Welcome to Boomtown. This city is now the 15th largest in the country, Census says

With all of the rapid growth in North Texas, it should come as no surprise — is now the 15th largest city in the country.

“It‘s exciting,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “We‘re projected to be at a million people by 2035. That‘s a lot of people in a short amount of time and I think we may get there ahead of that date.”

With a population of 874,168, Fort Worth jumped past Indianapolis, which has a population of 863,002, according to the Census Bureau‘s 2017

Columbus, Ohio, is just ahead of Fort Worth, ranking 14th, with a population of 879,170. And with its rapid rate of growth, Price believes Fort Worth could climb even higher next year.

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The 14 largest U.S.cities have not changed since 2016. remains fourth behind New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. San Antonio is seventh, Dallas is ninth while Austin is 11th.

“It is very substantial growth,” said Lloyd Potter, the Texas state demographer. “The numeric growth is quite impressive. I think in some ways it suggest Fort Worth is picking up its game so to speak.”

In its latest data release, the Census Bureau also said Fort Worth added 18,664 — the fourth largest numeric gain among cities with a population of 50,000 of higher between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017.

was just ahead of Fort Worth with an increase of 18,935 and San Antonio led the nation with a jump of 24,208. was ninth with a gain of 13,470 and Austin was 12th with an increase of 12,515.

gained 2,377 people to reach 396,394 and ranked 44th nationally behind Tulsa and ahead of New Orleans, Potter said. With an estimated population of 70,441, remained the third-largest city in Tarrant County.

said North Texas business-friendly environment has played a role in the growth. But he warns that efforts to curb local control in Austin could eventually slow the boom.

“If the state continues to try and handcuff our ability to act locally, then it would prevent our ability to add things like special infrastructure projects. … It could also affect business incentives. If we‘re capped at two and a half percent growth, we can‘t do things like that.”

The South and West dominated the list.

Census Bureau

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Houston was the biggest surprise, gaining only 8,000 residents. And the estimates, which ended on July 1, do not take into account the impact of Hurricane Harvey.

“This is way down from earlier in the decade,” Potter said. “Houston is just not growing at all. It probably has something to do with the downturn in the price of oil last year.”

Texas also was among the leaders in percentage gain with Frisco leading the nation with an 8.2 percent increase and McKinney had a 4.8 percent jump.

Three Central Texas cities also were in the top 15.

New Braunfels came in second with an 8 percent hike; Pflugerville was third and climbed 6.5 percent while Cedar Park was 13th with a 4.2 percent increase..

“You‘ve got this I-35 corridor that starts in the northern suburbs of Dallas and Fort Worth and runs all the way through Austin and San Antonio,” said Steve Murdock, a Rice University sociology professor who is the former head of the U.S. Census Bureau.

“No trend goes on forever,” Murdock said. “Certainly, there are infrastructure issues but I would expect this trend is not going away anytime soon.”

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If nothing is done to preserve space, the landfill in far southeast Fort Worth will run out of room in a little more than two decades, according to a recent report. Max Faulknermfaulkner-telegram

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