West Fort Worth is booming. Will traffic be a problem?
The boom shows no sign of ending.
Fort Worth is now the 13th-largest city in the United States, behind Jacksonville, Florida, and ahead of Columbus, Ohio, as well as San Francisco, according to the latest Census Bureau population estimates released Thursday.
“Fort Worth’s rapid growth speaks to our incredible quality of life, business friendly climate and affordable cost of living,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “Of course, substantial growth presents both great opportunities as well as new challenges to strategically manage our growth without compromising what makes Fort Worth a unique place to live, work, and play.”
Last year, Fort Worth ranked 15th but the city added 19,552 people between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018, to reach a population of 895,000. It was the third-largest gain behind Phoenix and San Antonio.
Just last month, the Census Bureau said the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area added more than 1 million since 2010, the most in the country.
“The jump to 13th largest city in the U.S. will boost Fort Worth’s recognition worldwide as a formidable city in its own right and help draw more visitors and business investments,” said Bill Thornton, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. “The Dallas-Fort Worth region, now fourth-largest metro, and the Texas brand continue to attract business and top talent to fuel our economy. When people see that Fort Worth is larger than San Francisco, it should pique some curiosity about what’s going on here.”
Across Texas, the growth continues from DFW southward to Austin and San Antonio. Three Texas cities are in the top 10: Houston (fourth), San Antonio (seventh) and Dallas (ninth). Austin ranks 11th.
“It’s just kind of cities along the I-35 corridor that keep popping up on the fastest-growing cities list,” said state demographer Lloyd Potter.
Dallas’ growth dropped dramatically. Between 2016-17, Dallas gained 18,610 but between 2017-18, the city saw an increase of only 1,960.
Arlington, with a gain of 1,007, has a population of 398,112. It remains the 48th-largest city in the U.S.
Nationally, the housing market continues to grow, adding 1.2 million units between 2017 and 2018 to reach 138.5 million. Texas led the nation by adding 172,000 housing units, followed by Florida (108,000), California (104,000) and North Carolina (63,000).
Despite the stereotype of California buyers pouring into Texas, Fort Worth real estate Susan Krus said that’s not the case right now in North Texas.
“I’m seeing a lot from the Midwest,” Krus said. “I’ve had a ton from Chicago, from Nebraska, from Minnesota.”
And what’s the reason?
“Housing follows jobs,” Krus said. “The Midwest is losing jobs and we are gaining jobs.”
Rising property values are forcing buyers to look farther out from the city. In recent years, Krus has seen places like Azle become more popular, sending buyers even greater distances from the workplace.