El Paso population growth rate hits 8 decade low, census estimates show

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. El Paso’s annual growth rate between 2000 and 2010 was 1.4%, almost three times the current growth rate.

Nearly 8,000 5th and 7th graders visitUTEP in a field trip called Pick Your Dream. (Anoushka Valodya/Borderzine.com)

El Paso must enhance prosperity to retain its best college graduates

EL PASO – City and county leaders met with higher education experts at The University of Texas at El Paso recently to figure out how to stem the brain drain they say is robbing the border region of its future leaders. “We continue to see too many UTEP graduates taking jobs in other cities,” President Diana Natalicio said. “It’s not because they want to go, but because they don’t have opportunities here. So we’re not going to postpone this conversation any longer.”

During the meeting, called The Shared Plan For Regional Opportunity, experts said that 70 percent of UTEP’s graduates leave El Paso. This meeting, part of UTEP’s participation in a national initiative called Opportunity Nation, that seeks to “develop strategies to revitalize the American Dream, foster social mobility and stimulate new economic opportunities.”

The meeting was Part One of UTEP’s Opportunity Days.