Recently released data from the 2010 U.S. census shows significant growth in the nation's Hispanic population. And nowhere has that growth been more dramatic than in the southwestern state of Texas, the state with the biggest overall population increase during the past decade. Experts say the demographic shifts pose a challenge for the state and that its future prosperity will depend on how Texas meets that challenge.
最近公布的2010年美国人口普查数据显示,美国的拉美裔人口显著增长,而增幅最大的是西南部的德克萨斯州。德州是过去10年来总人口增长最多的州。专家表示,人口结构变化给州政府带来了很大挑战,未来的繁荣有赖于德州如何应对这些挑战。

Not long ago, the annual Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Luncheon was the city's biggest Hispanic business event of the year. Now it is the biggest business event of any kind in the city, drawing many non-Hispanic figures from industry and government as well as Latino business owners.
不久前,休斯敦拉美裔商会每年一次的午餐会还是休斯敦规模最大的拉美裔商业活动。如今,这个午餐会已经变成休斯敦所有活动中规模最大的一个,不但吸引拉美裔商家,也吸引了商界和政府中许多非拉美裔参加。

During the past four years, under the leadership of President and Chief Executive Officer Laura Murillo, the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has experienced a 600 percent growth in membership. She says Houston's young population, its location and the business-friendly environment in Texas all help.
过去四年里,在首席执行官劳拉·穆里洛的领导下,休斯敦拉美裔商会的会员增加了百分之600。劳拉把这归功于休斯敦的年轻人口、地理位置以及德州的重商氛围。

"Our chamber, for example, has attracted many sponsors that had traditionally gone to Miami or Los Angeles," noted Murillo. "They are coming to Houston now because they have found that the economy of Houston is so much stronger than it is in other parts of the country."
她说:“比如,我们商会吸引了很多原来一直去迈阿密和洛杉矶的赞助商。现在他们来到了休斯敦,因为他们发现休斯敦的经济比美国其它地方都强劲。”

Many businesses here see an advantage in hiring local Hispanics who can help them build links with Latin America.
这里很多商家看到了在当地雇用拉美裔员工的优势,这些员工可以帮助他们和拉丁美洲建立联系。

Francisco Grados works for an accounting firm whose workforce is now 30 percent Hispanic.
弗朗西斯科·格拉多在一家会计公司工作,公司员工百分之30是拉美裔。

"We have several clients from Latin America, Spain," said Grados. "And even though they speak English, they feel more confident, secure speaking Spanish. And it is an advantage to be bilingual."
他说:“我们有一些拉美和西班牙客户,虽然他们也讲英语,但是他们讲西班牙语会更自信,觉得更安全。因此,能讲双语的确是个优势。”

Rice University sociologist Steve Murdock says the future of Texas depends on Hispanics, because they are the fastest growing segment of the state's population.
莱斯大学社会学家史蒂夫·默多克认为,德州的未来有赖于拉美裔,因为他们是这个州人口增长最快的族裔。

"Sixty-five percent of the [population] growth in Texas was due to the Hispanic population," said Murdock.
他说:“德州百分之65的人口增长要归功于拉美裔。”

Census figures show the population of non-Hispanic whites, often called Anglos in the Latino community, is increasing at a much slower pace than that of Hispanics. Very few Texas counties are experiencing Anglo population growth, while most others show a decline. The opposite is true for Hispanics.

Although immigrants account for most Hispanic population growth in other U.S. states, sociologist Steve Murdock says the growth in Texas comes mostly from a natural increase within an already established population.
默多克指出,尽管在美国其它州,导致拉美裔人口增加的主要原因是移民,但是在德州,拉美裔人口的增加是在已有人口基础上的自然增长。

"Most Hispanics in Texas are not immigrants; they have been here for multiple generations," said Murdock. "And remember, there are parts of Texas that have been Hispanic longer than they have been Anglo."
他说:“德州大多数的拉美裔不是移民,他们已经在这里生活了好几代了。别忘了,在德州很多地方,拉美裔居住的时间超过盎格鲁人,即非拉美裔白人。”

But Murdock says census figures show a looming problem for Texas in that minorities, especially Hispanics, tend to be less educated and earn much less on average than non-Hispanic whites.
但是,默多克同时谈到,人口统计数字显示,德州的少数族裔特别是拉美裔面临的最大问题是,这些人通常比非拉美裔白人教育程度低,收入要少得多。

"The modal minority is a Hispanic male, 25 to 29 years of age, with less than a high school level of education and making about $35,000, down about $3,000, in real dollar terms, from 1999 to 2009," he added.
他说:“最典型的是一个25岁到29岁的拉美裔男性,他高中没毕业,一年挣3万5千美元,在1999到2009年间下降了大约3千美元。”

Murdock says the state's economic future depends on how well Texas educates this dynamic young population.
默多克指出,德州经济的未来将取决于州政府如何教育这些富有活力的年轻人。

"If we could meet that challenge, what some of us call the Texas challenge, we could have a younger population than most other parts of the country in a time period when aging of the population is going to be a major problem," Murdock noted.
他说:“如果我们能够应对这个挑战,也就是所谓‘德州挑战’,那么,在老龄化正逐渐成为一个重大问题之际,德州的人口将比美国大部分地方的人口都年轻。”

The Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's Laura Murillo says education of young Hispanics is the key to this state's future.
休斯敦拉美裔商会的劳拉·穆里洛指出,让拉美裔青年人接受教育是德州未来的关键所在。

"We will be the economic engine, not only of the city of Houston, but of Texas. And that will require a more educated Hispanic community," said Murdock.

But politicians in the Texas capital, Austin, are struggling with a deficit of more than $20 billion, and they are cutting rather than expanding some educational programs.
然而,德州政府官员正在为200多亿美元的财政赤字大伤脑筋,政府非但没有扩大、相反正在削减一些教育项目。

Being raised by Mexican-American parents who emphasized the value of education helped bank executive Michelle Hitchings find success. She says she sees it as the best investment the state can make.
银行高管米歇尔·希钦斯自小生长在美国和墨西哥文化的家庭中,父母一直强调教育的重要性,这让希钦斯最终取得了成功。希钦斯认为,教育是州政府最好的投资。

"It is a huge mistake cutting education funds, especially early childhood education, which, now we know, is more important than ever," said Hitchings.
她说:“减少教育资金是一个重大错误,特别是早期的儿童教育,现在我们知道,那是最重要的一个环节。”

Hitchings says she knows that many young Latinos could be inspired by her example and she spends time working with the Girl Scouts and other community groups to encourage children to aspire to great things.
希钦斯知道,她的成长经历能够激励很多拉美裔年轻人,因此她总是抽时间参加女童子军和其它社区组织的工作,鼓励孩子们树立远大的志向。

Partly because of these role models and their influence, Laura Murillo says she is optimistic about the role Hispanics will play in the future of Texas.
休斯敦拉美裔商会的穆里洛表示,部分原因在于这些模范人物的影响,她本人对拉美裔将来在德州扮演的角色比较乐观。

"I see a Texas that is truly going to be a model for what the rest of the United States will look for in terms of a state with a predominant Hispanic community that Texas will be the model for the rest of the states to follow," Murillo added.
她说:“就一个拉美裔占多数的州这点来说,我觉得德州将为美国其它州树立起一个典范。”

Laura Murillo calls the city's Hispanic business people the "leaders of Houston's new majority."
穆里洛把休斯敦的拉美裔商界人士称为“休斯敦新大众的领袖”。