Population explosion

Booming Austin metro leads U.S. in population growth from 2020 to 2021

Booming Austin metro leads U.S. in population growth from 2020 to 2021

Downtown Austin rush hour traffic
The pain is real. Photo by typhoonski/Getty Images

Austin-Round Rock racked up one of the largest population gains among U.S. metros from July 2020 to July 2021, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Taking into account births, deaths, move-ins, and move-outs, the Austin area's population grew by 53,301 during the one-year period, the Census Bureau says

The bureau estimates Austin's population stood at 2,352,426 as of July 1, 2021. The region’s headcount increased 2.3 percent during the one-year period. It ranks fourth in the U.S. for numeric population growth in the one-year period. 

The Census Bureau attributes 40,264 new Austin-area residents to domestic migration, or people moving from other U.S. metro areas. Domestic migration is a major factor in calculating population gains and losses.

Three other major Texas metro areas appear in the national top 10 for numeric population growth (rather than percentage growth) from July 2020 to July 2021, according to the Census Bureau. They are:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, ranked first with 97,290 additional residents. Estimated July 1, 2021, population: 7,759,615. One-year growth rate: 1.3 percent.
  • Houston metro area, ranked third with 69,094 additional residents. Estimated July 1, 2021, population: 7,206,841. One-year growth rate: 1 percent.
  • San Antonio metro area, ranked eighth with 35,105 additional residents. Estimated July 1, 2021, population: 2,601,788. One-year growth rate: 1.4 percent.

Growth in counties
Williamson County is responsible for much of the Austin metro's population growth during the one-year period, the Census Bureau estimates show. Its population rose by 27,760 additional residents from July 2020 to July 2021, putting it at No. 5 among counties picking up the most new residents.

Maricopa County, Arizona, anchored by Phoenix, ranked first with an additional 58,246 residents.

No Texas counties rank in the top 10 for percentage growth in population from July 2020 to July 2021. Other Texas counties in the national top 10 for numeric growth during the one-year period are:

  • Collin County (Dallas), No. 3, with 30,191 additional residents.
  • Fort Bend County (Houston), No. 4, with 29,895 additional residents.
  • Denton County, No. 6, with 27,747 additional residents.
  • Montgomery County (Houston), No. 8, with 23,948 additional residents.