This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Texas Rules in Growth of Cities

The Census Bureau today published its latest population estimates for municipalities of 50,000 people or more. 
Austin has been the capital of Texas since 1839, and in 2013 the area became the nation's capital for population growth, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released today. San Marcos, Cedar Park and Georgetown — each near Austin — ranked among the 10 fastest-growing cities with populations of 50,000 or more during the year ending July 1, 2013. San Marcos was number one in percent growth for the second consecutive year, with Austin itself gaining more people (nearly 21,000) than any city with fewer than 1 million residents.
The South and West dominated the list of fastest-growing municipalities between 2012 and 2013, claiming all of the top 15, seven of which were in Texas. Frisco and McKinney (near Dallas), Odessa (in West Texas) and Pearland (near Houston) were the other Texas cities on the list.
Note that these numbers refer to the rate of growth, not total population size. When it comes to the largest cities (municipalities, not taking into account the entire metro area) in the U.S. the list has not changed--led by New York City. Still, 4 of the top 15 most populous municipalities in the country are in Texas (Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin).

What's going on here? The most likely explanation, of course, is the growth of the Latino population in the West and South (with Texas sort of having a foot in both of those worlds). This is reinforced by the fact that the City of San Diego is 7th on the list of cities that grew the fastest in 2012-13. This growth was fueled almost entirely by international migrants (there was a negative net domestic migration in San Diego) and births to foreign-born mothers. This is the future, whether or not people like it.

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