Texas again led the nation in population growth in 2018, according to new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, adding about 379,000 people, roughly the equivalent of adding a city the size of Corpus Christi in one year, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Former U.S. Census Director Steve Murdock, who is now at the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas, tells News Radio 1200 WOAI this is nothing new, Texas has led the U.S. in population growth in every year since 2006.
"I tell people if you want to see this growth, just drive I-35 in San Antonio and in Austin," Murdock said.
Actually, the growth Texas saw in the most recent Census year, which was between July 1 2017 through June 30, 2018, was at a little slower pace than in previous years this decade. Experts say Hurricane Harvey may have been a factor in that slowing growth.
About half of the state's growth in the past year was in the excess of births over deaths. The other half was in people moving to Texas from other places, about half from other states in the U.S. and about half in immigration from other nations.
But Murdock says with this explosive growth comes the need for action from the Legislature, which is set to begin its 2019 session next week.
"Not that you want to change that growth, but you might want to take steps to deal with populations that may be affected by too-rapid growth," he said.
He says one group negative affected by the state's growth is low income people who are being priced out of their homes, and priced out of the housing market by rising real estate costs
."If you get growth that is so extensive, that people who are are lower middle class cannot afford even basic housing, you have to stop and say, now, wait a minute now..."
The other states which are gaining population at a fast rate are Florida, with 322,000 new residents, California, with 157,000 and Arizona with 122,000.
Factors encouraging people to come to Texas from other states include the lack of a state income tax and a generally positive climate for business formation and growth, the wide diversity of industries in Texas, the weather, and for the strong economy.
The biggest losers in the country in the past year, according to the new figures, include New York, Illinois, West Virginia, and Louisiana. Overall, the macro trends indicate that Americans are still moving from the colder, industrial states of the north to the warmer states of the south, as well as to rapidly growing states in the mountain west.
Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming were the three fastest growing states in terms of percentage population growth over the past year.