Four Texas Cities Are Among Nation's Fastest Growing

July 1, 2009

Two Central Texas cities -- Round Rock and Killeen -- are among the top 10 fastest-growing United States cities with populations of 100,000 or more, according to an analysis by researchers at Baylor University.

McKinney and Fort Worth also are on the list, according to Census Bureau figures.

Round Rock is the second fastest growing city, with 8.2 percent growth between July 1, 2007, and July 1, 2008, said Dr. Larry Lyon, Baylor sociology professor and director of Baylor's Center for Community Research and Development. Those figures are based on an analysis of Census Bureau population estimates.

Killeen, with an annual growth of 3.8 percent, is tied for ninth nationally with Roseville and Irvine, both in California, and Raleigh, N.C.

"Central Texas is a growth engine of national consequence," Lyon said.

"Since the 2000 Census, Round Rock has grown by a staggering 71 percent," said Dr. Carson Mencken, a sociology professor at Baylor. "Killeen has added 34.5 percent to its population."

McKinney is fifth on the Census Bureau's list for fastest growing larger cities, with 4.8 percent growth from 2007 to 2008; Fort Worth was tenth, with 3.6 percent growth.

A number of Central Texas cities with populations of fewer than 100,000 residents also are growing rapidly, said Dr. Robyn Driskell, a Baylor sociology professor.

College Station grew 4.2 percent from 2007 to 2008, while Harker Heights grew 3.4 percent.

"These smaller cities will not catch the eye of the national media, but they exhibit strong growth and are important to Central Texas," Driskell said.

The estimates are for incorporated places, said Dr. Charles Tolbert, professor and chair of sociology.

"Don't think metropolitan areas here," he said. "These are population estimates bounded by city limits. They do not include unincorporated outlying areas."

Other smaller Central Texas cities and towns showing increases included Abbott, Hewitt, Hillsboro, Hubbard, Moody, Rockdale, Salado, Whitney, and Woodway.

Among smaller Central Texas cities and towns losing population were Clifton, Marlin, and Mexia.

Tolbert developed the Central Texas table for results of selected cities and towns.

Contact:Terry Goodrich, Assistant Director of Media Communications, (254) 710-3321

Contact:Charlie_Tolbert@baylor.edu

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