Saturday, September 06, 2008

Starr County, Texas: America's future: I’m in the process of putting together a U.S. county-level data set, and I ran across the most Hispanic county I’ve ever seen. Starr county, on the U.S-Mexico border in southern Texas, is 97.4% Hispanic. Looking at the county website, Starr looks like a nice enough place.

But there’s two little problems. The Census says that 90.7% speak Spanish at home. Sounds something like Mexico to me. And only 6.9% of Starr’s residents have a bachelor’s degree. I don’t know the number, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Mexico’s graduation rate is in the same ballpark.

And the rate isn’t so low because this is a county of a few dozen ranchers. As of 2007, the county had 62,000 residents. That’s bigger than the semi-rural county I grew up in, which by the way has a graduation rate of 24.9%.

Starr's population grew 15.2% from 2000 to 2006. Welcome to the future.

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