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New Census Data Show Texas Cities Are Growing Faster Than All Other States

Feel like packing up everything you own and moving to a big city?

The latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday, indicate you're most likely to be thinking of relocating from the Northeast to one of the fastest growing large cities in the South. Specifically, to Texas where seven of the nation's fastest growing cities are located.

Dallas and Fort Worth, ranking at three and four respectively, have seen remarkable growth in the last year, but it's San Antonio that the bureau said is at the top of the list in terms of overall population growth.


The home of the Alamo, and possibly some people you may already know, welcomed 24,200 new residents between 2016 and 2017, the largest growth of anywhere in the country. That's an average of 66 people a day, Amel Toukabri, a demographer in the Population Division of the Census Bureau, said in a statement.

"That's a growth rate of 1.6 percent. This growth was enough to push San Antonio's population above the 1.5 million mark," he added.

Elsewhere in the state, Frisco and Austin continue to see increases. In fact, Frisco, a suburb of Dallas that boasts the National Videogame Museum among its landmarks, had the largest growth by percentage — 8.2 percent — leading to an average of 37 new people either being born or moving into the city limits every day.

Additionally, the report said: "Fort Worth surpassed Indianapolis, Ind., becoming the 15th largest city in the United States with a population of 874,168. Indianapolis has a population of 863,002. The 14 largest U.S.cities have not changed since 2016."

Phoenix takes the second spot on the numerical population boom list with 24,036 new souls, but the Arizona city doesn't make into the top 15 list of expansion by percentage. Similarly, Los Angeles, Seattle, Charlotte, N.C., Columbus, Ohio and Atlanta, had large influxes of people without making a significant impact on the broader population.


On the opposite side of the spectrum, once burgeoning cities are in the midst of contraction.

An analysis of the Census Bureau's raw data by The Associated Press determined Chicago has seen a decline for the third consecutive year. Although it is still the third largest city in the country counting 2.7 million residents, the AP estimates it lost about 3,800 of them since its last count.

Chicago-based researchers told the AP shrinking numbers are partly due to the exodus of African-Americans from the city, slowing immigration and a a sluggish economy.

Detroit continues its decades-long decline, according to the AP. As Michigan communities made gains, especially in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Ann Arbor, the city once at the heart of the U.S. auto industry dropped nearly 2,380 resident.

Mayor Mike Duggan told the AP families with children seeking better schools are being replaced by one or two-person households.

If taking a long view, then Seattle has overtaken Austin to become the nation's fastest-growing big city since 2010.A study of the bureau's research by The Seattle Times concluded the city's population has increased by 18.7 percent since the start of the decade. That is second only to Austin, which has ballooned by 17.9 percent in the same period.

Nationally, the bureau found northeastern cities, which swelled by only 2.2 percent on average, are facing the lowest percentages of growth since 2010. On average, cities in the South grew by 10 percent; Western cities expanded by 7.8 percent; big cities in the Midwest increased by 3 percent.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers breaking news on a wide range of topics, weighing in daily on everything from immigration and the treatment of migrant children, to a war-crimes trial where a witness claimed he was the actual killer, to an alleged sex cult. She has also covered the occasional cat-clinging-to-the-hood-of-a-car story.
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