Houston metro gained 69K residents during pandemic’s first year

by Lindsey Wells

Houston was one of the few major metropolitan areas in the country to see a population increase during the first full year of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. 

The report analyzed data from all 384 metro areas in the 50 states and District of Columbia.

Greater Houston added 69,094 residents between July 2020 and July 2021, ranking third among the top 10 metro areas in the U.S. to see the most significant numeric growth during that period. The surge brought Houston’s population up to 7,206,841. 

Dallas secured the No. 1 position with an increase of 97,290 residents, while Phoenix came in second with 78,220. Two other metro areas in the Lone Star State (San Antonio and Austin) also made the top 10. 

Additionally, Texas was home to five of the top 10 largest-gaining counties in 2021. Collin, Fort Bend, Williamson, Denton and Montgomery counties gained a combined 145,663 residents.

According to the report, 55.5% of the country’s metro areas and 73% of U.S. counties experienced a natural population decrease in 2021.

“In 2021, fewer births, an aging population and increased mortality — intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic — contributed to a rise in natural decrease,” the report noted. 

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