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Texas’ population grew more than any other state in the country in the last year, by nearly half a million people, according to the recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Of the 1.6 million people the nation gained between July 2022 and July 2023, nearly 30% are Texas residents.
The 473,453 people added to Texas’ population during that period, contributed to the state's high growth rate of 1.6%, which was the third highest in the county behind South Carolina and Florida.
Due to Texas’ size — the second most populous state in the country — the high growth rate contributed to broader population increases in the South. Compared to other parts of the country, the South accounted for 87% of the U.S.’s 2023 growth. The majority of the South’s growth is due to net domestic migration, according to census estimates. Net international migration to the region contributed nearly 500,000 people.
Kristie Wilder, a demographer with the Census Bureau, said in a Tuesday statement that the U.S. population growth stemmed from a decrease in deaths and migration returned to levels seen prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Although births declined, this was tempered by the near 9% decrease in deaths. Ultimately, fewer deaths paired with rebounding immigration resulted in the nation experiencing its largest population gain since 2018,” Wilder said.
Compared to the 0.5% growth rate in 2023, the U.S. population increased by 0.4% and 0.2% in 2022 and 2021, respectively. The recently released estimates suggest the country returning to population trends observed before the COVID-19 pandemic, a release from the Census Bureau said.
The population growth is centered in Texas cities. Nearly 70% of Texas residents live in the four largest metro areas — which include Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Austin — according to estimates from the Texas Demographic Center.