Texas Population Migrating out for First Time in 150 Year-History / as Result of Oil Decline

By Robert Reinhold, N. Y. T. N. S. | THE JOURNAL RECORD, November 22, 1986 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Texas Population Migrating out for First Time in 150 Year-History / as Result of Oil Decline


Robert Reinhold, N. Y. T. N. S., THE JOURNAL RECORD


HOUSTON - Long a magnet for families seeking economic opportunity, Texas appears to have begun to lose population to other states, probably for the first time in the 150 years since it gained independence from Mexico.

While firm numbers are not yet available, demographers say most indicators, such as postal deliveries and housing vacancies, point to the conclusion that Texas, the third most populous state, after California and New York, has become a net exporter of people as a result of the collapse of world oil prices.

The trend is a dramatic reversal for Texas, where relentless growth has long been almost as much a part of the mystique as gushers, swaggery oil men and longhorns.

Nearly every aspect of economic and social life in Texas has been touched by the migration change. Last week Faith West, a church on the once fast-growing west side of Houston, filed for bankruptcy protection, citing a drastic fall in membership. On any day 8,500 of the 17,000 hospital beds in Harris County, which inclu to continue.

Further, nearly one of every five apartments is vacant in the Houston area, and average apartment rents have fallen to $303 a month, about the lowest of any major city, according to Real Estate Valuations and Consultants. While not so heavily affected as Houston by the population slowdown, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio also find themselves greatly overbuilt, with property values and rents dropping in many areas.

Apart from neighboring states, Texans are moving mainly to California and Florida, as well as to such Northern industrial states as Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and New York, which were the sources of huge waves of migrants in Texas's boom years.

According to new forecasts by economists for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Texas will incur a net out-migration of 41,000 people next year, assuming oil remains at an average price of slightly over $15 a barrel for the year.

Numerous experts say the tide has already turned. C.A. Kasdorf III, a demographer with the Houston Chamber of Commerce, estimates that 100,000 more people will have moved out of Texas than into the state from other states this year, with about half this loss coming from the hard-hit Houston area. By contrast, as recently as 1981-82, at the height of the oil boom, Texas experienced a net influx of nearly 400,000, according to the Census Bureau.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Texas Population Migrating out for First Time in 150 Year-History / as Result of Oil Decline
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?