Little Growth in Dallas, But Big Shift in Racial Makeup

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    New Census numbers released this week show that North Texas' population is booming -- except for Dallas.

    Dallas added just 9,000 in the Census, a growth rate of less than 1 percent.

    New Census Numbers Surprise Dallas Residents

    [DFW] New Census Numbers Surprise Dallas Residents
    Dallas added just 9,000 people and there is also a shift in racial makeup, while the latino population is growing, more African Americans are heading to the suburbs. (Published Friday, Feb. 18, 2011)

    The city is also seeing a shift in racial makeup -- the Hispanic population is growing, but more black residents are heading to other North Texas cities.

    In addition, much of the Dallas' impressive Hispanic growth is in neighborhoods that were once predominantly black.

    Cowtown Is Also Boomtown

    [DFW] Cowtown Is Also Boomtown
    Fort Worth is among the fastest-growing cities in the country, according to new Census data. (Published Friday, Feb. 18, 2011)

    Several black City Council members now represent districts that are not as black as they once were. And Hispanic leaders are pushing for a bigger share of Dallas' political pie.

    "With the new numbers that have come out, certainly my concern is going to be where we grow the Hispanic neighborhoods," Councilwoman Delia Jasso said.

    Census Shows Explosive Growth in Fort Worth

    [DFW] Census Shows Explosive Growth in Fort Worth
    Fort Worth leads the Texas "big five" in growth, followed by Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas. (Published Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011)

    Southeast Dallas and Pleasant Grove were carved up among four different council districts to boost the number of minority members. But one of the city's redistricting priority is to reconnect neighborhoods that were divided up into multiple districts.

    "People in the same neighborhood and community have the same interests -- better education, better services, more access to retail, and that's what's going to matter most about who's representing them," said Shawn Williams, editor of the Dallas South News.

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    [DFW] North Texas Leaders Look Forward to Bigger Say in Washington
    Texas gains residents in the 2010 Census, meaning the state also nets another four congressional seats. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010)

    Williams said Hispanic and black leaders to should unite to make Dallas more attractive instead of fight for power.

    Jasso agrees, saying both communities should work together.

    "I've been through the history, and certainly there are opportunities everywhere for us to work together," she said.

    But Hispanic leaders will clearly expect a bigger share of political power -- in Austin and Washington, D.C., as well as at the municipal level -- to reflect their growing numbers.

    NBC DFW's Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.