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The Office of the State Demographer disseminates demographic and related socioeconomic data to the State of Texas and the general public. The State Demographer monitors demographic and socioeconomic changes in the State in order to better inform the executive and legislative branches of Texas government. Special emphasis is placed on data that may be useful to policy makers in dealing with issues regarding the demand for state services.
The Office of the State Demographer was created on September 1, 2001, as part of Senate Bill 656 during the 77th Legislative Session. SB 656, authored by Senator Royce West and sponsored in the House by Rep. Garnet Coleman, requires the State Demographer to disseminate demographic and socioeconomic data the public, inform the legislature of the impact of the demographic and socioeconomic changes on the demand of state services, and provide population projections and estimates for the state, counties, and municipalities. On September 21, 2001, Governor Rick Perry appointed Dr. Steve Murdock as the first State Demographer of Texas. The current State Demographer, Dr. Lloyd B. Potter, was appointed by Governor Rick Perry on May 5, 2010.
Dr. Potter holds a Ph.D. in Demography and Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Public Health Degree from Emory University, a Master of Science in Education from the University of Houston at Clear Lake and a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University. He is a professor of Demography at The University of Texas at San Antonio where he serves as the director of the Institute for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research. His current academic work focuses on training applied demographers in the area of public policy; research in public policy and health related topics.
Potter also serves as the director of the Texas State Data Center housed at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The State Data Center program provides the State Demographer's Office with population estimates and projections for the State of Texas, serves as a data archive for Texas, and offers technical expertise in demographic and socioeconomic research.
Prior to accepting his position at the University of Texas in San Antonio, Dr. Potter served as the Director of the National Suicide Prevention Resource Center funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) in Newton, Massachusetts. Previously, Dr. Potter managed the youth violence and suicide prevention efforts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA.
Message from the State Demographer:"There are about 25 million reasons, among quite a few others, to be proud of Texas. Our people are our greatest asset. As the Texas state demographer, I am thankful to have the opportunity to support state and local policy makers in their efforts to improve the lives of our people by providing them with objective information about the composition, characteristics and distribution of the people of our state."