oil drilling is serious stuff. Granted, Mexico is an oil producing country, but Pemex workers have a famously powerful and nepotistic union, so the only people with oil experience in Mexico aren’t in any hurry to leave.

63%(!) speak a foreign language at home. (Guess which one.)

A triumph of assimilation: 7% foreign-born, 63% Spanish speaking. And La Salle County isn’t even on the border.

Barely half the adults 25+ are high school graduates.

Big gender imbalance: 59% male. Must get a lot of transient oil workers. (Can’t the broad in the article snag one of them to take care of her? Is she that ugly?)

Homeownership rate 68%, higher than the Texas average (and I think higher than national). Somehow owning their own homes (and are these prime or subprime?) has not transformed the local residents into middle-class Republicans. Thanks, Karl Rove.

Median value of owner-occupied homes: $47,700. Median household income: $26,700. Home value-to-income ratio 1.8, vs. 2.5 for Texas and 3.5-ish nationally IIRC. Affordable Family Formation — but not in wedlock, I presume. Pretty screwed up people given the cost-of-living advantage they have.