Population Boom

Is this why traffic's so bad? Houston area is fastest growing in nation, new census figures say

Is this why traffic's so bad? Houston area fastest growning in nation

downtown Houston skyline at dusk
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates significant population increases in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area. Photo by Jim Olive/Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau

Data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that Houston is the fastest growing metro area in the nation.

The Houston-Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area increased in population by 156,371 between 2013 and 2014. Harris County gained nearly 89,000 people, greater than any county in the Untied States.

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington placed second in the nation, attracting 131,217 during the same period. The two Texas metro areas were the only ones in the nation to add more than 100,000 residents between 2013 and 2014. 

The state of Texas also grew more than any other, adding more than 450,000 people.

Among the nation's largest counties (those with total populations of 250,000 or more in 2013), the three fastest growing were within Texas: Fort Bend, Montgomery and Williamson (around Round Rock). Each county grew by at least 3.8 percent between 2013 and 2014.

In terms of percentage of growth, the Houston metro area came in at No. 11, behind Austin-Round Rock at No. 3, Odessa at No. 4 and Midland at No. 9.

Census data also indicated that California — with 38.8 million residents — was the nation's most populous state in 2014. Texas ranked second with 27 million.