Houston city population plateaus in 2016-17 as metro misses list of fastest-growing U.S. cities for first time in years


The city of Houston added 8,235 people last year, according to 2016-17 U.S. Census estimates released this week, growing the overall population by a fraction of a percent after more steady growth in recent years.

Houston still ranks fourth nationally in total population with an estimated 2.31 million people as of July 2017. That is an increase of 0.36 percent year over year, down from nearly 1 percent population growth in 2016 and 1.94 percent growth in 2015.

New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago remain the largest U.S. cities ahead of Houston, and San Antonio—No. 7, Dallas—No. 9, Austin—No. 11—and Fort Worth—No. 15—also made the list.

But the Houston metro area was not in the top 15 list of fastest-growing U.S. cities by population increase percentage year-over-year for the first time in several years. According to last year’s report, Conroe grew 7.8 percent in 2015-16, more than any other city with a population exceeding 50,000. Conroe or Pearland have been included in every top 15 list of fastest-growing large cities since 2011-12, according to U.S. Census rankings.

Frisco, located in Collin County north of Dallas, grew 8.2 percent between July 2016 and mid-2017, according to U.S. Census estimates, the largest increase in the country. Other Texas cities to make the list of fastest-growing U.S. cities by population percentage increase include New Braunfels—No. 2, Pflugerville—No. 3, Georgetown—No. 6, McKinney—No. 9, Flower Mound—No. 11—and Cedar Park—No. 13.

The state’s overall population grew by nearly 400,000 residents from mid-2016 to July 2017, according to the U.S. Census, for a total of 28.3 million residents.

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Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.
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