Nearly 132,000 new residents showed up in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area between July 2011 and July 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau announced yesterday, making it the area with the largest numeric increase in the country over that period. The Houston- The Woodlands- Sugar Land area came in second, so eat it Houston.
Dallas County also had the fourth-largest increase in residents, while Tarrant County came in ninth in that category. Harris County took home that crown. West Texas’ boom continues as well, with Midland exhibiting the fastest rate of growth for a metro area — 4.6 percent — and Odessa and Austin-Round Rock coming in fifth and seventh, respectively. Oil and gas boomtowns in North Dakota were two of the top three growing micro areas, separated by Junction City, Kansas. That town recently experienced the return of the First Infantry Division to Fort Riley. In fourth place on that list, though, is Andrews, Texas, home to evil genius Harold Simmons’ radioactive waste dump.
As noted in a statement, much of the growth nationwide has been driven by oil and gas.
“After a long period of out-migration, some parts of the Great Plains ─ from just south of the Canadian border all the way down to West Texas ─ are experiencing rapid population growth,” said Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau’s senior adviser. “There are probably many factors fueling this growth on the prairie, but no doubt the energy boom is playing a role. For instance, the Permian Basin, located primarily in West Texas, and North Dakota accounted for almost half of the total U.S. growth in firms that mine or extract oil and gas, during a recent one-year period.”