Texas Latinos out-achieve CA Latinos in broad array of categories

Texas Latinos out-achieve CA Latinos in broad array of categories

california-texas-immigration-reform-300x239Heritage Foundation senior editor Mike Gonzalez has a new book out this month, “A Race for the Future: How Conservatives Can Break the Liberal Monopoly on Hispanic Americans.” Gonzalez, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, takes a deeper look at how Hispanics have done in Texas vs. how they’ve done in California than past analyses, which usually focus on Texas’ superiority in student test scores and little more.

Gonzalez wrote about his findings in the Dallas Morning News earlier this month. He makes specific points about the cultural differences between Hispanics in the two mega-states that don’t get nearly enough attention. Here’s part of his essay:

Hispanics enjoy much better statistics across the board in the Lone Star State than in the Golden one.

The relative advantage that Hispanic Texans have in key cultural indicators is strongly related to the state’s dynamic economic growth and small government. But because Texas’ smaller government has allowed civil society to grow organically, there is a strong cultural background that must be considered.

In fact, when factoring in both economic and cultural factors, one can say that California and Texas stand for two completely different faces of the Hispanic experience in America or, more to the point, the Mexican-American experience. The question is whether the two states will continue to lead two different Mexican-American subcultures in the future, or whether one approach will come to be the dominant one nationwide. …

In 2013, Texas’ Hispanic population boasted an unemployment rate of 6.9 percent. That was more than 2 percentage points lower than the national Hispanic average (9.1 percent). More important, it was better than the overall national average of 7.4 percent and only six-tenths of a percent higher than Texas’ overall rate (6.3 percent).

Meanwhile, California’s Hispanics lagged across the aboard. Their unemployment rate of 10.2 percent underperformed all the national averages and was 1.3 percentage points higher than California’s overall unemployment rate of 8.9 percent.

One thing that may account for the lower Hispanic unemployment in Texas is that Hispanics in the Lone Star State are much more entrepreneurial than those in the Golden State. Texas’ rate of Hispanic-owned businesses as a percentage of the Hispanic population is 57 percent, whereas California’s is 45 percent.

Social stats somewhat better to much better in Texas

More from Gonzalez:

Texas’ Hispanics also score favorably on matters to do with the family. This is important, as two-parent households have proved to be the best anti-poverty program ever invented, and illegitimacy stands upstream from many social problems.

And in this key cultural indicator, Texas’ Hispanics also outperform California’s. According to the Census Bureau, the former are less likely to have had a child out of wedlock than the latter, 39.8 percent to 42.6 percent.

The following stats, again from the Census Bureau, are also noteworthy. Hispanics in Texas are 10 percent more likely to be married than those in California (47 percent to 43 percent), and close to 20 percent less likely never to have been married (36.9 percent to 43.5 percent), one-third more likely to have served in the military (4.1 percent to 2.8 percent), and one-third as likely to have received Supplemental Security Income public assistance (2.4 percent to 6.2 percent). …

In terms of religiosity, the General Social Survey does not break down information at the state level but shows that Hispanics in Texas are far more likely to attend church services regularly. One is tempted to assume that California Hispanics are less religious than the national average for Hispanics.

This raises lots of interesting questions, none readily answered.

Are Texas Hispanics more religious and more entrepreneurial because they live in a state that’s far more socially and politically conservative?

Conversely, are California Latinos less religious and more likely to rely on the government because they live in a state that’s extremely secular and in a state where the high cost of housing puts families whose income would be lower-middle-class in most states squarely in poverty?

I’d like to see more analysis of these questions. But whatever the answer is, that’s not the key takeaway from Gonzalez’s research. The headline is that it’s not just student test scores in which Latinos in Texas do better than Latinos in California. It is on many metrics of basic achievement and success — at least if you’re among those who think dependency on government is a bad thing.

Texas suburb is more like Irvine than any other city in CA

Gonzalez’s work helps with key context for the California vs. Texas debate. Another piece that does so is Joe Mathews’ exceptional column from this spring about the Texas suburb that might as well be a clone of Irvine. It breaks with what I see as a stale debate:

It’s insanely annoying how so many California defenders simply ignore basic facts like Texas is creating more middle-class jobs or that Texas’ Latino and black students do better than California’s in K-12 test scores such as the NAEP.

But it’s also pretty telling that so many Californians who tout Texas don’t acknowledge that for lots and lots of people, California’s lifestyle is so vastly more appealing that they’d rather live in a condo here than a 2,800-foot ranch home there.

Read more about the picture painted by Joe’s column here.


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  1. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 30 September, 2014, 08:59

    How about COSTCO latinos? I was in COSTCO last week and saw a large latino family that was so obese they had already graduated to scooters, so they don’t have to walk…Latin america loves the USA so much that millions of them have deserted their home countries to be here, and clearly the USA is loving them back…..

    Reply this comment
  2. Queeg
    Queeg 30 September, 2014, 09:07

    Since we are on a sociology jaunt regional differences are not new news.

    The pueblo tribes of old were growers and working in their own communities. Apache types were sorta nomad pilligers skimming/ robbing the pueblo types….both types felt good about themselves. Hard days work for all around!

    Maybe Californian Latinos and identifying with different thingees while feeling good about themselves….let them find their own way and be happy…..

    This article is typical racial divide crap. Media losers are race baiters and are our biggest problem….let us alone…we just may be happy as we are-

    Reply this comment
  3. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 30 September, 2014, 10:59

    Well, the gates are wide open at the southern borders and the gatekeeper is in a drunken coma. And now if a hispanic (or a terrorist or whoever) sneaks into Cali without papers under the ‘Trust Act’ he or she can’t be deported under the law. So essentially what we have in Cali is defacto amnesty. Over half the kids in K-12 are hispanic. That number will grow. And if you’ve paid attention for the last 15 years you’ve witnessed the deterioration of the Cali public school system. We now rank 47th in the country. Cali used to have a respectable public school system for those of you old enough to remember. A ‘melting pot’ is supposed to represent a proportional population from all different nations. But today we’re being colonized by Mexicans and those from other banana republics south of the border who can’t get deported despite being illegal. Since 95% of them are indigents that puts tremendous pressure on our social service system, to include our medical system. They use our water, our sewer system, our roads, our medical system, our legal system, and they steal jobs from US workers which forces citizens to go on public assistance only adding to our problems.

    At least Texas seems to be putting up some resistance to the invasion across their southern border. And I understand that Texas mandates welfare recipients to work for their public assistance. In California an able bodied person collecting welfare is not required to work or to be productive. No wonder we have 12% of the nation’s population and 33% of the nation’s welfare recipients in Cali, eh?

    What we see in California is not immigration. It is a colonization. And you and your families will pay dearly for it.

    Reply this comment
    • Bill Gore
      Bill Gore 30 September, 2014, 16:56

      No, no one in the middle class electorate has paid attention for the last 15 years or the last 35 years. All they know is: the sun is shining, I have a job, wow nice sets at the beach, Chargers game, its January and I’m wearing a t shirt, etc. Anyone who did pay attention and had the temerity to say or write something about it risked being branded RACIST, and that stigma still works at shutting down discussion of the open border issue. Seems the big issues explode directly in proportion to the extent that everyday people retreat into their little lives and neighborhoods. Oh, and have you checked out the draconian immigration laws in Mexico? Makes immigrating to Switzerland look easy…..

      Reply this comment
      • LetitCollapse
        LetitCollapse 30 September, 2014, 18:14

        Bill Gore, I blame the media for lying about all the social and financial damage the illegal immigrants have done to California and the nation. A civilized society relies on those who report the news to supercede politics and tell us the truth. I’ve yet to read one article in the mainstream news that described in dollar amounts the damage that our society has sustained in terms of crime (incarcerations, legal fees, unreimbursed costs to crime victims, etc…) medical care, education, welfare (yes, they can collect public assistance), use of public resources (water, electricity, roads, etc…) and cost to citizens who can’t find work because illegals stole millions of their jobs. The media has been complicit with government to hide all this public information from the citizens who are forced to pay for all this.

        Now the State will seize the estates of low-income seniors older than 55 on Medi-Cal to collect every cent that was spent on them for their medical treatment. And these seniors are FORCED to join Medi-Cal under ObamaCare. They cannot join the exchanged for subsidized insurance. Yet illegals can get free medical care at any of our hospitals and their estates aren’t seized when they die. And yes, many of them WILL have estates of value when they die!

        The media OMITS the truth – which is the same as a lie. No different from the way Pravda used to operate.

        Reply this comment
  4. Bill - San Jose
    Bill - San Jose 1 October, 2014, 09:24

    “the gatekeeper is in a drunken coma” – queeg

    No no. Letting them claim they were unaware gives them all a free pass.

    Hang them for not protecting the citizens (which used to mean something). =)

    Reply this comment

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