New Census Bureau Population Estimates Show Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Has Largest Growth in the United States (2022)

MARCH 22, 2018 — The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area’s 146,000-population increase last year was the most of any metro area and Maricopa County, Ariz., saw a population increase of nearly 74,000 — the most of any county last year — according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s July 1, 2017, population estimates released today. The statistics provide population estimates and components of change for the nation’s 382 metropolitan statistical areas,551 micropolitan statistical areas and 3,142 counties.

“Historically, the Dallas metro area attracts large numbers from both international and domestic migration. Many of the other largest metro areas in the country rely mostly on international migration and natural increase for growth,” said Molly Cromwell, a demographer at the Census Bureau.

Among the nation’s counties, the top 10 with the largest numeric growth are all located in the South and the West. The 10 largest counties in the country all maintained their rank compared to last year.

From July 1, 2016, to July 1, 2017, six of the top 10 largest-gaining counties were in Texas — Bexar, Collin, Dallas, Denton, Harris and Tarrant. The remaining four counties on the list were Maricopa County, Ariz.; Clark County, Nev.; Riverside County, Calif.; and King County, Wash. Most of the nation’s 3,142 counties grew, with 57 percent gaining in the last year.


Gaining and losing population

  • Between 2016 and 2017, 1,790 counties (57.0 percent) gained population and 1,342 counties (42.7 percent) lost population. This compared to 2015-2016, when 1,655 counties (52.7 percent) gained population and 1,480 counties (47.1 percent) lost population.
  • Among counties with a population of 10,000 or more in 2016 and 2017, Falls Church City, Va. (a county equivalent), was the fastest-growing county with a 5.2 percent increase, adding 715 people. The rapid growth was mostly due to an increase in net domestic migration, with 492 more people moving in than out of the area between 2016 and 2017.
  • The primary driver behind the growth of the 10 fastest-growing counties, 2016-2017, was net domestic migration.

Natural Increase and Decrease

  • Between 2016 and 2017, 1,907 counties (60.7 percent) experienced natural increase, meaning there were more births than deaths. This compares to 2015-2016, when 1,942 counties (61.8 percent) experienced natural increase.
  • Also between 2016 and 2017, 1,200 counties (38.2 percent) experienced natural decrease, meaning more people died in the county than were born. This compares to 2015-2016 when 1,164 counties (37.0 percent) experienced natural decrease.

Net Migration

  • Between 2016 and 2017, the number of counties that showed a positive net migration was 1,661 (52.9 percent), meaning more people moved into the county than moved out, and 1,470 (46.8 percent) counties showed negative net migration, meaning more people moved out of the county than moved into the county.
  • Between 2015 and 2016, 1,469 counties (46.8 percent) showed positive net migration, and 1,660 counties (52.8 percent) showed negative net migration.

Metropolitan Areas


  • Many of the top 10 metro areas with the largest numeric increases in 2015-2016 were also in the top 10 in 2016-2017, with the following notable exceptions: Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Va.-Md.-W.Va., climbed to 5th in 2017 from 11th in 2016, and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., jumped to 7th in 2017 from 13th in 2016.
  • In 2017, the Baltimore metro area was now the 20th most populous metro area, up from 21st place in 2016.
  • Net domestic migration is the driving factor behind all of the top 10 fastest-growing metro areas that rose in rank — St. George, Utah; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Greely, Colo.; Lakeland, Fla.; and Boise, Idaho.


  • Out of 382 metro areas, 87 (22.8 percent) saw population decreases between 2016 and 2017.
  • The metro areas that dropped in rank within the top 10 fastest-growing metro areas, between 2016 and 2017, did so because of decreases in net domestic migration. Those areas are Bend-Redmond, Ore.; Provo-Orem, Utah; The Villages, Fla.; Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.; and Austin-Round Rock, Texas.
  • The St. Louis, Mo.-Ill. metro area dropped out of the top 20 most populous metro areas and swapped places with Baltimore to its new 2017 standing of the 21st most populous area in the nation. In 1960, St Louis was the 9th largest metro area.
  • A decrease in net domestic migration, meaning less of a gain from movement within the United States, was the primary factor in the Tampa metro area’s drop in rank from 7th in 2016 to 10th in 2017.
  • The metro area with the largest percentage decrease in population last year was Casper, Wyo., down by 1.7 percent.

Puerto Rico

  • The estimates show that Puerto Rico had an estimated population of 3.3 million in 2017, a decrease from 3.4 million in 2016. Puerto Rico’s population loss is attributed to a large migration of Puerto Ricans to the mainland United States.
  • All municipios in Puerto Rico decreased in population in 2015-2016 and 2016-2017.
  • The municipio with the largest numeric decrease between 2016 and 2017 was San Juan Municipio (-9,246; -2.7 percent), followed by Bayamón Municipio (-4,648; -2.5 percent), and Ponce Municipio (-4,140; -2.9 percent).
  • The municipio with the largest percentage decrease between 2016 and 2017 was Lares Municipio (-792; -3.0 percent), followed by Peñuelas Municipio (-628; -3.0 percent), and Guánica Municipio (-501; -3.0 percent).

Find more tables from this year’s release below.


Table 1

Top 10 Most Populous Counties: 2017
2017 Rank2016 RankCounty2017 Population2016 PopulationNumeric ChangePercent Change
11Los Angeles County, CA10,163,50710,150,55812,9490.1
22Cook County, IL5,211,2635,231,356-20,093-0.4
33Harris County, TX4,652,9804,617,04135,9390.8
44Maricopa County, AZ4,307,0334,233,38373,6501.7
55San Diego County, CA3,337,6853,317,20020,4850.6
66Orange County, CA3,190,4003,177,70312,6970.4
77Miami-Dade County, FL2,751,7962,736,54315,2530.6
88Kings County, NY2,648,7712,650,859-2,088-0.1
99Dallas County, TX2,618,1482,587,46230,6861.2
1010Riverside County, CA2,423,2662,386,52236,7441.5

Table 2

Top 10 Largest-Gaining Counties (Numeric Increase): 2016-2017
2017 Rank2016 RankCounty2017 Population2016 PopulationNumeric ChangePercent Change
11Maricopa County, AZ4,307,0334,233,38373,6501.7
23Clark County, NV2,204,0792,156,72447,3552.2
36Riverside County, CA2,423,2662,386,52236,7441.5
42Harris County, TX4,652,9804,617,04135,9390.8
55Tarrant County, TX2,054,4752,021,74632,7291.6
64King County, WA2,188,6492,155,96232,6871.5
78Bexar County, TX1,958,5781,927,74730,8311.6
87Dallas County, TX2,618,1482,587,46230,6861.2
912Denton County, TX836,210808,29927,9113.5
1014Collin County, TX969,603942,45327,1502.9

Table 3

Top 10 Fastest-Growing Counties (Percentage Increase): 2016-2017*
2017 Rank2016 RankCounty2017 Population2016 PopulationPercent ChangeNumeric Change
11473Falls Church city, VA14,58313,8685.2715
27Comal County, TX141,009134,1425.16,867
35Wasatch County, UT32,10630,5715.01,535
41Hays County, TX214,485204,3455.010,140
52Kendall County, TX44,02641,9644.92,062
621Walton County, FL68,37665,4404.52,936
741Tooele County, UT67,45664,5994.42,857
844Morgan County, UT11,87311,3734.4500
9805Lumpkin County, GA32,87331,5284.31,345
109Osceola County, FL352,180337,9904.214,190

*Among counties with a population of 10,000 or more in 2016 and 2017.

Table 4

Top 10 Counties With Numeric Decrease: 2016-2017
2017 Rank2016 RankCounty2017 Population2016 PopulationNumeric ChangePercent Change
11Cook County, IL5,211,2635,231,356-20,093-0.4
22Baltimore city, MD611,648616,958-5,310-0.9
35Cuyahoga County, OH1,248,5141,253,454-4,940-0.4
47St. Louis city, MO308,626313,144-4,518-1.4
510Allegheny County, PA1,223,0481,227,553-4,505-0.4
671Honolulu County, HI988,650992,761-4,111-0.4
76Milwaukee County, WI952,085955,369-3,284-0.3
8124Anchorage Municipality, AK294,356297,376-3,020-1.0
93Wayne County, MI1,753,6161,756,598-2,982-0.2
1019Kanawha County, WV183,293186,097-2,804-1.5

Table 5

Top 10 Counties by Percentage Decrease: 2016-2017*
2017 Rank2016 RankCounty2017 Population2016 PopulationPercent ChangeNumeric Change
1219Campbell County, WY46,24248,800-5.2-2,558
214Martin County, KY11,45211,947-4.1-495
36Geary County, KS33,85535,208-3.8-1,353
413McDowell County, WV18,45619,139-3.6-683
554Dimmit County, TX10,41810,784-3.4-366
65Richland County, MT11,03911,408-3.2-369
721Washita County, OK11,13411,474-3.0-340
84Uintah County, UT35,15036,194-2.9-1,044
93Beckham County, OK21,79322,432-2.8-639
1017Coahoma County, MS23,15423,820-2.8-666

*Among counties with a population of 10,000 or more in 2016 and 2017.

Metro Areas

Table 6

Top 10 Most Populous Metropolitan Areas: 2017
2017 Rank2016 RankMetropolitan Area2017 Population2016 Population
11New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA20,320,87620,275,179
22Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA13,353,90713,328,261
33Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI9,533,0409,546,326
44Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX7,399,6627,253,424
55Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX6,892,4276,798,010
66Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV6,216,5896,150,681
77Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL6,158,8246,107,433
88Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD6,096,1206,077,152
99Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA5,884,7365,795,723
1010Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH4,836,5314,805,942

Table 7

Top 10 Largest-Gaining Metropolitan Areas (Numeric Increase): 2016-2017
2017 Rank2016 RankMetropolitan Area2017 Population2016 PopulationNumeric Change
11Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX7,399,6627,253,424146,238
22Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX6,892,4276,798,01094,417
33Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA5,884,7365,795,72389,013
44Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ4,737,2704,648,49888,772
511Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV6,216,5896,150,68165,908
66Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA3,867,0463,802,66064,386
713Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA4,580,6704,523,65357,017
88Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL2,509,8312,453,33356,498
99Austin-Round Rock, TX2,115,8272,060,55855,269
107Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL3,091,3993,036,52554,874

Table 8

Top 10 Fastest-Growing Metropolitan Areas (Percentage Increase): 2016-2017
2017 Rank2016 RankMetropolitan Area2017 Population2016 PopulationPercent Change
19St. George, UT165,662159,2374.0
22Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC464,165447,7933.7
34Greeley, CO304,633294,2433.5
43Bend-Redmond, OR186,875180,6753.4
515Coeur d’Alene, ID157,637153,1442.9
610Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL686,483667,0182.9
717Boise City, ID709,845690,8102.8
87Provo-Orem, UT617,675601,4782.7
98Austin-Round Rock, TX2,115,8272,060,5582.7
101The Villages, FL125,165122,1212.5

Micro Areas

Table 9

Top 10 Most Populous Micropolitan Areas: 2017
2017 Rank2016 RankMicropolitan Area2017 Population2016 Population
11Claremont-Lebanon, NH-VT216,537216,458
22Hilo, HI200,381198,681
33Torrington, CT182,177183,097
46Concord, NH149,216148,133
54Ottawa-Peru, IL149,037149,657
65Traverse City, MI148,671148,231
77Pottsville, PA142,569143,335
88Tupelo, MS140,081139,656
99Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna, CA136,754136,449
1011Dunn, NC132,754130,899

Table 10

Top 10 Largest-Gaining Micropolitan Areas (Numeric Increase): 2016-2017
2017 Rank2016 RankMicropolitan Area2017 Population2016 PopulationNumeric Change
11Bozeman, MT107,810104,0723,738
29Jefferson, GA67,51964,9782,541
33Kalispell, MT100,00097,6932,307
45Twin Falls, ID108,751106,7931,958
511Pinehurst-Southern Pines, NC97,26495,3921,872
62Dunn, NC132,754130,8991,855
74Hilo, HI200,381198,6811,700
820Cookeville, TN111,363109,7031,660
917Shelton, WA63,71062,1231,587
1016Centralia, WA78,20076,6301,570

Table 11

Top 10 Fastest-Growing Micropolitan Areas (Percentage Increase): 2016-2017
2017 Rank2016 RankMicropolitan Area2017 Population2016 PopulationPercent Change
11Heber, UT32,10630,5715.0
26Jefferson, GA67,51964,9783.9
34Bozeman, MT107,810104,0723.6
43Prineville, OR23,12322,3443.5
57Los Alamos, NM18,73818,1523.2
642Lewisburg, TN32,93131,9733.0
717Sandpoint, ID43,56042,3432.9
82Ellensburg, WA46,20544,9282.8
953Mountain Home, ID26,82326,0902.8
1048Arcadia, FL36,86235,9252.6

In the coming months, the Census Bureau will release 2017 population estimates for cities and towns, as well as national, state and county population estimates by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin.

To find out to what counties people are leaving from and moving into, visit the Census Flows Mapper. The mapper displays information from the American Community Survey, collected over five-year periods between 2006 and 2015.


The Census Bureau develops county, metro area and micro area population estimates by measuring population change since the most recent census. The Census Bureau uses administrative records on births, deaths and migration to develop estimates of population. For more detail regarding the methodology, see <>.

The Office of Management and Budget’s statistical area delineations (for metro and micro areas) are those issued by that agency in July 2015. Metro areas contain at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more population, and micro areas contain at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 (but less than 50,000) population. Both metro and micro areas consist of one or more whole counties or county equivalents. Some metro and micro area titles may be abbreviated in the text of the news release. Full titles are shown in the tables.

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