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Census report: Texas county population increases far surpassed others in 2023

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(The Center Square) – Counties in Texas saw the greatest population gains by far in 2023, according to newly published estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

More U.S. counties saw population gains than losses last year, led by counties in the south, which were led by Texas, according to the report.

Half of the top 10 counties reporting the highest levels of net domestic migration in 2023 were in Texas: Montgomery, Collin, Denton, Williamson, and Fort Bend.

Rounding out the top ten, three were in Florida (Polk, Pasco, and Marion) and one each in Arizona and South Carolina (Pinal and Horry, respectively).

Polk County, Florida, had the greatest net domestic migration of 26,029 new residents last year. Montgomery County, Texas, was not far behind with 25,501 new residents.

Texas’ Harris County had the second highest international migration last year of 41,665, behind Florida’s Miami-Dade County’s 54,457.

All of the 10 fastest growing counties with populations of 20,000 or more were in the south. Six were in Texas.

Texas’s fastest growing counties were Kaufman (7.6%), Rockwall (6.5%), Liberty (5.7%), Chambers (5%), Comal (5%) and Ellis (4.9%).

The remaining four included two in Georgia and one each in South Carolina and Virginia.

By contrast, in this category, California’s Lassen County saw the biggest decrease last year of 3.9%. New York’s Bronx County also continued to decline, falling by 1.8% in 2023 after falling by 3% in 2022 and 2.5% in 2021.

By numeric change, eight of the 10 counties that led the nation were in Texas, led by Harris County, the largest county in Texas with the state’s largest city, Houston.

Harris County added 53,788 residents last year “and was the largest-gaining county in the nation,” the report notes. Collin County in north Texas added 36,364 new residents, ranking second. Montgomery County, north of Harris, added 31,800, ranking third.

In 2022, Maricopa County, Arizona, held the top spot, but dropped to fourth last year. Polk County, Florida, ranked fifth.

The remaining top five that gained the most populations were all in Texas: Denton (29,943); Fort Bend (27,859); Bexar (27,488); Tarrant (27,301); and Williamson (24,918).

Denton County also made history last year, surpassing 1 million residents for the first time. It is now the seventh Texas county to have reached this milestone.

By contrast, counties in California, New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania saw significant population decreases. California’s Los Angeles County reported the highest numeric population decline last year of 56,420, after losing 89,697 residents in 2022. “Both drops stemmed from negative domestic migration,” the report notes.

Texas metro areas also broke records last year.

The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area surpassed 8 million residents between 2022 and 2023, the largest numeric population increase of any U.S. metro area in that time period, the report states. The Houston-Pasadena-The Woodlands metro area’s population also increased to over 7.5 million for the first time over the same time period.

The population estimates were released after nearly 500,000 moved to Texas last year, or a record nearly 40,000 a month, or nearly 1,300 a day.

The data also shows a trend is continuing in California: residents are still leaving the state, including California companies that left and relocated to Texas.

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