Tue. Sep 26th, 2023
    Surge of Hispanic-owned Businesses and Cultural Festivals Reflect Growing Latino Community in East Texas

    The latest U.S. Census data reveals that Hispanic people have officially become the largest demographic in Texas, signaling a significant shift in the state’s population. This trend is evident in East Texas, where there has been a surge in Hispanic-owned businesses and a growing, diverse Latino community.

    According to the data, Hispanic and Latino Americans now outnumber white residents and make up the largest share of Texas’ population. The Hispanic Texans’ population accounts for 40.2% of the total, slightly surpassing the non-Hispanic white population at 39.8%. African-Americans make up 12.1% of the overall population.

    Manuel Reyes, a senior business analyst at the Hibbs Institute for Business and Economic Research at UT Tyler, notes the significance of this demographic shift. He emphasizes, “This point is significant, as one in five persons, everywhere that you see, are Hispanic. It’s growing and has been growing for the past 10 years.”

    The growth of the Latino community can be seen through the rise of Hispanic-owned businesses, the availability of places to practice faith in Spanish, and the vibrant cultural festivals across East Texas. Reyes highlights the increasing role that Hispanics are playing in the economy, particularly in East Texas, where they are occupying important positions in companies, organizations, and government.

    Nancy Rangel, the president and CEO of the Tyler Hispanic Business Alliance, is actively involved in supporting the thriving community. The alliance collaborates closely with the city of Tyler, the county, and the Chamber of Commerce to serve as a hub for Hispanic endeavors. Rangel emphasizes the positive impact of Hispanic businesses on the local economy, with many individuals starting businesses and contributing significantly to the community.

    An example of the vibrant Latino culture in East Texas is the Rose City Fiesta, which kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month in Tyler. The festival celebrates Hispanic and Latino culture, providing an enjoyable moment for everyone to come together and appreciate diversity.


    Hispanic – Refers to people who identify with the cultures or origins of Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean.

    Latino/Latina – Refers to people of Latin American origin or descent.


    – U.S. Census data

    – Manuel Reyes, senior business analyst at the Hibbs Institute for Business and Economic Research at UT Tyler

    – Nancy Rangel, president and CEO of the Tyler Hispanic Business Alliance