SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau confirms San Antonio's rising prominence as one of America's fastest growing big cities, fueled by explosive growth in the Hispanic population and a growing job base in 21st century industries.
While many large cities in the Northeast and other parts of America continued to lose population, San Antonio grew to 1.32 million residents, likely retaining its position as the nation's seventh-largest city.
The latest Census numbers, released Thursday, showed that San Antonio's Hispanic population now makes up more than 63 percent of the city's total population.
"San Antonio is a look at America's tomorrow," Mayor Julian Castro said. "As a diverse, economically vibrant city, San Antonio and cities like it represent the new face of the American Dream."
Demographic trends suggest that the population of Texas will look increasingly like San Antonio's by the end of this decade. And by mid-century, the entire U.S. population is projected to look more like cities like San Antonio as three out of every 10 Americans are expected to be persons of Latino ancestry.
"America needs to look no further than San Antonio for a window on the future entrepreneur, the future voter and the future consumer," Mayor Castro said.
With nearly 110,000 students in the higher education pipeline, San Antonio has more college-going students on a city-to-city basis than comparable cities like Austin, Dallas, Phoenix and San Jose, Calif.
The city is also home to some of the biggest employers in cutting-edge research and technology sectors in the world.
- Rackspace Hosting, the world's leading specialist in the hosting and cloud computing industry.
- Toyota Motor Corp., the worldwide automaker which expanded its San Antonio plant in 2010 to include production of the Tacoma pickup in addition to the Tundra.
- The 24th Air Force Cyber Command, which bolstered San Antonio's already stout cyber security sector.
- In addition to being home to nearly 80 private defense contractors in the field, San Antonio is also the base for the National Security Agency's (NSA) Texas Cryptology Center, as well as a NSA data center and campus.
"To anyone building a company, San Antonio's not just the new face, it's the new place of the American Dream," said Graham Weston, chairman of Rackspace Hosting. "There's a special public-private partnership that lifts up San Antonio companies, and the city's 'we're in it together' culture makes teamwork just natural.
"San Antonio has grown to be the seventh-largest city in the nation because it's a big city that maintains a small town feel," Weston added.
The Alamo City's robust business sector also includes the headquarters for HEB Grocery, the largest employer in the state of Texas, and USAA, a FORTUNE 150 insurance and financial services leader focused on serving the military community.
During the economic downturn of the past two years, San Antonio was consistently ranked by publications like Forbes and research organizations like the Brookings Institution as one of America's most recession resistant cities. The city's unemployment rate stands at 7.3 percent, compared to a 9.1 percent national rate.
Mayor Castro said San Antonio is a shining example of the American melting pot at work.
"We have our challenges in San Antonio. That's why we're focusing on raising educational attainment levels, reducing teen pregnancy and restoring our urban core," Castro said. "But one problem we don't have is coming together as a community to work on common problems."
He added, "If Americans wonder whether the changing demographic landscape is a net positive or negative for our nation, they should look at San Antonio. The future looks bright."
SOURCE City of San Antonio