Skip Header

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: THURSDAY, MARCH 23, 2017

Release Number CB17-44

MARCH 23, 2017 — Maricopa County, Ariz., replaced Harris County, Texas, as the county with the nation's highest annual population growth, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released today. Harris County was the largest numeric gainer for eight years in a row. Maricopa County gained 81,360 people between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016, or about 222 people per day, while the nation's second-largest population gainer, Harris County, gained 56,587 people, or about 155 people per day on average.

Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, primarily grew through the addition of 43,189 residents from net domestic migration, a measure of how many people move to or from an area versus other parts of the United States. The county also added 25,428 people from natural increase (more births than deaths) and 10,188 people from net international migration.

Harris County, Texas, home to Houston, saw changes in net domestic migration, going from a net gain of more than 17,000 to a net loss of more than 16,000. Despite this, Harris County had the second largest gain in population due to high natural increase (46,412) and net international migration (27,922).

"In the early 2000s, Maricopa County was in the top one or two counties by numeric growth. From 2009-2011, Maricopa County saw much lower net migration than in the years before or after, which caused the county to drop out of the top population-gaining counties," explained Peter Borsella, a demographer in the Census Bureau's population division. "While net international migration has not reached prior levels, net domestic migration and natural increase have continued to rise, making Maricopa County this year's largest numeric gainer."

In addition, Maricopa grew the fastest among the top 10 largest counties at 1.95 percent, an increase from 1.90 percent from the previous year. Harris County remained the third-largest county with 4.6 million people, and Maricopa County remained the fourth-largest county with 4.2 million people. Los Angeles County and Cook County, Ill., remained the largest and second-largest counties, respectively.

The statistics released today provide population estimates and components of change for our nation's 382 metropolitan statistical areas, 551 micropolitan statistical areas, and 3,142 counties, as well as Puerto Rico's metropolitan statistical areas, micropolitan statistical areas and municipios.

Find more highlights from this year's release below and local-level statistics on census.gov.

In the coming months, the Census Bureau will release 2016 population estimates for cities and towns, as well as national, state and county population estimates by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin.

Some High-Population Counties or County-Equivalents Continued to Experience Population Loss

These notable high-population counties continued to see population loss:

  • Cook County, Ill. (Chicago): -21,324.
  • Wayne County, Mich. (Detroit): -7,696.
  • Baltimore city, Md.: -6,738.

Baltimore city saw an increase in population loss this year primarily due to a doubling of its net domestic out-migration.

Fastest-Growing Areas in Utah

Three of the 20 fastest-growing metro areas between 2015 and 2016 were located either partially or completely in Utah (St. George, Utah; Provo-Orem, Utah; and Logan, Utah-Idaho).

  • Provo-Orem, Utah, and Logan, Utah-Idaho, saw natural increase as a larger component of growth than either net international migration or net domestic migration, while St. George, Utah, saw net domestic migration as a larger component of growth than either net international migration or natural increase. 
  • Also, San Juan County, Utah, was the fastest-growing county in the United States among counties with populations of 10,000 or more in 2015. It grew by 7.6 percent.

Second-Fastest-Growing U.S. County in 2015 Fell to 2,858th in 2016

North Dakota counties no longer top the list of fastest-growing counties by percentage change.

  • McKenzie County fell from second-fastest growing by percentage change to 2,858th.
  • Williams County fell from third to 3,105th.
  • Mountrail County fell from sixth to 2,375th.
  • Stark County fell from eighth to 3,103rd.

All of these counties lost population due to people moving away to other parts of the United States (negative net domestic migration). Formerly fast-growing North Dakota counties have been replaced in the top 10 by counties in Iowa, Oregon and Washington. Other top 10 counties once again are in Utah, Texas and Florida.

County Highlights

  • Eight of the 10 counties with the most natural decrease (more deaths than births) were in Florida. Four of the top 10 counties with the most natural increase were in California, and 3 of the 10 were in Texas.
  • St. Louis County, Mo., dropped below 1 million for the first time since 2011, largely due to a rise in net domestic out-migration.
  • Three counties reached a population milestone of 100,000 or higher: Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska; Highlands County, Fla., and Carver County, Minn.
  • Pasco County, Fla., reached a population of 500,000, and Tarrant County, Texas, reached 2 million.

Metropolitan Statistical Area Highlights

  • The nation's 382 metro areas contained approximately 277.1 million people in 2016, representing approximately 86 percent of the nation's population. This was an increase of approximately 2.3 million people from 2015.
  • For the fourth year in a row, The Villages, Fla., a metro area west of the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla., metro area, was the nation's fastest-growing metro area, with a 4.3 percent population increase between 2015 and 2016.
  • The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas, and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas, metro areas were the two largest numeric-gaining metro areas between 2015 and 2016, increasing by more than 100,000 each.
  • Four metro areas were among both the 25 fastest growing and the 25 largest numeric gaining between 2015 and 2016: Austin-Round Rock, Texas; Raleigh, N.C.; Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla.; and Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. For all four areas, net domestic migration was a larger component of change than either net international migration or natural increase
  • Among the 10 largest metro areas, the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., metro area was the only metro area that did not grow in population between 2015 and 2016.

Micropolitan Statistical Area Highlights

  • The nation’s 551 micro areas contained approximately 27.7 million people in 2016, representing approximately nine percent of the nation’s population. This is an increase of approximately 16,000 people from 2015.
  • Micro areas in the West grew the most.
    • Heber, Utah, was the fastest-growing micro area, with an increase of 4.7 percent between 2015 and 2016. The five fastest-growing micro areas were in the West: Heber, Utah; Prineville, Ore.; Ellensburg, Wash.; Bozeman, Mont.; and Cedar City, Utah. Among these five areas, net domestic migration was a larger component of change than either net international migration or natural increase.
    • Bozeman, Mont., had the largest numeric gain among micro areas between 2015 and 2016, increasing by approximately 3,800 people. Four of the five largest numeric-gaining micro areas between 2015 and 2016 were in the West: Bozeman, Mont.; Hilo, Hawaii; Kalispell, Mont.; and Oak Harbor, Wash.

Puerto Rico

  • Overall, Puerto Rico's population has been decreasing since 2010. The Commonwealth total resident population decreased by 314,850 (or 8.4 percent) since 2010 to 3,411,307 on July 1, 2016.
  • San Juan experienced the largest numeric decrease in population of any municipio, losing 8,497 residents between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016, followed by Bayamón (-4,448 residents) and Ponce (-3,748 residents).
  • Of Puerto Rico's 78 municipios, only Gurabo experienced growth between July 1, 2015, and July 1, 2016, gaining 56 residents (an increase of 0.1 percent).
  • All other municipios experienced a decline in population. The fastest-declining municipios were Peñuelas, Lares and Guánica, featuring a decline of 2.7 percent each.

To find where people are leaving from and moving to, visit Census Flows Mapper.

-X-

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 <www.census.gov/programs-surveys/popest/technical-documentation/methodology.html>.

The Office of Management and Budget's statistical area delineations (for metro and micro areas) are those issued by that agency in July 2015. 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 may be abbreviated in the text of the news release. Full titles are shown in the tables.

Top 10 Largest-Gaining Counties (Numeric Change): July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016

County Population Numeric Change Percent Change Births Deaths Domestic Migration International Migration
Maricopa County,
Arizona
4,242,997 81,360 1.95 56,073 30,645 43,189 10,188
Harris County,
Texas
4,589,928 56,587 1.25 73,072 26,660 -16,225 27,922
Clark County,
Nevada
2,155,664 46,375 2.20 27,352 16,501 27,735 6,566
King County,
Washington
2,149,970 35,714 1.69 25,905 13,580 8,511 15,500
Tarrant County,
Texas
2,016,872 35,462 1.79 28,682 12,903 13,411 6,348
Riverside County,
California
2,387,741 34,849 1.48 30,845 17,092 16,961 3,099
Bexar County,
Texas
1,928,680 33,198 1.75 28,283 13,458 13,077 5,361
Orange County,
Florida
1,314,367 29,503 2.30 16,721 8,198 10,083 11,078
Dallas County,
Texas
2,574,984 29,209 1.15 40,063 16,407 -6,193 12,133
Hillsborough County,
Florida
1,376,238 29,161 2.16 17,345 11,179 14,806 7,774

Top 10 Fastest-Growing Counties (Percent Change, Counties With a Population of 10,000 or More): July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016

County Population Numeric Change Percent Change Births Deaths Domestic Migration International Migration
San Juan County,
Utah
16,895 1,188 7.56 240 112 1,038 13
Kendall County,
Texas
42,540 2,088 5.16 391 389 1,844 77
Hays County,
Texas
204,470 9,896 5.09 2,553 1,011 7,932 171
Wasatch County,
Utah
30,528 1,363 4.67 475 126 891 77
Dallas County,
Iowa
84,516 3,739 4.63 1,268 433 2,500 296
Comal County,
Texas
134,788 5,675 4.40 1,597 1,085 4,760 109
Sumter County,
Florida
123,996 5,114 4.30 501 1,742 4,873 55
Crook County,
Oregon
22,570 923 4.26 240 236 886 7
Juab County,
Utah
11,010 444 4.20 185 74 319 -1
Kittitas County,
Washington
44,866 1,809 4.20 391 286 1,563 72

Top 10 Largest-Declining Counties or County Equivalents (Numeric Change): July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016

County Population Numeric Change Percent Change Births Deaths Domestic Migration International Migration
Cook County,
Illinois
5,203,499 -21,324 -0.41 68,049 42,297 -66,244 18,434
Wayne County,
Michigan
1,749,366 -7,696 -0.44 23,209 18,231 -17,346 4,279
Baltimore city,
Maryland
614,664 -6,738 -1.08 8,654 6,871 -11,008 2,195
Cuyahoga County,
Ohio
1,249,352 -5,673 -0.45 14,941 13,563 -10,122 3,402
Suffolk County,
New York
1,492,583 -5,320 -0.36 15,446 12,793 -11,278 4,327
Milwaukee County,
Wisconsin
951,448 -4,866 -0.51 13,675 8,176 -13,186 2,505
Allegheny County,
Pennsylvania
1,225,365 -3,933 -0.32 13,193 13,995 -5,821 3,479
San Juan County,
New Mexico
115,079 -3,622 -3.05 1,703 1,026 -4,341 42
St. Louis City,
Missouri
311,404 -3,471 -1.10 4,547 3,070 -6,189 981
Jefferson County,
New York
114,006 -3,254 -2.78 2,000 945 -4,674 345

Top 25 Fastest-Growing Metro Areas (Percent Change): July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016

Rank by Percent Change Metro Area 2015 Population 2016 Population Numeric Change Percent Change Natural Increase Births Deaths Net Migration Domestic Migration International Migration
1 The Villages, FL 118,882 123,996 5,114 4.3 -1,241 501 1,742 4,928 4,873 55
2 Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC 432,493 449,295 16,802 3.9 -488 4,214 4,702 15,308 14,881 427
3 Bend-Redmond, OR 174,942 181,307 6,365 3.6 398 1,853 1,455 5,698 5,695 3
4 Greeley, CO 285,053 294,932 9,879 3.5 2,381 4,106 1,725 7,300 6,991 309
5 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL 700,285 722,336 22,051 3.1 -658 6,666 7,324 20,780 17,769 3,011
6 St. George, UT 155,450 160,245 4,795 3.1 1,026 2,232 1,206 3,285 3,267 18
7 Provo-Orem, UT 585,362 603,309 17,947 3.1 10,004 12,347 2,343 7,765 6,893 872
8 Punta Gorda, FL 173,194 178,465 5,271 3.0 -1,614 1,044 2,658 6,154 5,800 354
9 Austin-Round Rock, TX 1,998,104 2,056,405 58,301 2.9 17,071 27,375 10,304 40,273 33,395 6,878
10 North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL 768,013 788,457 20,444 2.7 -3,227 6,545 9,772 21,138 18,913 2,225
11 Coeur d'Alene, ID 150,364 154,311 3,947 2.6 480 1,834 1,354 3,169 3,123 46
12 Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL 649,425 666,149 16,724 2.6 892 7,678 6,786 15,061 12,152 2,909
13 Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL 147,792 151,563 3,771 2.6 -766 1,284 2,050 3,828 3,530 298
14 Raleigh, NC 1,271,381 1,302,946 31,565 2.5 8,414 15,893 7,479 22,607 18,510 4,097
15 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 2,382,132 2,441,257 59,125 2.5 10,798 28,849 18,051 46,922 29,441 17,481
16 Port St. Lucie, FL 454,111 465,208 11,097 2.4 -890 4,357 5,247 10,724 9,759 965
17 Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL 356,570 365,136 8,566 2.4 -220 3,270 3,490 7,434 5,292 2,142
18 Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL 203,690 208,563 4,873 2.4 161 2,274 2,113 4,289 4,046 243
19 Boise City, ID 675,777 691,423 15,646 2.3 4,157 8,753 4,596 10,757 9,950 807
20 Logan, UT-ID 133,093 136,159 3,066 2.3 1,991 2,578 587 1,052 728 324
21 Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL 623,378 637,674 14,296 2.3 -2,437 5,714 8,151 15,419 13,981 1,438
22 Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO 513,449 525,032 11,583 2.3 3,660 7,266 3,606 7,845 6,564 1,281
23 Olympia-Tumwater, WA 269,183 275,222 6,039 2.2 1,000 3,172 2,172 4,725 4,060 665
24 Charleston-North Charleston, SC 744,603 761,155 16,552 2.2 3,710 9,662 5,952 12,377 11,471 906
25 Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV 2,109,289 2,155,664 46,375 2.2 10,851 27,352 16,501 34,301 27,735 6,566

Contact


Public Information Office

301-763-3030

pio@census.gov

Back to Header