Emails, Lloyd Potter, Texas state demographer, June 11 and 13, 2014

From: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)

Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 11:25 AM

To: Lloyd Potter

Subject: Fresh fact check inquiry

Hello again. As you’ll recall, you helped me sort a claim earlier this year about the number of people moving to Texas daily. We ended up with this fact check.

I’m writing now – again – as we check on a group’s recent claim: “One thousand people a day are moving to Texas, which means there will be 15 million more people over the next 25 years.”

Do both ends of this statement hold up? Why or why not? Any other sources you’d recommend?



W. Gardner Selby

PolitiFact Texas

Austin American-Statesman

From: Lloyd Potter

Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 11:55 AM

To: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)

Subject: RE: Fresh fact check inquiry

Between 2012 and 2013 (July 1 of each year) the Census Bureau estimates that there were 177,715 net migrants to Texas. Dividing that by 365 we estimate that there were on average 487 net migrants to Texas each day.

Of those net migrants, 64,187 were domestic migrants (moved from within the U.S.) and 113,528 were international migrants. Thus 36% of the net migrants were domestic and 64% were international.


If the population were only growing by net migration (and it is not) and this same number moved to Texas every year into the future, it would take 84.4 years to add 15 million new residents (15,000,000/177,715).

Between 2012 and 2013, Texas added 208,045 new residents from natural increase (births-deaths). Thus there are about 570 new Texans being added to our population each day as result of their being more births than deaths. It would take about 72 years to add 15 million new residents if Texas continued to experience the same growth from natural increase as it did between 2012 and 2013 into the future and we were only growing as a function of natural increase.

Combining natural increase and net migration, it is estimated that Texas added 385,760 new residents between 2012 and 2013. Thus there was an estimated average of about 1,057 new Texans added per day during that period (387,760/365). If Texas continued to grow by this number each year into the future it would take about 38.9 years to add 15 million new Texans (15,000,000/387,760). If the starting year was 2013, and we added that number of Texans each year, we would add 15 million new Texans by 2052.

Lloyd B. Potter, Ph.D.

Texas State Demographer

Professor, University of Texas at San Antonio

On Jun 11, 2014, at 11:57 AM, "Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)" <> wrote:

Interesting. So, it looks like it could take nearly 40 years for the population to grow by 15 million people – not 25. I read that right?


1:46 p.m.

Yes if we continue to add the same number of people each year as we did between 2012 and 2013 it will take almost 40 years to add 15 million additional Texas residents.

From: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) []

Sent: Friday, June 13, 2014 2:06 PM

To: Lloyd Potter

Subject: RE: Following up


Here is the 2011 report being offered up as an indication the population will increase 15 million people in 25 years: 


2:24 p.m.

Our projections ( do indicate that the population will potentially increase by about 15 million in about 25 years (using the 2000-2010 migration scenario). The projections though build on the population each year. For example, all the people that move to Texas last year are now part of the population base for this year. The migrant population then in subsequent years contributes to fertility and migration rates are applied to an ever increasing population base. Thus the growth in our population projections is more geometric (or compounding) in nature. The approach you referenced earlier, adding ~ 1,000 people to the population each day, is arithmetic growth which is substantially slow


On Jun 13, 2014, at 4:08 PM, "Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)" <> wrote:

I think what you’re telling me is the projection is right, but it’s not the result of 1,000 people getting added to the population a day. It’s more complex?



4:14 p.m.