New figures from the U.S. Census released Thursday shows Texas' amazing growth showing no slowdown, with six of the ten fastest growing counties in the country, in terms of numerical growth, located in Texas, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Bexar County, which now has a population of 1,958,000 was the sixth fastest growing county in the U.S. between July of 2016 and July of 2017, adding just under 31,000 new residents.
Harris County is on the list of the top ten fastest growing counties in the USA, and the other four are all in the Dallas Ft. Worth metroplex, Colin, Denton, Dallas and Tarrant, which made the DFW area by far the fastest growing metropolitan area in the country, adding an amazing 146,000 news residents just in the past year.
Texas State Demographer Lloyd Potter, who is a professor at UTSA, says Texas is on a roll.
"The overall quality of life and cost of living here," he said. "It is an attractive place to do business, it is an attractive place to live."Potter says
California continues to be the number one state sending domestic migrants into Texas. Analysts cite two factors, the extremely high cost of housing in California, plus the state's increasing tax burden. California just approved a significant increase in the gasoline tax, and new corporate taxes are expected later this year, which is expected to push more residents out of the Golden State.
Illinois and Florida are the other two states which are sending more residents to Texas, and global immigration, especially from Asia, is also adding to Texas' population boom.
"So Texas continues to be a magnet for people coming from other states," Potter said.
Interestingly, unlike the last several years, Austin and Travis County are not among the fastest growing counties in the USA, due largely to the skyrocketing cost of housing in the Austin area.
But another part of the new Census report is interesting too. In the list of counties with the highest percentage gain in population, as opposed to the numerical growth being seen in Bexar County, are three in the San Antonio area, Kendall, Comal, and Hays.
The population of Comal County is now 141,000, and Potter says that is due to a major change in the makeup of Comal and Hays Counties.
"Historically it was largely, New Braunfels and San Marcos were largely bedroom communities," he said. "Now there are employment opportunities there as well, as people both live and work there."
Potter says the increasing urbanization of formerly largely rural Comal and Hays Counties are pushing San Antonio and Austin together, and he predicts they will soon be listed as a single metropolitan area, like Dallas Ft Worth has been for the past forty years.
"We are certainly moving in that direction, as you see Hays and Comal Counties really filling in."
Hays County now has a population of 214,000.But Potter says this explosive growth has a down side that Texas, in many cases, has not dealt with aggressively enough. He says water systems, the electrical grid, and schools and other public services will have to be stepped up by existing taxpayers to deal with what he anticipates will be the continued growth of the state.
"To most of us we are seeing that in terms of the highways and the transportation infrastructure hasn't caught up with the growth in population."