(NEXSTAR) – While the housing market is cooling, some Americans are still on the move. That seems to be especially true for cities in the south, nine of which were among the 15 fastest-growing cities last year, according to newly-released U.S. Census Bureau data.
Texas overwhelmingly dominated the list, claiming six of the top spots, per the Census’ Vintage 2022 Population Estimates.
Topping out the list was Georgetown, Texas, which, between the summer of 2021 and 2022, saw its population increase by 14.4%. The city, located about 30 miles north of Austin, has a population of more than 86,500. It was the fastest-growing city in 2021 as well.
Santa Cruz, California ranked as the second-fastest growing U.S. city at 12.5%, replacing Leander, Texas, which landed in the No. 2 spot last year.
The next three cities – Leander, Little Elm, and Westfield – are all from Texas, as are No. 11 Conroe and No. 13 New Braunfels. After Texas, Florida had the most cities among the top 15 at three. Cities from Indiana, Arizona, Utah, and Massachusetts also ranked among the fastest growing.
Evansville saw a 1.38% decrease in population from 2020 to 2022, going from 117,364 to 115,749. During the same time frame, Henderson decreased in population 1.55% and Owensboro only decreased in population 0.33%. The city of Jasper saw a slight increase in population, going from 16,705 in 2020 to 16,757 in 2022.
Only four cities saw double-digit rates of growth, according to Census data: Georgetown; Santa Cruz; Kyle, Texas; and Leander. Two, Kyle and Little Elm, reported populations of 50,000 or more for the first time in 2021, according to Census data.
|Rank||Area Name||State||Percent Increase|
|10||Port St. Lucie||Florida||6.4|
A handful of cities that appeared on last year’s list of fastest-growing cities failed to make the list this year, including Arizona’s Buckeye, Casa Grande, and Goodyear; Fort Myers, Florida; Spring Hill, Tennessee; and Idaho’s Meridian, Caldwell, and Nampa.
When reviewing the populations of cities with at least 50,000 people, the Census found those in the south primarily experienced the largest numeric population growth. Fort Worth, Texas saw the largest increase, adding over 19,100 people between 2021 and 2022, surpassing the roughly 13,000 people the city added between 2020 and 2021.
San Antonio, Texas, which welcomed the most new residents between 2020 and 2021, fell to the No. 3 spot in the latest Census data, adding just under 19,000 people.
Texas, again, had the most cities on this list at six, followed by three Florida cities. These 15 cities welcomed the most new residents between the summer of 2021 and last summer:
|Rank||Area Name||State||Numeric Increase|
|7||Port St. Lucie||Florida||13,887|
|11||North Las Vegas||Nevada||9,419|
New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago continued to be the most populated cities in the U.S. Charlotte, North Carolina replaced Indianapolis as the fifteenth-most populated city.
Here are the 15 most populated cities:
|Rank||Area Name||State||2022 Total Population|
|1||New York||New York||8,335,897|
Unlike last year, many U.S. cities are seeing their populations increase again, Census data shows.
During the first full year of the pandemic in 2021, more than half of the 20 largest U.S. metro areas lost residents, and all U.S. metro areas grew by just 0.1%, as fear of the virus sent residents fleeing the most densely-populated urban areas and the popularity of remote work allowed people to live far from their workplaces.
By comparison, only eight of the 20 largest metro areas decreased in 2022, and the growth rate for all U.S. metros was 0.4%.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.