Among large American cities, only New York added more people than Houston in the year ending July 1, 2012, according to new census figures released Thursday. In addition, the Census Bureau reported, eight of the 15 fastest-growing large cities – those with more than 50,000 residents – were in Texas, including Conroe in the Houston area.
The report covered cities and towns, not broader metropolitan areas.
Margaret Drain, a senior researcher at Houston Community College, said the strong growth in Houston and other Texas cities was not surprising.
“I think this is going to be a nice incline kind of ride,” Drain said.
From July 1, 2011, to July 1, 2012, Houston added 34,625 residents to rise to a population of 2,160,821. This represented a 1.6 percent population increase for the year, compared with New York’s 0.8 percent growth.
Houston’s growth rate was exceeded by those of other major cities in Texas. Austin grew by 3 percent and jumped two spots to become the nation’s 11th-largest city; Houston remained in fourth place behind New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Dallas and San Antonio also grew by higher percentages than Houston.
In the Houston area, Conroe was the fastest-growing metro, increasing by 4 percent to 61,533 people. It was the 10th-fastest growing city in the country among those above 50,000 population.
See the Census press release and tables here. I’m glad to see this talk about cities and not just metro areas, though it does that as well. Note that by these figures we were comfortably above 2.1 million people as of 2011, so despite the grumbling in some corners it was clearly the right thing for us to expand and redistrict City Council in 2009 rather than wait any longer. Note also the difference between absolute growth and growth rate. Conroe’s four percent growth, if that’s an exact figure, represents an increase of 2,367 people, far less than Houston’s total but much larger as a percentage since they started with so much smaller a population. Austin Contrarian has more.