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Welcome to Cowtown: Fort Worth Adds More Residents Than Any Other City in US, Census Data Shows

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May 19, 2023


Fort Worth’s population is inching closer to one million after adding more residents than any other city in the country in 2022, according to new Census data

The city welcomed 19,170 more people between July 1, 2021, and July 1, 2022. This brings Fort Worth’s total population for 2022 to 956,709, according to the Census figures released May 18. 

While Fort Worth’s growth is notable, it has been keeping pace with its past numbers, said Eric Fladager, assistant director of planning and data analytics for the city. 

“If you go back and look at the last 20 years, Fort Worth is either at or near the top of the fastest-growing markets in the United States,” he said. “This is not out of line with what we would expect.”

When it comes to quantifying the increase, Fladager notes that it equates to around or a little over 50 people a day. 

“It’s kind of like a busload of folks arriving every day,” he said. 

Fort Worth remains the 13th largest city in the country and is the fifth largest in Texas, behind Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin. 

New York, despite a population decrease, remains the nation’s largest city  No. 1 (8.3 million) and Los Angeles is No. 2.

Fladager estimates Fort Worth will hit a population of 1 million by 2027 or 2028 if the numbers stay consistent. 

“Many of the cities that are on the top list have actually lost population since 2020. So there’s not an even playing field in terms of how growth happens or does not happen,” he said. 

Texas was also the only state with more than three cities on both the 15 fastest-growing large cities and towns lists in raw numbers and percentage change.

Georgetown, north of Austin, was the nation’s fastest-growing city over 50,000 in percentage change, at 14.4 %. Other Texas cities among the top 15 on that list include Kyle, Leander, Little Elm, Conroe and New Braunfels.

While population growth was notable in the major urban areas in Texas, some of the smaller cities on the edge of big metros are also growing very quickly, said Kyle Walker, associate professor of geography and director of the Center for Urban Studies at Texas Christian University

“You see DFW and Fort Worth being attractive places to move to in part because housing costs are comparatively low, and economic opportunities are certainly available. We have a lot of amenities,” Walker said. “There’s room to grow… It is difficult to build a major city that is connected to open space. It’s rare for a city to be able to do both of those things at once.”

Fort Worth is in the process of working on its Comprehensive Plan, which lays out long-term planning strategies for the city over the next 20 years. Those numbers are valuable in that planning process

The increasing growth rate makes this process even more important, Fladager said. 

“It’s important for us, in large part based on that growth, based on the changes in economic opportunities, based on the city’s focus and the city council’s very clear focus on the quality of life,” Fladager said. “Making Fort Worth really one of the greatest cities in the country and one that folks want to come to.”

Sandra Sadek is a Report for America corps member, covering growth for the Fort Worth Report. You can contact her at sandra.sadek@fortworthreport.org or on Twitter at @ssadek19.

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