Texas Wins the Census
The big news out of the 2020 census data released yesterday is that the U.S. is becoming less white. As Reason‘s Ron Bailey noted yesterday, “the population identifying as white alone decreased by 8.6 percent since the previous census in 2010,” while the number of people identifying as multiracial rose by 276 percent. But these aren’t the only big changes American demographics saw in the decade between 2010 and 2020.
While growing at its slowest rate since the Great Depression (from 308.7 million residents in 2010 to 331.4 million in 2020), the U.S. also saw a shift in where people are choosing to live. The biggest gains go to Texas, Western states more broadly, and metropolitan areas across the country. Certain areas of the South also saw some significant gains.
Big cities see big gains.
Most metropolitan areas—that is, counties containing a city with at least 50,000 people living in it—saw their populations go up.
Some 81 percent—or 312 out of 384 metro areas—experienced a population increase, compared to only 48 percent of “micropolitan” areas (a.k.a. counties containing a city of more than 10,000 but fewer than 50,000 people). Overall, “the population of U.S. metro areas grew by 9% from 2010 to 2020, resulting in 86% of the population living in U.S. metro areas in 2020, compared to 85% in 2010,” according to a U.S. Census Bureau press release.
Between 2010 and 2020, the population of U.S. micropolitan areas grew 1 percent but still decreased as a percentage of the population, from 9 percent in 2010 to 8 percent in 2020.
The majority of U.S. counties—about 52 percent—saw population decreases between 2010 and 2020.
Population winners and losers:
• Only three states—West Virginia, Mississippi, and Illinois—and Puerto Rico saw population declines overall.
• States with the most population growth were Texas, Florida, California, Georgia, and Washington. (“These five states accounted for nearly half of the total numeric population increase in the United States between 2010 and 2020,” the Census Bureau says.)
• The fastest-growing state over the past decade was Utah, which increased its overall population by 18.4 percent. Utah was followed by Idaho, Texas, North Dakota, and Nevada, which each increased by at least 15 percent.
• Texas saw the most supercharged city growth:
Five of the 14 cities that grew by at least 100K people in the last decade are in Texas, according to new Census numbers.
— Cameron Joseph (@cam_joseph) August 12, 2021
• The Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston metropolitan areas gained at least 1.2 million people apiece between 2010 and 2020, as did the New York-Newark-Jersey City metro area.
• The latest data still put Los Angeles County as the biggest county in the U.S. and New York City as the largest city.
Pretty ironic given the 629,000 “Why I’m Leaving New York” essays published since the previous Census.https://t.co/jgZLZqGHx8
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) August 12, 2021
• The metro area that grew the fastest: The Villages, in Florida, jumping from approximately 93,000 people to 130,000 people.
• The next biggest gainers were the Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown area in Texas; St. George, Utah; Greeley, Colorado; and the Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach metro area in South and North Carolina.
• The five U.S. metro areas with the biggest population gains were: Harris County, Texas (Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land); Maricopa County, Arizona (Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler); King County, Washington (Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue); Clark County, Nevada (Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise); and Tarrant County, Texas (Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington).
• Phoenix has now overtaken Philadelphia as the fifth-largest city
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