Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Census Bureau: Everyone is ‘Gone To Texas’

photo courtesy of Show Us Your Togwatee via Flikr http://www.flickr.com/photos/showusyourtogwotee/4426981301/

Texas population is booming in large part because of internal migration. As people from around the country come to the state in search of jobs.

Texas schoolchildren learn the legend surrounding the letters “GTT.”  This abbreviation for “Gone to Texas” allegedly became a common sight on the doors of people who had left their homes in search of opportunity in Texas during the mid-nineteenth century.

People may no longer be posting the signs, but the sentiment couldn’t be more timely. A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau this week shows that the Texas population boom continues. The report ranks the top U.S. cities for population growth from April 2010 to June 2011. Of the top 15 fastest growing big cities, eight are in Texas.

Here are the essentials:

  • Of the largest percent increases, Texas took six of the top ten places, with Round Rock and Austin at two and three respectively. (New Orleans was number one, likely a rebound from the exodus after the flood of 2005)
  • In terms of numerical increase, the four major Texas cities – Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin – all ranked in the top ten. Houston, which had the largest numerical increase in the state, added 45,716 people.
  • On the list of the fifteen most populous cities in the U.S., the only positions to change since 2010 were Austin and San Francisco which switched places, moving Austin up to 13.

This boom, of course, brings with it all sorts of challenges for the future. Not least will be what we do with our water resources and our electric grid capacity. Texans will also be adapting to the more mundane aspects of growth. In Austin, for example, residents will have to get used to a new area code. Their code is about out of numbers.


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