More people moved to Houston,Texas, between July 1, 2014, to July 1, 2015, than any other metropolitan area in the nation.
In addition, new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows five Texas metro areas — Midland, Odessa, Austin, College Station-Bryan and Houston — are among the 20 fastest-growing areas in the country. In all, the Lone Star gained almost a half-million new residents from July 2014 to July 2015, more than any other U.S. state.
“If you look at every single decade since Texas became a state, it has grown more rapidly than the United States as a whole,” said Steve Murdock, former director of the U.S. Census Bureau and current director of the Center for the Study of Texas at Rice University, told News Radio 1200 WOAI. “Texas has been the leader in growth for the country, at least throughout the period since 2000.”
Atlanta, Phoenix, New York and Los Angeles also drew large crowds. Los Angeles remains the most populous U.S. county with 10.2 million residents.
Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina have some of the fastest-growing metro areas.
Last year, North Carolina added more than 100,000 people, becoming the ninth state in the nation with 10 million or more residents. Most of that growth was concentrated in the Raleigh and Charlotte areas of the state.
The state’s metropolitan areas offer job diversity, major universities and large research associations.
“As a North Carolinian, I know we also talk about the quality of life. You have everything from the mountains to the coast,” Rebecca Tippett, director of Carolina Demography at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Carolina Population Center, told us in December. Tippett, a transplant from Ohio, said milder weather was one of the factors that influenced her decision to relocate to North Carolina.
While Houston, Texas, had the greatest numeric change, it was The Villages, Florida, — west of the Orlando metro area — that was the fastest-growing metro area in the United States for the third year in a row, growing at a rate of 4.3 percent between 2014 and 2015. Five other metropolitan areas in Florida are among the top 20 fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country.
“Young people generally move either for education or for a job, and Florida is one of the largest states in the country,” Stefan Rayer, a population specialist at the University of Florida, told us in December. “It’s very attractive. It has big metropolitan areas, it has good job opportunities, so that’s why people are moving to Florida.”
In all, metropolitan areas in the United States were home to 275 million people in 2015, an increase of about 2.5 million from 2014.
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