New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show the Dallas-Fort Worth metro region had the largest population increase in the country between 2020 and 2021. The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area added 97,290 people during that time.
Texas had five of the ten fastest-growing counties in the nation during that period.
Some of that population growth comes from people moving from other parts of Texas, but part of it is due to people leaving other states - including New York and California.
"Californians, for example, are moving in large numbers to Dallas, Austin and Houston," said Dr. Bill Fulton, Director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University. "In fact, more people are moving from California to Houston than to other cities in Texas."
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Much of the population growth is occurring in the suburbs. Collin County was the second-fastest growing county in the U.S. with 36,313 new residents. Denton County came in sixth place nationwide. Fort Bend County and Montgomery County outside of Houston were also on the top-ten list, along with Williamson County just north of Austin.
"The big suburban counties are increasing population a lot," Dr. Fulton said. "The surprising thing is that the urban counties are either not growing very much or losing population. Dallas County lost 25,000 people. Harris County, which is the county where Houston is, lost 4,000."
New trends in working from home may have helped drive some of those population losses for the big cities. However, Dr. Fulton says COVID-19 was not the only factor.
"The broad trend started before the pandemic. That's not going to change," Dr. Fulton said. "We'll see whether people want to come back to the cities once COVID is diminished."
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