Aspiring journalist Robert Moore recently reported on El Paso’s stagnant population growth for Borderzine, UTEP’s online magazIne for aspiring journalists.
El Paso County is in the midst of its slowest population growth rate in 80 years, driven largely by a flight of residents to other U.S. communities from the Texas border county, new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show. The county’s population in 2018 was an estimated 840,758, up from just over 800,000 at the time of the 2010 census. That means El Paso County has had an average annual population growth rate of 0.5% since the last census, compared to 0.6% nationally and 1.5% in Texas. The 0.5% annual population growth since the 2010 census is the slowest rate of growth since the period between 1930 and 1940, during the Great Depression, when El Paso County lost population at a rate of about 0.6% a year.Mr. Moore neglects to mention that between 2010 and 2012, the year the Quality of Life bonds were approved, the population of El Paso County grew by 3.5 percent. Since 2012, the population of El Paso County has grown less than one percent. But don’t worry, Mr. Moore has if figured out.
El Paso has long had net losses in domestic migration, with the phenomenon sometimes being referred to as a “brain drain.” Two main factors are likely drivers – people with less than a college education seeking higher wages in blue-collar industries such as oil and gas extraction and refining, and people with college degrees seeking jobs or higher wages outside El Paso.
See, the people who are leaving El Paso fall into two classes: People with college degrees, and people without college degrees.
I’ve got another take on it. People don’t like being bullied. People don’t like being bullshitted. People don’t like being angry all the time. So they move away. They go someplace where the English language daily doesn’t call them “crazies” if they have well founded doubts about public policy and the ways their tax dollars are being spent.
Now that we’ve got that figured out, it should be an easy fix.