Editor's note: The article has been updated to clarify that the percentages used to reflect population change are a representation of the growth rate between 2016 and 2021.

Harris County’s population grew 5.95% between 2016 and 2021—less than the growth rate of three of the five most populous counties in Texas and the state overall, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey five-year estimates released Dec. 8.

The 2016 and 2021 ACS five-year estimates, which use data collected over a period of time rather than from a single year, put Harris County’s population at 4.7 million in 2021, up from 4.43 million in 2016. The growth rate in Texas’ largest county is smaller than the state’s 7.07% growth rate and the second smallest out of the five most populous counties in Texas, with Travis County topping the list at 10.47%.
Breaking down the population by race, the share of the population identifying as white in 2021 was 52%—an 11.3-percentage point drop from 63.3% in 2016. The share of the population who identified as two or more races increased 9.1 percentage points up to 11.3%.

The share of the population identifying as ethnically Hispanic or Latino in 2021 was 43.6%, an increase of 1.8 percentage points from 2016’s figure.
And of the population over 25, Harris County saw a modest uptick in the share of the population with a high school degree or higher, rising 1.7 percentage points from 80.2% to 81.9% between 2016-2021. The share of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher grew slightly more, increasing by 2.4 percentage points from 30.1% to 32.5%.

Harris County had the second-lowest percentage of high school graduates out of the top-five most populous Texas counties, edging out Dallas County’s 80.7%. It also had the second-lowest percentage of bachelor’s degree holders by county at 32.5%, higher than Bexar County’s 30% but greater than the state’s 31.5%.

Travis County led the state’s top-five most populous counties with 90.6% high school degree attainment and 52.7% bachelor’s degree attainment, beating Harris County by 8.7 and 20 percentage points, respectively.