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Contact: Robert Bernstein
Public Information Office
Oil- and gas-rich areas in and near the Great Plains contained many of the fastest-growing areas in the U.S. last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released today. Areas along and near the Gulf Coast were also home to several high-growth communities.
Of the nation's 10 fastest-growing metropolitan statistical areas in the year ending July 1, 2013, six were within or near the Great Plains, including Odessa, Texas; Midland, Texas; Fargo, N.D.-Minn.; Bismarck, N.D.; Casper, Wyo.; and Austin-Round Rock, Texas.
Micropolitan statistical areas, which contain an urban cluster of between 10,000 and 49,999 people, followed a similar pattern, with seven located in or adjacent to the Great Plains among the fastest-growing between 2012 and 2013. Williston, N.D., ranked first in growth (10.7 percent), followed by Dickinson, N.D. Andrews, Texas; Minot, N.D.; and two areas in western Oklahoma (Weatherford and Woodward) also made the top 10, as did Hobbs, N.M.
"The data released in today's population estimates report provide an important look at the fastest-growing counties and metro areas," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. "Coupled with yesterday's Economic Census report results, the Census Bureau's population report provides a bigger picture of why certain areas may be growing or shrinking, which is critical for business and government decision-making. The Commerce Department's 'Open for Business Agenda' supports making our data easier to access and understand, so that it can continue enabling startups, moving markets, protecting life and property, and powering both small and large businesses across the country."
"As the first results from the 2012 Economic Census revealed yesterday, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industries were the most rapidly growing part of our nation's economy over the last several years," Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson said. "A major reason was the energy boom on the Plains, which attracted job seekers from around the country. Combining data about America's people, places and economy gives businesses and government the information they need for good investment and policy decisions."
The nation's fastest-growing metro area between 2012 and 2013 was The Villages, Fla. Its population rose by 5.2 percent over the period. The Gulf Coast metro areas of Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, Ala., and Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., also made the top 10 list.
U.S. metro areas with populations of 1 million or more in 2012 grew 1.0 percent, compared with 0.5 percent for those with populations of less than 250,000. The 1,335 counties not inside either a metro area or micro area had a collective population decline of 35,674 between 2012 and 2013, with more than six in 10 of these counties losing population. Overall, 51 percent of counties in the United States gained population between 2012 and 2013. In 68 percent of counties, births outnumbered deaths. Net migration (including both domestic and international migration) had a positive or neutral impact on population growth in 45 percent of counties.
Many counties in or near the Great Plains appear in the lists of fastest-growing counties. Williams, N.D.; Stark, N.D.; and Kendall, Texas, were all among the five fastest-growing counties with populations of 10,000 or more (Williams ranked first nationally). Meade, S.D., and Hays, Texas, also in the Great Plains, made the top 10 list as well. North Dakota counties appear many times in the top-five lists when looking at the fastest-growing counties within different total population size categories (such as those with fewer than 5,000 people, those with 5,000 to 9,999 people, those with 10,000 to 19,999 people, and so forth).
Among the 10 fastest-growing counties in the vicinity of the Gulf Coast were Sumter, Fla.; St. Bernard Parish, La.; and Fort Bend, Texas. See a series of Rankings.
Other highlights:Metro areas
In the coming months, the Census Bureau will release 2013 estimates of the total population of cities and towns, as well as national, state and county population estimates by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin.
The Census Bureau develops county, metro and micro area population estimates by measuring population change since the most recent census. The Census Bureau uses births, deaths, administrative records and survey data to develop estimates of population. For more detail regarding the methodology, see <http://www.census.gov/popest/methodology/>.
The Office of Management and Budget's statistical area delineations (for metro and micro areas) are those issued by that agency in February 2013. Metro areas contain at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more population and micro areas contain at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 (but less than 50,000) population. Both metro and micro areas consist of one or more whole counties or county equivalents. Some metro and micro area titles are abbreviated in the text of the news release. Full titles are shown in the tables.