Highlights From New Census Population Estimates

Seven of the nation's fastest-growing cities are in Texas, according to new data. See how population changes in your city compare to others.
by | May 19, 2016
Frisco, Texas, is the fastest-growing city in America. (FlickrCC/Daxis)

The Census Bureau published new population estimates on Thursday, providing an updated snapshot of the size of U.S. cities.

Of cities with at least 500,000 residents, Denver registered the most growth, expanding 2.8 percent over the 12-month period ending last July. Last year’s estimated gain of 18,582 residents mirrored that of recent years. Austin, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; Fort Worth, Texas; San Antonio; and Seattle also all recorded annual increases exceeding 2 percent.

While slight, Chicago was the only city with more than a million residents to lose population. Detroit lost about 3,100 residents over the 12-month period -- an improvement over annual declines of 9,700 and 8,700 the past two years.

Most areas with the strongest gains are concentrated in the southern U.S. and parts of the West Coast. The Sun Belt, in particular, is experiencing an uptick in migration after a slowdown following the recession.

Texas is home to seven of the top 10 fastest-growing cities with populations of 100,000 or more:

City 1-year change 2015 2014
Frisco, Texas 6.3% 154,407 145,189
Pearland, Texas 5.3% 108,821 103,348
Murfreesboro, Tenn. 4.4% 126,118 120,849
College Station, Texas 4.1% 107,889 103,636
McKinney, Texas 3.8% 162,898 156,898
Midland, Texas 3.7% 132,950 128,158
Carrollton, Texas 3.6% 133,168 128,515
Odessa, Texas 3.4% 118,968 115,001
Irvine, Calif. 3.4% 256,927 248,401
Gilbert, Ariz. 3.4% 247,542 239,415
SOURCE: Governing calculations of July 2014-2015 Census estimates

Other Highlights

  • Only a few cities outside the southern and western U.S. ranked among the fastest growing. Population estimates for Ankeny, Iowa, rose 6.5 percent, while Leesburg, Va., grew 3.3 percent.
  • Phoenix will likely become the nation’s fifth most populous city when next year’s Census estimates are released. The city trails Philadelphia by only 4,417.
  • Nashville is now Tennessee’s most populous city, overtaking Memphis.
  • Seven jurisdictions surpassed the 100,000-population milestone: Davie, Fla.; Greeley, Colo.; Hillsboro, Ore.; Jurupa Valley, Calif.; Renton, Wash.; San Angelo, Texas; Vista, Calif.
  • Two cities saw their populations drop below 100,000: Erie, Pa.; and Kenosha, Wis.
  • The average year-over-year change for all cities with 100,000 or more residents was +1 percent.

City Population Estimates

The following table lists the most recent estimates for all jurisdictions with populations of at least 50,000.

Estimates are current as of July of each year.

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau

NOTE: Some state and local agencies publish their own figures that differ from the Census Bureau’s estimates. The Census Bureau computes its estimates by applying a distributive housing unit method to county-level populations. Vital statistics are not collected for cities, only for counties. Read the methodology.