Ask the editor: Why do student enrollments at Tomball and Magnolia ISDs exceed the number of in-city residents?

The number of students enrolled in Tomball and Magnolia ISDs is greater than the number of residents in the cities of Tomball and Magnolia.

The number of students enrolled in Tomball and Magnolia ISDs is greater than the number of residents in the cities of Tomball and Magnolia.

Simply put, the numbers are different because the size of each jurisdiction’s boundaries varies. For example, the city of Tomball’s population reflects the number of residents within about 12 square miles. Tomball ISD’s boundaries, however, encompass about 83 square miles, according to the district’s website.


As TISD’s boundaries are much larger geographically, this accounts for the larger number of students enrolled than total city residents. At last count, the city of Tomball included 11,353 residents while TISD enrolled 15,934 students in fall 2017.


The same thing is true for Magnolia. The city of Magnolia only encompasses about 4.5 square miles, but Magnolia ISD spans about 150 square miles. As a result, the city’s population—1,857 residents according to the U.S. Census Bureau—is significantly less than MISD’s enrollment of 12,993 students.


The number of residents within a city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction are not counted in the city’s population.

By Anna Lotz

Editor, Tomball/Magnolia & Conroe/Montgomery

Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor for the Tomball/Magnolia edition. She began covering the communities of Conroe and Montgomery as well in 2020. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.



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