MARCH 24, 2016 — Four Texas metro areas together added more people last year than any state in the country except for Texas as a whole, according to new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released today. The population in these four metro areas increased by more than 400,000 people from July 1, 2014, to July 1, 2015.
The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro areas added about 159,000 and 145,000 residents, respectively — the largest gains of any metro areas in the nation. Two additional Texas metro areas adjacent to each other — Austin-Round Rock and San Antonio-New Braunfels — were each also among the 16 nationwide to gain 50,000 or more people over the period.
These four Texas metro areas collectively added about 412,000 people. Texas as a whole gained about 490,000.
Eight counties drove Texas’ metro area growth and were among the 20 counties nationwide that gained the most population between 2014 and 2015. Altogether, they added 306,736 people:
The Villages, Fla., a metro area west of the Orlando metro area, was the nation’s fastest-growing metro area for the third year in a row, as its population increased 4.3 percent between 2014 and 2015. It was joined in the top 20 by five others in the Sunshine State: Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Punta Gorda, North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford and Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island.
Five Texas metros — Midland, Odessa, Austin, College Station-Bryan and Houston — were also among the 20 fastest growing between 2014 and 2015.
In addition to growth in several metro areas in Florida and Texas, three metro areas partially or completely within South Carolina were among the 20 fastest growing between 2014 and 2015:
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, S.C.-N.C. (which ranked second nationally), Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort and Charleston-North Charleston.
Houston, Austin and Orlando were the only three metro areas nationwide to be among both the 20 with the largest numeric gains and the 20 fastest growing (percentage gain) between 2014 and 2015.
North Dakota was home to each of the four fastest-growing counties (among those with populations of 10,000 or more in 2015) between 2014 and 2015. McKenzie (16.7 percent population growth) led, followed by Williams, Mountrail and Stark. McKenzie passed the10,000 person threshold in 2014 for the first time. However, eight of the 20 fastest-growing counties were in Texas, with three more in Florida and two in Utah.
State population estimates released in December revealed that North Carolina added more than 100,000 people during the last year to become the ninth state with 10 million or more people. The growth to reach this milestone was, in large part, propelled by two metro areas partially or completely within the state: Raleigh, N.C., the 16th fastest-growing metro area in the U.S., and Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C., the 17th largest numeric-gaining metro area in the U.S. Together, these two metro areas grew by about 78,000 people.
In the coming months, the Census Bureau will release 2015 population estimates 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 area, 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 <https://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.