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North Texas population explodes past 8 million — and counting, new report says

North Texas population explodes past 8 million — and counting

Fort Worth highway, traffic
The bigger the population gets, the smaller the roads seem. Getty Images

Here’s an astounding growth milestone for North Texas: The region’s population now exceeds the population of the state of Washington.

New data from the North Central Texas Council of Governments indicates that as of January 1, an estimated 8,097,170 people lived in the 16-county region. The region comprises the 12 counties of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, as well four adjacent counties: Erath, Navarro, Palo Pinto, and Somervell.

The council’s tally shows North Texas added 157,570 residents last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In vaulting over the 8 million mark, North Texas can boast that it’s home to more residents than the state of Washington (around 7.8 million). 

“Since 1990, the region has almost doubled in population,” the council says.

According to the data, 21 cities in North Texas grew by at least 10 percent last year. Caddo Mills led the way, at 64.7 percent, followed by Aubrey (34.6 percent) and Haslet (34.5 percent).

As for the city that added the most people last year, that title goes to Fort Worth, which grew by 22,710 residents. It was followed by Lewisville (19,000, attributed largely to the annexation of Castle Hills) and Dallas (16,870).

On a percentage basis, the biggest population gainers among North Texas counties were Rockwall, 6.2 percent; Ellis and Johnson, 4.3 percent each; and Collin, 3.8 percent. From a numerical standpoint, Collin County added the most people (41,150), followed by Dallas County (30,660) and Tarrant County (26,220).

Only four North Texas cities lost population last year: Highland Park, 0.5 percent; Aledo and Lake Worth, 0.2 percent each; and Richland Hills, 0.1 percent.

These new figures demonstrate DFW’s continuing allure for people and businesses. This spring, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that DFW saw the biggest population gain among U.S. metros from July 2020 to July 2021. During that period, DFW picked up 97,290 more residents.

“Demographers project that DFW will reach 10 million people sometime in the 2030s, surpassing Chicago to become America’s third-largest metro area,” according to Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research.