Census Bureau: Texas counties saw greatest population growth

By Bethany Blankley

Texas counties and metro areas ranked among the top in the U.S. for population growth last year, a new U.S. Census Bureau analysis reveals. While California's largest cities lost population, Houston and Dallas were the top 1 and 3 growing counties in the nation.

From 2020 to 2021, five of the top ten counties that saw the greatest population growth and four of the top 10 largest-gaining metro areas were in Texas.

The counties that gained the most people were Collin, Fort Bend, Williamson, Denton and Montgomery, with a combined 145,663 new residents in one year.

Collin County, north of Dallas, gained the most, 30,191 people, putting it over 1.1 million people.

Fort Bend County gained 29,895 people, bringing its population to 858,527.

Williamson County gained 27,760 people, bringing its population to 643,026.

Denton County gained 27,747 people, bringing its population to 941,647.

Montgomery County gained 23,948 people, bringing its population to 648,886.

Harris County remains the largest county in Texas with 4,728,030 people, and the third-largest county in the nation behind Los Angeles and Cook counties.

Dallas County ranks ninth-largest with 2,586,050 people.

Of the 10 largest-gaining metro areas, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington gained the most – 97,290 people. Its population as of July 1, 2021, was over 7.75 million people.

Not far behind was third-ranking Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, which gained 69,094 people. Its population as of July 1, 2021, was over 7.2 million people.

Ranking fourth was Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, which gained 53,301 people, bringing its population to over 2.35 million people.

Ranking eighth for the greatest numeric growth was San Antonio-New Braunfels, gaining 35,105 people, bringing its population to 2.6 million.

Bastrop County also passed the threshold of 100,000 residents, growing to 102,058 people last year.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s Vintage 2021 estimates of population and components of change released Thursday includes population estimates for 384 metropolitan statistical areas, 543 micropolitan statistical areas and 3,143 counties.

By contrast, in 2021 all counties in Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island reported natural decreases, reporting more deaths than births. More than 73% of counties nationwide had natural decreases in 2021.

Some counties experienced population declines due to migration. States with the most counties reporting population decreases were in California, New York and Illinois.

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