• DSHS HIV/STD Program

    Post Office Box 149347, MC 1873
    Austin, Texas 78714

    Phone: (737) 255-4300

    Email the HIV/STD Program

    Email data requests to HIV/STD Program - This email can be used to request data and statistics on HIV, TB, and STDs in Texas. It cannot be used to get treatment or infection history for individuals, or to request information on programs and services. Please do not include any personal, identifying health information in your email such as HIV status, Date of Birth, Social Security Number, etc.

    For treatment/testing history, please contact your local Health Department.

    For information on HIV testing and services available to Persons Living with HIV and AIDS, please contact your local HIV services organization.

Border Report Section 3 - Population and Demographics of the Texas-Mexico Border Region


About 10 percent of Texas’ population resides within a Texas-Mexico border county. The vast majority (76%) of this population is concentrated in Hidalgo (31%), El Paso (30%) and Cameron (15%) counties.

Table 1: Population by EMA/TGA

2017 Population

Percent

Texas

28,304,596

100.0%

Houston EMA

6,165,148

21.8%

Dallas EMA

4,992,188

17.6%

Texas-Mexico Border

2,782,553

9.8%

East Texas

2,744,875

9.7%

Fort Worth TGA

2,413,512

8.5%

San Antonio TGA

2,308,550

8.2%

Austin TGA

2,115,827

7.5%

All Other Texas

4,781,943

16.9%

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, 2017


Similar to the rest of Texas, the Texas- Mexico border region has experienced a population growth of 13.4 percent over the past 10 years (Figure 2). Population growth in this region is likely driven by cross-border migration from Mexico. The higher birth rate among Hispanics (1,790 per 100,000 Hispanic persons vs. 1,469 per 100,000 persons of all race/ethnicities), which comprise a majority of the population in the Texas-Mexico border region, may also drive population growth.

Figure 2. Population Growth 2007-2017 by Region
Figure 2. Population Growth 2007-2017 by Region
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, 2017
Data for Figure 2


The majority (89%) of residents of the Texas-Mexico border region identify as Hispanic/Latino, compared to 40 percent of all Texans. 

Figure 3. Racial Composition of Texas Population by Region
Figure 3. Racial Composition of Texas Population by Region
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, 2017
Data for Figure 3


Rates of poverty are significantly higher along the Texas-Mexico border compared to the rest of Texas. Twenty-three percent of all persons in the Texas-Mexico border counties are living under the Federal Poverty Line, and 25 percent of persons in the border counties lack health insurance. Among employed persons, health insurance coverage is even lower (Table 2). The economy in the Texas-Mexico border region is based on agriculture and manufacturing, and jobs in these industries may be seasonal and informal. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, businesses in Texas are not required to provide health insurance for seasonal and part-time work or if a business has less than 50 employees. [1]

A large proportion of employed persons in the Texas-Mexico border region may work contract or part-time unskilled jobs, which do not provide health insurance benefits.

Table 2: Mean Poverty and Health Insurance Indicators, by EMA/TGA, 2016

% of Persons with No Health Insurance

% of Employed Persons with No Health Insurance

% of all People Under Poverty Line

% of Persons 18-64 Under the Poverty Line

% of Persons Over 18 Under the Poverty Line

% of Families Under the Poverty Line

Austin TGA 

16%

19%

14%

14%

13%

10%

Dallas EMA

17%

20%

13%

12%

11%

10%

Fort Worth TGA

17%

21%

12%

11%

10%

9%

Houston EMA

18%

21%

14%

13%

12%

10%

San Antonio TGA

15%

18%

12%

11%

10%

9%

East Texas

19%

24%

18%

17%

15%

13%

Texas-Mexico Border

25%

33%

23%

19%

20%

19%

All Other Texas

19%

24%

16%

15%

14%

12%

Source: American Community Survey, 2016 5-year estimates, table DP03


Of the ten Texas counties with the highest rates of poverty among adults aged 18-64 years and the highest percent of employed adults with no health insurance, eight are located within the Texas-Mexico border region. In three of these border counties, fewer than 50 percent of employed adults lack health insurance (see Tables 3a and 3b).

Table 3a: Top 10 counties with the highest levels of poverty, 2016

Rank

County

% of Persons 18-64
Living Under
Federal Poverty Line

Region

1

Willacy County

33%

Texas-Mexico Border

2

Starr County

32%

Texas-Mexico Border

3

Hudspeth County

30%

Texas-Mexico Border

4

Brooks County

30%

Texas-Mexico Border

5

Brazos County

30%

All Other Texas

6

Zapata County

30%

Texas-Mexico Border

7

Walker County

28%

East Texas

8

Cameron County

28%

Texas-Mexico Border

9

Zavala County

27%

Texas-Mexico Border

10

Hidalgo County

27%

Texas-Mexico Border

Source: American Community Survey, 2016 5-year estimates, table DP03

Table 3b: Top 10 counties with the lowest levels of health insurance coverage, 2016

Rank

County

% of Employed Persons
with No Health Insurance

Region

1

Starr County

58%

Texas-Mexico Border

2

Jim Hogg County

50%

Texas-Mexico Border

3

Motley County

50%

All Other Texas

4

Hidalgo County

50%

Texas-Mexico Border

5

Zapata County

48%

Texas-Mexico Border

6

Real County

48%

Texas-Mexico Border

7

Maverick County

46%

Texas-Mexico Border

8

Cameron County

45%

Texas-Mexico Border

9

Webb County

45%

Texas-Mexico Border

10

Concho County

44%

All Other Texas

Source: American Community Survey, 2016 5-year estimates, Table S2701


Figure 4. Percent of Population Living under Federal Poverty Level, 2016
Figure 4. Percent of Population Living under Federal Poverty Level, 2016 
Data for Figure 4


Both poverty and a lack of health insurance can make the cost of accessing medical care, including screening for HIV, STDs, and TB, prohibitive. Additionally, the rural nature of certain counties can impact the availability of medical care.


 


Border Report

Table of Contents | Executive Summary | HIV, STDs, and TB in the Texas-Mexico Border Region | Population and Demographics of the Texas-Mexico Border Region | HIV Diagnoses and People Living with HIV | Sexually Transmitted Diseases | Tuberculosis


Last updated June 17, 2020