FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (3/22/11)--An expanding population in Texas will impact credit union membership and services, according to the Texas Credit Union league (TCUL). The state’s population has grown by more than four million people during the past decade--a nearly a 21% growth rate, according to research by Rick Grady, TCUL vice president of research, who used data from National Credit Union Administration 5300 call report and the U.S. Census Bureau (LoneStar Leaguer March 18). Although state credit union membership has grown during the past 10 years by about 1.1 million, the percentage growth is nearly four percentage points lower, closing the decade with a growth rate of 16.8%. And while credit union membership was 31% of the state’s population in 2000, it is now only 30%. All this adds up to a credit union market share of the new population at 25%--a solid market share, but still short of where TCUL said it wants to be. So how has the state’s population changed? Statistically speaking, two-thirds of the new growth are Hispanic or Latino, about an eighth are Black or African-American, around 10% each are White or Asian. Not all this population growth was the result of migration or immigration, TCUL said. Births contributed the largest number to the population expansion. And with births comes a follow-on industry of clothing, housing, nursery furniture, day care, schooling, soccer fields and minivans, the league said. Those industries could create more demand for loans and financial services that credit unions could supply. As the composition of the communities change, it can cause not only the types of services credit unions deliver to change, but how they deliver those services as well. And as the influx of new people enters a community, the familiarity with the products and services offered by merchants is minimal and must be discovered, TCUL said.