As it edges closer to a population of 2 million, the Austin metro area ranked No. 8 among the fastest-growing U.S. metro areas from 2012 to 2013, according to new U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
That’s a gain of 47,941 people, or more than 130 new residents in the region every day.
The population of the five-county Austin area climbed 2.6 percent from July 1, 2012, to July 31, 2013, the Census Bureau said. Officially, the area’s headcount went from 1,835,111 to 1,883,051. That’s a gain of 47,941 people, or more than 130 new residents in the region every day.
Among metro areas, Austin ranked 12th for the sheer number of residents added from 2012 to 2013. Meanwhile, Austin ranked No. 1 for percentage growth among metro areas with at least 1 million people.
Ryan Robinson, the City of Austin’s demographer, estimates the region’s population hit 1.9 million — 1,915,039, to be exact — on January 1.
Robinson recently told the Austin Business Journal that he expects the Austin area’s population to surpass the 2 million mark in the summer of 2015. “It’s pretty stunning that we’re growing that rapidly,” Robinson said. “We’re growing at such a fast rate that maybe we can catch San Antonio in the next 10 years.”
Here are the nation’s 10 fastest-growing metro areas from 2012 to 2013, according to the Census Bureau:
1. The Villages, Florida (5.2 percent)
2. Odessa, Texas (3.3 percent)
3. Midland, Texas (3.3 percent)
4. Fargo, North Dakota (3.1 percent)
5. Bismarck, North Dakota (3.1 percent)
6. Casper, Wyoming (2.9 percent)
7. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (2.7 percent)
8. Austin, Texas (2.6 percent)
9. Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, Alabama (2.6 percent)
10. Fort Myers, Florida (2.5 percent)
The Census Bureau noted that six of the 10 fastest-growing areas are in or near regions experiencing a surge in the oil and gas business.
In a news release, Census Bureau chief John Thompson said the oil, gas, mining and quarrying industries have been the “most rapidly growing part of our nation’s economy” in the past several years. A major driver of that growth is the energy boom in the Great Plains, attracting job seekers from across the country, he said.