Apr 10, 2023 - News

Houston's population continues to increase

Change in Texas population, 2020 to 2022
Explore this interactive map. Data: U.S. Census; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The nine-county Houston metro area population continued to grow rapidly.

Driving the news: Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land added nearly 125,000 residents from July 2021 to July 2022, ranking second among the nation's major metros in population growth, according to the Greater Houston Partnership's analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

  • Now, the metro has a population of 7.34 million.
  • Harris County grew by more than 45,000 residents to a total population of 4.78 million.

Between the lines: The population gains come from two sources — births outpacing deaths, and people moving to the area. Two-thirds of the gains in 2022 came from the net increase of people migrating.

  • The surge in residents helps to explain the region's job growth, strong demand for housing, and increased congestion on our roads and freeways, per the GHP.

Flashback: In 2020 and 2021, the Houston metro area saw the least population growth since 2003, with approximately 75,000 new residents each year.

The big picture: The past few years have been especially turbulent for population trends, with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting birth and death rates, interstate migration, and immigration.

  • Last year, nine of the nation's 20 largest metros — including New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago — shed population, and five added fewer than 20,000 residents.

Yes, but: The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land area remains the fifth-most populous metro, behind New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth.

  • "At current growth rates, the rankings of the 10 most populous metros are unlikely to shift anytime soon," per the GHP.
  • Dallas-Fort Worth saw the largest population increase last year.

Zoom out: With last year's population surge, Texas became the only state other than California with a resident population above 30 million.

  • Texas has five of the top 10 fastest-growing counties in the country by percentage and six of the top 10 counties with the largest numeric growth.
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