This is probably just one of many stories we will see in the weeks and months ahead reporting on the US Census figures obtained by the U.S. Census Bureau during this past year.
From Amarillo Globe News:
The U.S. Census Bureau has begun revealing the first glimpses of its 2010 count, which is expected to further unveil the changing face of Amarillo.
The nation’s population, which continues to shift to the South and West, hit almost 309 million, the bureau announced Tuesday. Texas’ growth – almost 21 percent to more than 25 million – will net it four more representatives in the U.S. House.
In Amarillo, the population increased from 173,627 in 2000 to 185,743 on April 1, 2010, according to estimates from the census’ American Community Survey released last week. [Reminder: we just learned how wrong the American Community Survey was as it relates to Somalis, here.]
I saw another article yesterday ( if I find the link again, I’ll post it) but it suggested that since the growth in population was occurring in traditionally politically conservative areas of the country, that the new House of Representative seats would mostly accrue to conservative states and some would be lost in ‘liberal-leaning’ states.
Immigrants account for a huge portion of population growth
If you are someone concerned about the future quality of life in your communities, open space, uncrowded parks, less houses and schools being built, fewer cars on the road, consider this:
Across the country, about 60 percent of growth in the last decade came from births and 40 percent from immigration, said Robert Groves, director of the Census Bureau.
Go here for a link to Roy Beck’s latest educational video on how immigration impacts US population.
More refugees coming to Amarillo with the help of Catholic Charities
Refugees also add to the city’s changing demographics.
“They’re fleeing persecution,” said Lori Bigham, director of refugee services for Catholic Family Service, an agency that has been helping refugees adapt to life in Amarillo for 30 years. “It’s really a humanitarian effort. Immigrants have a choice.”
The refugees pay for expenses such as medical exams, and they repay loans for travel expenses. [The State Department won’t release the figures on how much of the air fare loans are repaid, a large chunk is never repaid. Catholic Charities gets to keep a portion of any that is collected, so it doesn’t all return to the US Treasury—ed]
Bigham said she expects about 400 people to arrive in 2011 through the program that operates under the U.S. Department of State.
“Amarillo is also known for secondary migration when someone moves here from somewhere else in the U.S. when their family tells them they can make good money without speaking English at places like Tyson or Swift,” she said. [meatpackers again!]
“That’s another pipeline, an economic drive. They’re anxious to go to work to provide for their families which they couldn’t do in a refugee camp.”
Refugees currently are coming to Amarillo mostly from places such as Myanmar and Iraq, but also from Iran and various African countries.
See my ‘diversity is beautiful’ in Texas post, here, today too!