The Texas growth machine is still running at high speed.Eight of the 15 fastest-growing U.S. cities and towns for the year ending July 1, 2012, were in the Lone Star State, according to population estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.Texas also stood tall in total growth, with five of the 10 cities that added the most people over the year — No. 2 Houston, No. 4 San Antonio, No. 5 Austin, No. 7 Dallas and No. 10 Fort Worth.“Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, the Austin-San Antonio corridor and Midland-Odessa continue to dominate growth in Texas and across the country. It’s phenomenal growth and it hasn’t slowed down,” said Steve Murdock, a Rice University professor, longtime Texas state demographer and former Census Bureau director.Cowtown added 16,328 people for a total of 777,992, retaining its spot as the nation’s 16th-largest city. That yearly hike was just a tad below the 16,708 the city added in 2011. Since an April 1, 2010, census estimate, Fort Worth has grown by 35,926, or 4.8 percent. The city has added 243,298 residents since the 2000 Census.Austin, which added 25,395 for the year, to 842,592, moved up from the 13th- to the 11th-most-populous city, supplanting Jacksonville, Fla., while Indianapolis slipped from 12th to 13th.Other Texas cities in the top 20 are No. 4 Houston, No. 7 San Antonio, No. 9 Dallas and No. 19 El Paso.“There’s no indication growth in Texas is slowing down. Coming out of the recession, Texas is well-positioned,” state demographer Lloyd Potter said.Not surprisingly, Texas led all states with an increase of 427,000 people over the same period, according to census estimates released in December.“This new data shows really pervasive growth across Texas. We had 1,214 cities listed and 786 had gains, 350 had losses and 78 stayed the same,” Murdock said.Among all U.S. cities with over 50,000 people, San Marcos grew the fastest, at 4.9 percent during the year. The home to Texas State University made the list by the thinnest of margins — its population estimate was 50,001.Following it in quick succession in the top 15 fastest growers were Midland (3), Cedar Park (4), Georgetown (7), Conroe (10), McKinney (11), Frisco (12) and Odessa (13). No other state had more than one city on the list.Potter said growth appears to have sped up in the already booming Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio. Since the 2010 estimates, Cedar Park led the nation with a 12 percent growth spurt, followed closely by No. 2 San Marcos at 11.4 percent and No. 4 Georgetown at 10.3 percent.“The speed of the growth on the I-35 corridor really stands out. It has been growing, but it seems to have picked up from what we’ve seen previously,” Potter said.The new data for cities mirror March estimates showing that Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington was the biggest gainer among U.S. metropolitan areas, with the region adding 131,879 people.In the latest estimates, Dallas added 23,341 to reach 1,241,162, and Arlington, the nation’s 50th-largest city, went up by 4,805 to 375,600.New York, which added 67,058, remained the nation’s most populous city, with 8.3 million residents, followed by Los Angeles (3.86 million), Chicago (2.71 million) and Houston (2.16 million).
Steve Campbell, 817-390-7981 Twitter: @stevecamp