Bexar County Again Among the Ten Fastest Growing Counties in USA

Bexar County, say hello to your new neighbors, all 33,000 of them.

That's how many people Bexar County added in the year between July of 2015 and July of 2016, according to new figures released by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, ninety new residents every day, making Bexar County one of the ten fastest growing counties by numerical growth in the country.

In fact, four Texas counties are in the top ten for numerical growth, with Dallas, Tarrant, and Harris also on that list.

"Texas continues to lead the nation in terms of population growth, and a lot of that is

 being driven by in-migration, but we also have a very healthy natural increase, meaning more births than deaths," Texas State Demographer and UTSA Prof. Lloyd Potter told News Radio 1200 WOAI.

Bexar County's growth during the year consisted of about 14,000 more people being born than dying, about 13,000 people moving to the county from other states, and about 5300 people immigrating here from other countries.

Potter says that is a 'healthy' growth number, and he points out that much of Texas' growth was far different.

"Our urban core counties of Dallas and Harris Counties have a tremendous amount of immigration," he said.  "In fact, they have net loss in outmigration, but that is offset by huge numbers of immigrants."

Harris County, which was the second fastest growing county in the USA, behind the county that includes Phoenix, actually saw 16,000 people leave the county in the year studied.  

But Harris County added 27,000 people from immigration from other countries, leading to its growth.

Many of the people who moved out of Harris County moved to surrounding 'collar counties,' which is where Potter points out the real growth is occurring.

Kendall County was the second fastest growing county in the country in terms of percentage growth, with Comal County the sixth fastest growing in that category.

Hays and Williamson Counties, in suburban Austin, were also among the top twenty fastest growing counties in the USA in terms of percentage growth, demonstrating that, despite claims to the contrary, increased congestion and other factors are not slowing the move to the suburbs.

In fact, Potter says the reason why fast growing Austin was not among the top ten fastest growing counties in the USA is because Travis County is essentially full, and more and more of the development is occurring in collar counties.

"Generally speaking, people are continuing to come here because jobs are available," he said.

Potter stresses that the continued growth makes making investments in highways, streets, and water and electric power an even more important priority for lawmakers.

"With a growing population you always have to think about infrastructure," he said.  "So continuing focus on transportation, water, electricity have to be key," he stressed.

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