New census data show population shifts in Texas likely driven by the pandemic

Some urban areas continued to grow in 2021, while Dallas and Harris Counties saw overall decline.

By Rhonda Fanning, Jill Ament, Addie Costello & Caroline CovingtonMarch 30, 2022 11:05 am,

New information from the U.S. Census Bureau from 2021 shows that despite rapid population growth in much of Texas, some of the state’s biggest counties are losing residents.

Texas State Demographer Lloyd Potter spoke with Texas Standard about the trends in population growth and decline since the pandemic.

Listen to the interview with Potter in the audio player above or read the highlights below.

Highlights from this segment:

– The suburban rings around urban centers have quickly growing populations. For example, Collin and Denton Counties near Dallas, Fort Bend County near Houston, and Williamson County near Austin all saw large population increases in 2021.

– Some highly urban counties like Tarrant, Bexar and Travis continued to grow in 2021. But Dallas and Harris Counties  showed estimated declines in population.

– Potter says this new data is the first to show possible population shifts from the pandemic. It reveals counties that had experienced drops in population and are now seeing population growth.

– Potter expects Texas to significantly ramp up efforts to improve infrastructure to meet the demands of population growth.

Note: In the radio interview for this story, the guest incorrectly said that 183 Texas counties saw population decreases between 2010 and 2020. It was 143 counties.

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