DALLAS (AP) — The population of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan region soared faster over a one-year period than any other in the country, with the Houston area coming in second, according to new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Census estimates released Thursday show nearly 132,000 people were added to the Metroplex from July 2011 to July 2012. Since April 2010 the region's population has grown by nearly 275,000 people.
The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area added more than 125,000 people for the one-year period ending in July. Harris County, which constitutes a large part of that area, grew by 80,000 people, more than any other county in the nation.
There were 11 Texas counties among the 50 fastest-growing counties in the country. The state also had 11 counties among those with the largest numeric gains in population.
With about 72,000 people moving to the Metroplex in one year, migration accounted for the largest part of Dallas' growth. Meanwhile, Houston added about 40,000 people from elsewhere.
The bulk of the population in the State is concentrated in the triangle formed by Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, but other areas have seen growth as well. The Midland metropolitan area was the fastest growing region in the country with a 4.6 percent increase in the one-year period. Neighboring Odessa was fifth, growing at 3.4 percent. Most of their growth is due to the high demand for workers in the oil fields caused by the energy boom across the great plains.
The state also continued to experience a nationwide trend where young people leave their hometowns for work or education opportunities in cities. About one in three counties in the U.S. are said to be dying off. In all, 96 of Texas' 254 counties, most of them in rural areas, lost population from the 2010 census to July 2012.