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Las Colonias in the 21st Century

Progress Along the Texas–Mexico Border

Texas colonias, home to an estimated 500,000 people, represent one of the largest concentrations of poverty in the U.S., often lacking basic living necessities such as potable water or safe housing.

In 2015, the Community Development Department of the Dallas Fed released its report “Las Colonias in the 21st Century: Progress Along the Texas–Mexico Border,” based on its research in the six Texas counties with the highest concentration of colonias. The report examines infrastructure, housing, economic opportunity, education and health in these communities.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas study highlights the successful efforts of community organizers, residents, elected officials, nonprofits and government agencies to improve living conditions and opportunity in Texas colonias. While much progress has been made, many challenges and opportunities for investment remain.

The video above provides an overview of the state of the Texas colonias featured in the report, as well as key findings and promising strategies to improve living conditions and access to regional opportunities in these communities.