Austin has been the capital of Texas since 1839, and in 2013 the area became the nation’s capital for population growth, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released this week. San Marcos, Cedar Park and Georgetown — each near Austin — ranked among the 10 fastest-growing cities with populations of 50,000 or more during the year ending July 1, 2013. San Marcos was number one in percent growth for the second consecutive year, with Austin itself gaining more people (nearly 21,000) than any city with fewer than 1 million residents.
The South and West dominated the list of fastest-growing municipalities between 2012 and 2013, claiming all of the top 15, seven of which were in Texas. Frisco and McKinney (near Dallas), Odessa (in West Texas) and Pearland (near Houston) were the other Texas cities on the list. (See Table 1 for complete list.)
In terms of numeric growth, 13 of the 15 cities that added the most people between 2012 and 2013 were in the South or West, except for New York City, which ranked first in numeric population growth. The nation’s largest city, New York, added 61,440 people in the year ending July 1, 2013. New York continued to be the nation’s most populous city by a wide margin, with 8.4 million residents in 2013, followed by Los Angeles and Chicago. The list of the 15 most populous cities has remained unchanged since last year, aside from Indianapolis moving past Jacksonville to number 12. (See Table 2 for complete list.)
The list of the top 15 numeric gainers was also bookended by another city outside the South or West: Columbus, Ohio, which gained 12,450 people. In between were five Texas cities (Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth) and three in California (Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose). (See Table 3 for complete list.)
The statistics released cover all local governmental units, including incorporated places (like cities and towns), minor civil divisions (such as townships) and consolidated cities (government units for which the functions of an incorporated place and its parent county have merged).
- Of the 19,508 incorporated places in the United States, about 76 percent (14,824) had fewer than 5,000 people, with less than 4 percent (743) having populations of 50,000 or more in 2013.
- Fourteen areas passed the 50,000-population mark between 2012 and 2013, including six in the West, four in the South and four in the Midwest. The areas in the West were Casa Grande (50,111) in Arizona; Aliso Viejo (50,175), Dublin (52,105) and Palm Desert (50,508) in California; and Tigard, Ore. (50,444) and Sammamish, Wash. (50,169). Those in the South were Doral, Fla. (50,213); Huntersville, N.C. (50,458); Enid, Okla. (50,725); and Grapevine, Texas (50,195). The Midwestern cities included Ankeny, Iowa (51,567); Lenexa, Kan. (50,344); Kentwood, Mich. (50,233); and Apple Valley, Minn. (50,201).
- No areas dropped below the 50,000 threshold between 2012 and 2013.
For more information about the geographic areas for which the Census Bureau produces population estimates, see <http://www.census.gov/popest/
Also released were July 1, 2013, estimates of the number of housing units for the nation, states and counties. There were 132.8 million housing units in the U.S. on July 1, 2013, up 467,000 (0.4 percent) over the past year. Texas gained more units than any other state (118,000), with North Dakota having the fastest rate of growth (3.1 percent). Among counties with 5,000 or more housing units, Williams and Stark in North Dakota led all counties in percent growth.
The population clock, one of the most visited features of the census.gov website, displays continuously updated projections of the total U.S. population, including the rate of births, deaths and net migration for the United States. The projections are based on a monthly time series of population estimates starting with the April 1, 2010, resident population count derived from the 2010 Census.