Bursting at the seams

Texas population exploded from 2017 to 2018, says Census Bureau

Texas population exploded from 2017 to 2018, says Census Bureau

Texas State Capitol building
From 2017 to 2018, Texas gained more residents than any other state. Texas State Capitol/Facebook

In just one year, Texas gained more residents than any other state, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. The estimates, released December 19, show Texas added 379,128 residents from July 1, 2017, to July 1, 2018 — the largest numeric gain among the 50 states. 

Texas’ pickup of nearly 380,000 residents doesn’t mean that many people moved to the state in a one-year span. Rather, it means the inflow of people along with the number of births outpaced the outflow of people along with the number of deaths.

New arrivals to Texas versus people leaving the state account for the bulk of the state’s population growth, according to Lloyd Potter, the state demographer.

“The most likely reasons people relocate to Texas are its resilient economy and relatively affordable housing,” Potter said in 2017. “Oil-and-gas production continues to be a major component in the state’s economy, but other sectors such as information technology, manufacturing, and biomedicine are important sources of job growth.”

Overall, the bureau says, Texas saw its population climb from 28,322,717 in July 2017 to 28,701,845 in July 2018, a 1.3 percent hike. Percentage-wise, Texas was the eighth fastest growing state during the one-year period.

Based on new projections from the Texas State Data Center, the Lone Star State should cross the 30-million-resident threshold somewhere around 2020. That year, the center forecasts the state’s population will be 29,677,772. In 2021, the center projects it’ll be 30,168,991.

Much of the growth is occurring in the state’s major metro areas. For 2016-2017, the Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Austin areas ranked among the top 10 U.S. metros for numeric gains in population. San Antonio barely missed the top 10.

However, San Antonio beat all other big U.S. cities for numeric gains in population from 2016 to 2017, picking up 24,208 new residents. Dallas came in at No. 3, with the addition of 18,935 residents, followed by Fort Worth at No. 4 (18,664) and Austin at No. 12 (12,515).

But, looking at population growth on a percentage basis, Texas suburbs lead the way.

From 2016 to 2017, seven suburban cities in Texas grabbed spots on the list of the 15 fastest-growing cities with at least 50,000 residents, the Census Bureau says. In the No. 1 position was Frisco, racking up a population increase of 8.2 percent, with New Braunfels at No. 2 (8 percent), Pflugerville at No. 3 (6.5 percent), Georgetown at No. 6 (5.4 percent), McKinney at No. 9 (4.8 percent), Flower Mound at No. 11 (4.3 percent), and Cedar Park at No. 13 (4.3 percent).