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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2020

Release Number CB20-78 *REVISED*

*Revised May, 21, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.
Note: Line 10 of Table 2 (2019 Total Population) and Table 3 (Numeric Increase) were updated with the correct information highlighted in bold. Please disregard any previous versions.

Ten of the Fifteen Fastest-Growing Cities and Towns in the South

MAY 21, 2020 — Since 2010, populations in cities in the southern and western regions of the United States experienced rapid growth. The South leads the way with 10 of the top 15 fastest-growing large U.S. cities, with a population of 50,000 or more, according to new population estimates for cities and towns, the Census Bureau reports today.

“Frisco, Texas, tops the list of the fastest-growing large cities with a growth rate of 71.1%, increasing its population by more than half since April 1, 2010,” says Amel Toukabri, chief of the Local Government Estimates and Migration Processing Branch in the Census Bureau’s Population Division. For a complete list, see fastest-growing large cities 2010-2019.

With respect to numeric change, cities in Texas are among those that have added the most people this decade. Collectively, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Fort Worth and Dallas increased by almost 933,600 people. This equals 39.5% of the roughly 2.4 million increase by the top 15 numeric gainers.

Among the 15 U.S. cities or towns with populations of 50,000 or more as of April 1, 2010, that had the largest numeric increases since 2010, eight were located in the South, five in the West, and one each in the Northeast and the Midwest. Phoenix, Ariz., tops the list of the 15 largest numeric gainers with an increase of over 234,300 people or an average of 25,330 people per year between 2010 and 2019. Aside from New York, New York, and Columbus, Ohio, the other cities making up the list of the largest numeric gainers were located in the South or West. 

Most Populous Cities Since 2010

Nine years after the 2010 Census, New York continued to be the nation's most populous city by a wide margin, with 8.3 million residents on July 1, 2019, followed by Los Angeles (almost 4 million) and Chicago (about 2.7 million). The composition of the list of the 15 most populous cities has remained largely unchanged; nevertheless, two new cities (Fort Worth, in 13th place, and Charlotte, N.C., in 15th place) joined as of July 1, 2019, and Indianapolis, Ind., and San Francisco, Calif., both fell out of the top 15 and the list's order has changed slightly. 

Population Milestones Since 2010

  • Four areas surpassed the 500,000 mark between 2010 and 2019, including three in the West and one in the South. Cities in the West were Mesa, Ariz. (518,012); Fresno, Calif. (531,576); and Sacramento, Calif. (513,624). Atlanta, Ga., grew by 18.7% to a population of about 506,800, the only area that exceeded the threshold in the South.
  • San Jose, Calif., is the only city to cross the population threshold of one million since 2010.

America’s Composition of Big Cities and Small Towns Unchanged Since 2010

The United States’ composition remains a mix of big cities and small towns. While only 4.0% (780) of all cities had a population of 50,000 or more in 2019, collectively they contained 127.7 million people out of the nation’s 328.2 million — nearly 61% of the U.S. population living in incorporated places. On the other hand, of the 19,502 cities and towns in the United States, around 76% (14,754) had fewer than 5,000 people as of July 1, 2019.

Regional Average Growth and Decline Since 2010

Overall, large cities in the South with populations of 50,000 or more continue to grow at a faster pace than in any other U.S region. Since the 2010 Census, the populations of large southern cities increased by an average of 11.8%. In contrast, large cities in the West grew by 9.1%, whereas large cities in the Northeast and Midwest grew by 1.5% and 3.1%, respectively.

On average, small cities and towns — those with fewer than 5,000 people — have seen uneven growth across U.S. regions:

  • Western small towns saw the largest growth with an increase of 13.3%.
  • Southern small towns grew by 6.7%.
  • Northeastern small towns declined by 3.0%.
  • Midwest small towns declined by 1.7%.

Mid-sized cities in the Northeast, places with populations between 5,000 and 9,999, experienced relative stability, seeing a small average decline of 0.9% since the 2010 Census. Mid-sized cities in the other regions experienced population growth, on average.

Other Highlights

Population Gain: July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2019

Between 2018 and 2019, Leander, Texas, was the fastest-growing large city, increasing by 12%, making its growth rate 24 times faster than the nation’s growth rate of 0.5%. See infographic: fastest-growing large cities 2018-2019.

Over the same period, the South had seven big cities among the top 15 with the largest numeric population change. This is consistent with the period from 2010 to 2019. Likewise, Phoenix, Ariz., once again tops this list for both periods to mark the largest numeric gain: an average increase of 72 people per day between July 1, 2018, and July 1, 2019. Rounding out the top five with the largest population increases were San Antonio, Texas (17,237); Austin, Texas (16,439); Fort Worth, Texas (16,369); and Charlotte, N.C. (13,194).

Some other cities in the South with the largest population gains were Frisco, Texas (12,038); Jacksonville, Fla. (9,070); and Atlanta, Ga. (8,628), which crossed the 500,000 threshold as of July 1, 2019. In the West, the other cities experiencing large population increases were Seattle, Wash. (11,440); Denver, Colo. (10,946); Henderson, Nev. (10,671); Mesa, Ariz. (10,067); Chico, Calif. (8,959);  Las Vegas, Nev. (8,091); and Meridian, Idaho (7,697).

For more specific information on the top 15 cities and towns, with a population of 10,000 or more, by percent change and their ranking within each state, check out the cities and towns data visualization.

Six cities and towns crossed the 100,000 population mark in 2019. These were Chico, Calif. (103,301); Vacaville, Calif. (100,670); Carmel, Ind. (101,068); Bend, Ore. (100,421); Edinburg, Texas (101,170); and Spokane Valley, Wash., (101,060).

Additionally, nine areas surpassed 50,000 in population in 2019: four areas in the West, three areas in the South, and two areas in the Midwest. These were Queen Creek, Ariz. (50,890); Beaumont, Calif. (51,063); Twin Falls, Idaho (50,197); Mishawaka, Ind. (50,363); West Lafayette, Ind. (50,996); Kannapolis, N.C. (50,841); Little Elm, Texas (53,126); Texas City, Texas (50,094); and Herriman, Utah (51,348).

Housing Unit Growth Remained Steady in Nearly All States

The nation’s housing stock grew by about 1.2 million housing units between 2018 and 2019, reaching a total of 139.7 million. The annual growth rate of 0.8% from 2018 to 2019 remained the same as the prior year.

Five states gained more than 50,000 housing units between 2018 and 2019: Texas (185,000), Florida (128,000), California (91,000), North Carolina (64,000) and Georgia (53,000).

Utah was the fastest-growing state in terms of housing units, with an increase of 2.2% between 2018 and 2019. Idaho was the second-fastest-growing state, at a 2.1% growth rate, followed by Colorado and Texas with increases of 1.7%.

Housing Unit Change Since Census Day (April 1, 2010)

The nation’s housing stock grew by 8 million units (about 6.1%) since April 1, 2010. North Dakota was the fastest-growing state in terms of housing units, with an increase of 19.7% during the same period. Rounding out the top five gainers were Utah (15.7%), Texas (13.1%), Idaho (12.5%) and Colorado (11.4%).

Fourteen states added more than 150,000 housing units between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2019. The top six with the largest numeric increases were Texas (1.3 million), California (686,000), Florida (684,000), North Carolina (420,000), Washington (309,000) and New York (296,000).

When compared to the previous years’ average growth, the county housing unit growth rate has substantially slowed down in most counties and accelerated in the fastest-growing large cities in the South. A map is available with additional data for housing unit change by county. It displays the county housing unit percentage change from 2018 to 2019 compared to the average year-to-year change for the same county between 2010 and 2018. Counties shaded green grew faster from 2018 to 2019 compared to their average annual change from 2010 to 2018. 

Table 1. The 15 Fastest-Growing Large Cities Between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2019, With Populations of 50,000 or More on April 1, 2010
Rank Area Name State Name Percent Increase 2019 Total Population Region
1 Frisco city Texas 71.1 200,490

 

South
2

 

Buckeye city Arizona 56.6 79,620 West
3

 

New Braunfels city Texas 56.4 90,209 South
4 McKinney city Texas 51.9 199,177 South
5 South Jordan city Utah 51.8 76,598 West
6 Meridian city Idaho 48.3 114,161 West
7 Cedar Park city Texas 44.2 79,462 South
8 Fort Myers city Florida 39.8 87,103 South
9 Conroe city Texas 39.3 91,079 South
10 Irvine city California 35.5 287,401 West
11 Murfreesboro city Tennessee  34.6 146,900 South
12 Mount Pleasant town South Carolina 34.1 91,684 South
13 Round Rock city Texas 33.3 133,372 South
14 Goodyear city Arizona  33.1 86,840 West
15 Franklin city Tennessee 32.8 83,097 South

 

Table 2. The 15 Fastest-Declining Large Cities Between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2019, With Populations of 50,000 or More on April 1, 2010
Rank Area Name State Name Percent Decrease 2019 Total Population Region
1 Charleston city West Virginia -9.4 46,536 South
2 Jackson city Mississippi -7.4 160,628 South
3 Decatur city Illinois -7.1 70,746 Midwest
4 Shreveport city Louisiana -6.9 187,112 South
5 Albany city Georgia -6.9 72,130 South
6 Gary city Indiana -6.7 74,879 Midwest
7 Flint city Michigan -6.6 95,538 Midwest
8 Hammond city Indiana -6.6 75,522 Midwest
9 Rocky Mount city North Carolina -6.5 53,922 South
10 Saginaw city Michigan -6.5 48,115 Midwest
11 Detroit city Michigan -6.1 670,031 Midwest
12 Erie city Pennsylvania -6.1 95,508 Northeast
13 St. Louis city Missouri -5.9 300,576 Midwest
14 Toledo city Ohio -5.1 272,779 Midwest
15 Rockford city Illinois -5.0 145,609 Midwest

 

Table 3. The 15 Cities With the Largest Numeric Increase Between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2019, With Populations of 50,000 or More on April 1, 2010
Rank Area Name State Name Numeric Increase 2019 Total Population Region
1 Phoenix city Arizona 234,301                           1,680,992 West
2 Houston city Texas 224,751                           2,320,268 South
3 San Antonio city Texas 221,092                           1,547,253 South
4 Los Angeles city California 186,437                           3,979,576 West
5 Austin city Texas 177,079                               978,908 South
6 Fort Worth city Texas 164,761                               909,585 South
7 New York city New York 161,786                           8,336,817 Northeast
8 Charlotte city North Carolina 150,101                               885,708 South
9 Dallas city Texas 145,915                           1,343,573 South
10 Seattle city Washington 145,014                               753,675 West
11 Denver city Colorado 127,386                               727,211 West
12 San Diego city California 121,922                           1,423,851 West
13 Columbus city Ohio 109,535                               898,553 Midwest
14 Washington city District of Columbia 103,982                               705,749 South
15 Jacksonville city Florida 89,757                               911,507 South

 

Table 4. The 15 Cities With the Largest Numeric Decrease Between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2019, With Populations of 50,000 or More on April 1, 2010
Rank Area Name State Name Numeric Decrease 2019 Total Population Region
1 Detroit city Michigan -43,867 670,031 Midwest
2 Baltimore city Maryland -27,280 593,490 South
3 St. Louis city Missouri -18,713 300,576 Midwest
4 Cleveland city Ohio -15,656 381,009 Midwest
5 Toledo city Ohio -14,578 272,779 Midwest
6 Shreveport city Louisiana -13,864 187,112 South
7 Jackson city Mississippi -12,923 160,628 South
8 Baton Rouge city Louisiana -9,187 220,236 South
9 Rockford city Illinois -7,676 145,609 Midwest
10 Montgomery city Alabama -6,976 198,525 South
11 Flint city Michigan -6,728 95,538 Midwest
12 Erie city Pennsylvania -6,230 95,508 Northeast
13 Buffalo city New York -6,062 255,284 Northeast
14 Mobile city Alabama -5,939 188,720 South
15 Decatur city Illinois -5,385 70,746 Midwest

 

Table 5. The 15 Most Populous Cities on April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2019
April 1, 2010 July 1, 2019
Rank Area Name State Name Total Population Rank Area Name State Name Total Population
1 New York city New York 8,175,031 1 New York city New York 8,336,817
2 Los Angeles city California 3,793,139 2 Los Angeles city California 3,979,576
3 Chicago city Illinois 2,695,652 3 Chicago city Illinois 2,693,976
4 Houston city Texas 2,095,517 4 Houston city Texas 2,320,268
5 Philadelphia city Pennsylvania 1,526,012 5 Phoenix city Arizona 1,680,992
6 Phoenix city Arizona 1,446,691 6 Philadelphia city Pennsylvania 1,584,064
7 San Antonio city Texas  1,326,161 7 San Antonio city Texas 1,547,253
8 San Diego city California 1,301,929 8 San Diego city California 1,423,851
9 Dallas city Texas  1,197,658 9 Dallas city Texas 1,343,573
10 San Jose city California  952,528 10 San Jose city California 1,021,795
11 Jacksonville city Florida  821,750 11 Austin city Texas 978,908
12 Indianapolis city (balance) Indiana  820,457 12 Jacksonville city Florida 911,507
13 San Francisco city California  805,184 13 Fort Worth city Texas 909,585
14 Austin city Texas  801,829 14 Columbus city Ohio 898,553
15 Columbus city Ohio 789,018 15 Charlotte city North Carolina 885,708

 

Table 6. Cities Crossing Major Population Thresholds Between 2010 and 2019
Area Name State Region 2010 Total Population 2019 Total Population Numeric Difference Percent Difference
Population With 500,000 or More
Mesa city  Arizona West 440,092 518,012 77,920 17.7
Fresno city  California West 497,172 531,576 34,404 6.9
Sacramento city  California West 466,383 513,624 47,241 10.1
Atlanta city  Georgia South 427,059 506,811 79,752 18.7
Population With 1 Million or More
San Jose city  California  West 952,528 1,021,795 69,267 7.3

 

Table 7. Total Population Living in Cities and Towns by Population Size as of July 1, 2019
Population Size Number of Cities Total Population
Under 5,000 14,754 16,688,576
Between 5,000 and Less Than 10,000 1,655 11,814,332
Between 10,000 and Less Than 50,000 2,313 50,629,119
50,000 and Over 780 127,752,822

 

Table 8. Population Change Between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2019, by Region and Population Size
Population Under 5,000 as of 2010
Region Number of Cities Average Numeric Change Average Percent Change
Northeast 1,424 -38 -3
Midwest 7,024 -2 -1.7
South 5,025 48 6.7
West  1,358 90 13.3
Population Between 5,000 and 9,999 as of 2010
Region Number of Cities Average Numeric Change Average Percent Change
Northeast 307 -65 -0.9
Midwest 531 114 1.5
South 577 573 8
West 255 776 11
Population of 50,000 or More as of 2010
Region Number of Cities Average Numeric Change Average Percent Change
Northeast  79 4,839 1.5
Midwest 152 4,107 3.1
South 219 18,663 11.8
West 269 13,941 9.1

The statistics released today cover all local functioning governmental units, including incorporated places (like cities and towns), minor civil divisions (such as townships), and consolidated cities (government units for which the functions of an incorporated place and its parent county have merged).

On June 25, 2020, the Census Bureau will release estimates of the July 1, 2019, population for the nation, states and counties by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin. Population estimates for Puerto Rico and its municipios by age and sex will be released as well. These estimates include counties and cities affected by the 2018 hurricane season. The data will be embargoed (June 23, 2020).

American FactFinder (AFF) was retired on March 31, 2020, and has been replaced by data.census.gov. Population and housing unit estimates data previously released on AFF are now available on the Population and Housing Unit Estimates website. With each new release of annual estimates, the entire time series of estimates is revised for all years back to the last census. All previously published estimates (e.g., old vintages) are superseded and archived on the FTP2 site. Files previously released on AFF are also available on the FTP2 site. Please use the searchable index of the FTP2 site for a complete inventory of all content available on the site.

The Census Bureau develops city and town population estimates by measuring population change since the most recent census. The Census Bureau uses administrative records on births, deaths and migration to develop estimates of population. For more detail regarding the methodology, see <www.census.gov/programs-surveys/popest/technical-documentation/methodology.html>. 

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Contact


Mike Friedrich
Public Information Office
301-763-3030
pio@census.gov

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