What explains Texas acquiring such a massive (and rapidly growing) population over the last couple of centuries?

Jun 2017
3,027
Connecticut
For what it's worth, what's interesting is that out of Texas's huge metropolitan areas, only one of them--the Houston metropolitan area--is actually located near the coast:

Several reasons.
A.It's large and like California and did have more room for people and major cities.
B.American settlers flooded Texas pre annexation. Like California with the Gold Rush, Texas became a destination for mass settlement(despite for bad reasons, similar to Kansas and Nebraska) and it's population rose. Furthermore the establishment of Texas came at a time when the West whether it be the US Louisiana Purchase or Spanish held California territory had barely been settled. Spain never intended to mass settle the new world they stumbled into ruling the Aztec and Incan Empires. After those empires were taken over, there was really no reason to send lots of people further north, they had inherited the political infrastructure to the south, to the north there was nothing to inherit. Americans flooding to Texas provided infrastructure in the West decades before the Second Homestead Act and the Transcontinental railroad. Up to that point, Kansas and Nebraska the nearest Louisiana states west of the Mississippi had only been nominally settled(barring bleeding Kansas fiasco) there was no reason for large groups to go further west until you had the cities in Texas and California(Salt Lake is an exception but that was a religious migration it's not like there was an infinite amount of people looking to go there. Even today there's really just a belt of major centers in the Southwest(Denver, Vegas, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Oklahoma City)Louisiana and the land ceded by Mexico is largely still empty.

In terms of Mississippi and Alabama those states were(largely)an extension of Georgia in the way Tennessee is an extension of North Carolina. It's hard to say why Tennessee has done(considerably better) and despite being the second main battle ground of the US civil war. But with Mississippi and Alabama I'm going to venture a guess they are victims of New Orleans decline. While New Orleans is still a big city and all In the early 1800s it was THE big city in the South(Texas didn't exist) given it's location on the mouth of the Mississippi. New Orleans didn't have that role anymore with the rise of the railroad and it's hard to imagine Mississippi and Alabama didn't suffer from that.
 
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Feb 2016
603
ROK
From what I know of Texas today, it has plenty of jobs, low tax rate, low living expenses, cheaper and yet larger houses, a stable economy when compared to the average states, people are friendly, etc.
 
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stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,734
Las Vegas, NV USA
Austin, the state capital is one the fastest growing cities in the US. The University of Texas is located here and has a endowment second only to Harvard. It's a liberal island in a conservative state and a magnet for young people. It also demonstrates the dangers of growing too rapidly since quality of life (QOL) is slipping for the first time. My adopted state, Nevada, is major example of this. The chart in this thread on population growth since 1950 shows Nevada first at over 1700% while Arizona is second at over 800%.Texas comes in at about 260%. This combined with a tax "phobic" population leads to declining QOL indices. It's misleading because one sees evidence wealth and affluence in Austin and in Las Vegas. Nevertheless Nevada ranks dead last in public education. The roads are good (better than California) but the school building program is way behind and there is teacher shortage due in part to low pay. There are no income taxes and the cost of living is much lower than California. This attracts retirees in droves and they vote against officials that want to raise their almost nonexistent taxes. The casinos pay the taxes. It's clear it's not enough.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,547
SoCal
Austin, the state capital is one the fastest growing cities in the US. The University of Texas is located here and has a endowment second only to Harvard. It's a liberal island in a conservative state and a magnet for young people. It also demonstrates the dangers of growing too rapidly since quality of life (QOL) is slipping for the first time.
How did they measure QOL in Austin?

My adopted state, Nevada, is major example of this. The chart in this thread on population growth since 1950 shows Nevada first at over 1700% while Arizona is second at over 800%.Texas comes in at about 260%.
Texas also had a much larger population in 1950 in comparison to Nevada and Arizona, though; so, it had less room to grow than they did. It's much easier to grow a lot when your population is extremely small--and the same is true for the economy.

This combined with a tax "phobic" population leads to declining QOL indices. It's misleading because one sees evidence wealth and affluence in Austin and in Las Vegas. Nevertheless Nevada ranks dead last in public education. The roads are good (better than California) but the school building program is way behind and there is teacher shortage due in part to low pay. There are no income taxes and the cost of living is much lower than California. This attracts retirees in droves and they vote against officials that want to raise their almost nonexistent taxes. The casinos pay the taxes. It's clear it's not enough.
That sucks! Teachers really should get paid more for their efforts--though for what it's worth, I suspect that who one's teachers are has relatively little to do with whether or not one will be successful in school. This is why I consider private schools to be a huge and largely pointless waste of money.

You are correct that Nevada performs very poorly academically, though:



Interestingly enough, the Sun Belt in general generally doesn't perform that well academically. :( FTR, this map is from the Washington Post; so, it should be reliable.
 

Zip

Jan 2018
762
San Antonio
Note the high scoring areas with Erie Canal connections; both areas settled by means of it and the sources of that settlement. Note too that Indiana, which for various reasons was often bypassed by emigrating Northeasterners, is the lowest scoring of the Old Northwestern states.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,547
SoCal
Note the high scoring areas with Erie Canal connections; both areas settled by means of it and the sources of that settlement.
Yeah, the Bos-Wash metropolitan area and the Midwest appear to be the highest-scoring areas in the US.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,547
SoCal
Several reasons.
A.It's large and like California and did have more room for people and major cities.
TBF, though, while Texas is large, it's primarily its eastern part that is extremely populous. So, looking at Texas's total area here is misleading; rather, one should only look at the area of eastern Texas.

B.American settlers flooded Texas pre annexation.
Yes, but not too many of them. Please keep in mind that in 1850 (five years after Texas's annexation to the US), Texas had slightly more than 200,000 people--and almost 30% of these were slaves, I believe. In contrast, nowadays, Texas literally has more than 100 times as many people as it had back in 1850!

Like California with the Gold Rush, Texas became a destination for mass settlement(despite for bad reasons, similar to Kansas and Nebraska) and it's population rose.
Yes, but most of Texas's population growth occurred after the US annexation and even after the end of the American Civil War.

Furthermore the establishment of Texas came at a time when the West whether it be the US Louisiana Purchase or Spanish held California territory had barely been settled. Spain never intended to mass settle the new world they stumbled into ruling the Aztec and Incan Empires. After those empires were taken over, there was really no reason to send lots of people further north, they had inherited the political infrastructure to the south, to the north there was nothing to inherit. Americans flooding to Texas provided infrastructure in the West decades before the Second Homestead Act and the Transcontinental railroad. Up to that point, Kansas and Nebraska the nearest Louisiana states west of the Mississippi had only been nominally settled(barring bleeding Kansas fiasco) there was no reason for large groups to go further west until you had the cities in Texas and California(Salt Lake is an exception but that was a religious migration it's not like there was an infinite amount of people looking to go there. Even today there's really just a belt of major centers in the Southwest(Denver, Vegas, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Oklahoma City)Louisiana and the land ceded by Mexico is largely still empty.
Why do you think that Americans preferred to settle in Texas over Louisiana and Arkansas, though?

In terms of Mississippi and Alabama those states were(largely)an extension of Georgia in the way Tennessee is an extension of North Carolina. It's hard to say why Tennessee has done(considerably better) and despite being the second main battle ground of the US civil war. But with Mississippi and Alabama I'm going to venture a guess they are victims of New Orleans decline. While New Orleans is still a big city and all In the early 1800s it was THE big city in the South(Texas didn't exist) given it's location on the mouth of the Mississippi. New Orleans didn't have that role anymore with the rise of the railroad and it's hard to imagine Mississippi and Alabama didn't suffer from that.
Are you saying that without the rise of the railroad, New Orleans would have retained its position as the largest city in the Southern US?
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,734
Las Vegas, NV USA
How did they measure QOL in Austin.

It's a standard measure that takes into account a number variables such as life expectancy, infant mortality , crime, poverty, education, etc. Rapid growth combined with persistent low taxes is a recipe for decline in educational support of local schools . Overall Texas is not experiencing a decline but the capital is experiencing this as well rising crime and homelessness as an apparent result of its latest growth spurt. Note it is still a great place to visit, but maybe not what it was.








academically. :( FTR, this map is from the Washington Post; so, it should be reliable.
[/QUOTE]
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,547
SoCal
Where can I find this QOL index?

Also, off-topic, but in regards to quoting, if you want to separate one post into multiple quotes, you need to do this:

[quoteZ]postPart1[/quoteZ]

[quoteZ]postPart2[/quoteZ]

Just remove the Z's at the very end of "quote" and "/quote" in all cases before you actually post the quotes. I previously explained it this way to @duncanness. :)