Texas continues to be the nation’s fastest growing state, according to data from the U.S. government Census Bureau.
“From July 1, 2016, to July 1, 2017, six of the top 10 largest-gaining counties were in Texas,” the bureau wrote in a news release.
The fastest growing area in the country was the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area, which gained 146,000 residents last year.
“Historically, the Dallas metro area attracts large numbers from both international and domestic migration. Many of the other largest metro areas in the country rely mostly on international migration and natural population increase for growth,” said Molly Cromwell, a demographer at the Census Bureau.
The biggest boost in population among all the fastest growing areas was “net domestic migration, the bureau noted.
“The most likely reasons people relocate to Texas are its resilient economy and relatively affordable housing,” said Lloyd Potter, Texas state demographer at the University of Texas San Antonio, in a statement. “Oil and gas production continues to be a major component in the state’s economy, but other sectors such as information technology, manufacturing and biomedicine are important sources of job growth.”
In addition to jobs and affordable housing, Texas is one of seven states that do not have a state income tax.
Demographers expect Texas to see continued growth, though perhaps at a slower pace.
“The most recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate a continuation of recent trends,” Potter said. “These trends will lead to increasing population concentration in the state’s major metropolitan areas.”
While domestic migration is a major reason for Texas’ growth, recent international immigration is also up and coming from “a greater variety of nations than in the past,” Potter added.
“We have observed a greater share of the state’s immigrants originating from Asian countries and a decreasing share from Latin American countries, especially Mexico,” Potter said. “With this, migration will not only increase the size of the state’s metro areas but also will lead to greater population diversity in these areas.”