Austin explodes with biggest population growth among major U.S. metros from 2010 to 2020

Austin explodes with biggest population growth from 2010 to 2020

Austin skyline
Austin now outranks Las Vegas in population.  Photo courtesy of Unsplash/Abodo

As anyone who lives here knows, the population of the Austin metro area keeps exploding.

New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau put that explosive growth into clearer perspective. Data from the 2020 Census released August 12 shows Austin now ranks as the 28th most populous metro area in the U.S. (2,283,371 residents), surpassing Las Vegas (ranked 29th, with 2,265,461 residents) and inching closer to 27th-ranked Pittsburgh (2,370,930 residents). Austin and Las Vegas essentially swapped places, with Las Vegas claiming the No. 28 spot in 2019 and Austin holding the No. 29 spot.

Among the country’s 50 largest metro areas, Austin notched the biggest jump in population from 2010 to 2020 (33 percent), with Houston at No. 5 (20.3 percent), Dallas-Fort Worth at No. 6 (20 percent), and San Antonio at No. 7 (19.4 percent). Austin ranked second among metro areas of all sizes for population growth during the decade, trailing only The Villages, Florida, a 55-and-over retirement community (39 percent).

Dallas-Fort Worth remains the country’s fourth largest metro area (7,637,387 residents counted in the 2020 Census), Houston maintains its position at No. 5 (7,122,240 residents), and San Antonio still ranks 24th (2,558,143 residents).

All four of the state’s major metros moved up the ranks of the biggest U.S. regions from 2010 to 2020.

Following the 2010 Census, Dallas-Fort Worth was the country’s sixth largest metro area (6,366,542 residents), Houston was No. 8 (5,920,416), San Antonio stood at No. 26 (2,142,508), and Austin was 37th (1,716,289). In just 10 years, Austin climbed nine spots up the metro population ladder.

Other highlights of the Census 2020 data include:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston were two of the three U.S. metro areas to gain at least 1.2 million residents over the decade. New York City was the third.
  • Fort Worth ranked as the fastest-growing big city in Texas between 2010 and 2020 (24 percent), followed by Austin (21.7 percent), Houston (9.8 percent), Dallas (8.9 percent), and San Antonio (8.1 percent).
  • Two of the five U.S. counties that picked up at least 300,000 residents between 2010 and 2020 are in Texas — Harris County (638,686) and Tarrant County (301,606).

“Many counties within metro areas saw growth [from 2010 to 2020], especially those in the South and West. However, as we’ve been seeing in our annual population estimates, our nation is growing slower than it used to,” Marc Perry, senior demographer at the Census Bureau, says in a news release.