The election of George W. Bush in 2000 seemed to have crowned Texas the nation’s political winner, among states, as the “Aughts” decade began. When results from the 2010 Census are tallied, the Lone Star state will surely turn out to be the demographic winner for the decade as well.
The Census Bureau all but confirmed Texas’ ascendance this week with the release of population estimates for cities through 2009. These estimates, the last before the actual 2010 headcount gets reported in December, confirm trends seen in previous 2009 estimates for states, metropolitan areas and counties. Those earlier estimates not only showed that Texas is likely to gain 4 congressional seats through reapportionment, but also highlighted the abrupt slowdown in late-decade population gains in Sunbelt states (especially Florida) and metropolitan areas (like Phoenix and Las Vegas). The latter areas suffered from the migration slowdown associated with the bursting of the housing bubble and the ensuing Great Recession.