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Texas cities again lead population growth, and Austin is now country’s 10th largest

By Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune

Texas cities again lead population growth, and Austin is now country’s 10th largest” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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Texas is now home to four of the nation’s largest cities, with Austin finally joining Houston, San Antonio and Dallas on the list of top 10 most populous cities.

New population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau showed significant growth in the Austin metro area overall, with several of its suburbs ranking among the fastest-growing cities in the country. The estimates track population growth from July 2021 to July 2022.

Georgetown, a suburb north of Austin, once again saw the fastest pace of growth in the country with a rate of 14.4%, surpassing its 10.5% rate from 2020 to 2021. The bureau estimates Georgetown’s population reached 86,507 after an increase of 10,887 in 2022. The booming city gained more new residents than Dallas, which at 1.3 million total residents saw a gain of only 8,833.

Kyle, south of Austin, and Leander to the northwest ranked third and fourth among the fastest-growing cities with populations of 50,000 or more. Of the 10 fastest-growing cities in the country, Texas took four spots, with Little Elm in the Dallas-Fort Worth region ranking fifth.

Fort Worth gained the highest sheer number of new residents of any city in the country in 2022, with an increase of 19,170. Its total population hit 956,709 last year.

Fort Worth just barely outpaced San Antonio, which saw the third-largest numeric increase behind Phoenix, and reached a population of 1.47 million. Last year, San Antonio ranked first while Fort Worth ranked third.

Fort Worth’s growth helped power the broader Dallas-Fort Worth region so that the metro area saw the highest numeric increase of any other metro, with a jump of 170,396 residents. The Houston-The-Woodlands-Sugar-Land metro area followed, adding 124,281 residents.

On its own, Houston — Texas’ most populous city — came in at ninth for numeric population increase.

Texas regularly dominates the Census Bureau’s release of annual population growth, and it crossed a new threshold when total population hit 30,029,572 last year, making Texas only the second state, along with California, to pass 30 million. The state’s overall population has been on an upward trajectory for decades, fueled by both migration to the state and natural increase, which is the difference between births and deaths.

That growth has made the state even more diverse, with people of color fueling 95% of its growth from 2010 to 2020. Latinos powered nearly half of that overall growth of roughly 4 million residents.

Last year, a separate estimate from the Census Bureau indicated that Texas may have passed another demographic milestone: the point at which Hispanic residents make up more of the state’s population than white residents. But those estimates, derived from the bureau’s American Community Survey, are not considered official.

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