DATA: Here’s where Texas’ population increased the most in the past decade, according to the 2020 Census

US Census
Construction cranes hover over downtown and near the State Capitol, Monday, April 26, 2021, in Austin, Texas. Texas' torrid growth over the past decade is paying off with a major boost in political clout. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Construction cranes hover over downtown and near the State Capitol, Monday, April 26, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

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AUSTIN (KXAN) – Ten counties in Texas grew by more than 100,000 residents over the past decade, newly-released data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows.

The agency published results from the 2020 Census Thursday. Both Travis and Williamson Counties appear in the 10 counties that added most residents. Of the 254 counties in Texas, 111 saw an increase in population, while 143 had a population decline.

Hays County grew at the fastest rate of any county in the state – 53.44%, adding 83,960 new residents between 2010 and 2020. Comal, Williamson, Kaufman and Fort Bend Counties comprise the rest of the top five fastest-growing counties.

Schleicher County, south of San Angelo, had the largest percent decrease in population, declining by 29.18%.

When looking at raw numbers, Harris County, home to Houston, had the largest population increase, with almost 640,000 new residents. Hale County, north of Lubbock, saw the largest population decrease, losing 3,751 residents between 2010 and 2020.

Texas Cities

Houston added more residents than any other city in Texas, more than 200,000 between 2010 and 2020. Fort Worth and Austin were close behind, each adding more than 170,000. San Antonio and Dallas round out the top five.

Three local cities – Liberty Hill, Manor and Dripping Springs – feature in the top 20 when it comes to the rate of growth. Liberty Hill is the third-fastest growing city, with a population increase of 277.04%. Both Manor and Dripping Springs grew by more than 160%.

Fulshear, in Fort Bend County just outside Houston, grew by more than 1,300%, from 1,134 residents in 2010 to 16,856 in the 2020 Census count.

Texas Metropolitan Areas

Austin-Round Rock is the fastest-growing metro area in the state, according to the census data. The metro, which encompasses Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson Counties, grew by 33.04% between 2010 and 2020, adding more than 567,000 residents in total. The Midland, Odessa and Houston metro areas also saw a population increase of more than 20%.

The Houston metro area added the most new residents overall, increasing by more than 1.2 million. The Dallas/Fort Worth metro added almost 1 million new residents. Of the 25 metro areas in Texas, only Wichita Falls and Texarkana saw a drop in population. Wichita Falls lost a total of 3,178 residents between 2010 and 2020. The population decrease in the Texarkana metro area was due to declines in two Arkansas counties.

Counties in the KXAN Viewing Area

Hays County is the fastest-growing county in the KXAN viewing area, with a population increase of 53.44% between 2010 and 2020. Williamson County grew by 44.08%, and Travis County’s population increased by 25.96%.

San Saba County saw the largest drop in population, down by 6.54%. Fayette, Mason and Milam Counties also had a decrease in population.

In terms of total residents, Travis County had the largest increase, more than 265,000. Williamson County added 186,000 residents, and Hays County grew by almost 84,000.

Locally, Liberty Hill, Manor and Dripping Springs are the fastest-growing cities, each increasing their population by more than 160% between 2010 and 2020. The cities of Bee Cave, Creedmoor, Leander, Buda and Manchaca all grew by more than 100%. The census-designated place of Lost Creek, in Travis County, lost 71.70% of its population, the most of any place in the KXAN viewing area.

The City of Austin added the largest total number of new residents – more than 171,000. Leander added more than 32,000. Cedar Park, San Marcos and Georgetown round out the top five.

Texas County Rankings

Harris County remains the largest county in Texas, accounting for 16.23% of the statewide population. Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar and Travis Counties comprise the rest of the top five largest counties.

Collin County jumped one spot in the rankings, to sixth-largest, and Denton County jumped two to seventh. Hidalgo County remained in the eighth spot. El Paso County dropped from sixth-largest to ninth-largest, one spot ahead of Fort Bend County.

Gaines County, southwest of Lubbock, jumped the most number of spots – 21 – in the largest counties ranking, from 130th in 2010 to 109th in 2020. Meanwhile, Zavala County, southwest of San Antonio, fell the most places in the ranking, from 157th to 168th. Loving County remains the smallest county in Texas, with just 64 residents.

U.S. State Populations

The population of the United States grew by more than 22.7 million between 2010 and 2020, to 331,458,425. Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia saw population increases, while Illinois, Mississippi and West Virginia had a decline in population.

Utah grew at the fastest rate, increasing its population by 18.37%. Idaho, Texas and North Dakota all had population increases above 15%.

Texas added the most residents overall, just shy of 4 million. Florida became the third largest state in the country, adding 2.7 million residents to leapfrog New York. California remained the largest state, with 39.5 million residents overall, an increase of more than 2.2 million.

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