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Fort Worth Is Now The 15th Biggest City In The U.S., And Frisco Is Booming, Census Says

Texas continues to be a people magnet. The state dominated a list recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau of the country’s fastest-growing large cities.

Dallas and Fort Worth had among the largest population gains last year. On the list of 15 cities nationwide with the most population growth, Dallas' increase of 18,935 people put it at No. 3, and Fort Worth was No. 4, with an increase of 18,664. Fort Worth's growth means the city is now the country's 15th biggest, the Census says.

U.S. cities with largest population increases  

On the list of cities with the most population increases, San Antonio took the No. 1 spot. 

"San Antonio tops the list with the largest population gain with an increase of over 24,200 people — an average of 66 people per day between 2016 and 2017," said Amel Toukabri, a demographer in the Census Bureau's population division.

The growth in North Texas went beyond the urban core. Frisco in Collin County took the No. 9 spot. It gained 13,470 people for a total 2017 population of 177,286.

The reportcharts growth from population estimates between July 2016 and July 2017. The cities that were studied had populations of 50,000 or more in 2016.

Meanwhile, Houston, the most populous city in Texas, only grew by an estimated 8,235 people. The sluggish growth in Houston and other big cities is stark compared with explosive growth in the suburbs.

According to the Texas Tribune, that underscores the migratory story of Texas in recent years. Large cities continue to buckle under housing demands and suburban development.

State demographer Lloyd Potter also cites a downturn in petroleum industry activity as a likely cause and ongoing outward pressure into the suburbs, according to the Tribune.

(The Tribune also notes that the slow growth rate doesn't reflect any displacement from Hurricane Harvey, since it didn't hit Houston and other parts of the Texas coast until August 2017.)

 The fastest-growing U.S. cities

Frisco's rate of growth stands out even more. Not only did the city have one of the biggest population increases last year, it was the fastest-growing large city in the country. Frisco's population grew more than 8 percent. That's more than 11 times faster than the nation's growth rate of 0.7 percent, the Census Bureau notes.

Credit Christy Robinson / KERA News

Seven of the 15 fastest-growing cities are in Texas. The top three cities on the nationwide fastest-growing list are in the Lone Star State. New Braunfels and Pflugerville follow Frisco at Nos. 2 and 3.

Two other North Texas cities made the fastest-growing list, too. McKinney was No. 9 with a 4.8 percent increase, and Flower Mound was No. 11 with a 4.3 percent increase.

U.S. cities with the largest total populations

In terms of the country’s most populous cities, five are located in Texas, with Fort Worth joining for the first time.

New York City is No. 1 with 8.6 million, followed by Los Angeles with almost 4 million and Chicago with 2.7 million.

Houston is the fourth most populous city in the country, with San Antonio in seventh, Dallas (1.3 million) at No. 9, and Austin at No. 11.

Fort Worth (874,168) bumped Indianapolis (863,002) off the previous list to snag the No. 15 spot. The other top 14 cities on this list haven't changed since 2016. 

Christy Robinson works with the KERA's Digital team managing the station's websites and platforms, focusing on content.