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Population Increase in Harris County

As thousands of people are drawn by job opportunities, Harris County added more residents than any other county in the United States for the second year in a row, as reported by the Census Bureau. About half of the population rise in the Houston area comes from natural increase and the other half is attributed to people moving to the area. Experts say the migration was driven by the a number of job opportunities created largely by the oil and gas industry.

“If it wasn't for the net migration, Houston and Harris County would look like most other places that are kind of growing at a moderate pace,” said Lloyd Potter, state demographer for Texas. “But because economic opportunity is being created in Houston—apparently at a greater rate that is happening in other parts of the country—we're seeing net positive migration into Houston.”

“While Houston survived the recession and housing crisis better than other parts of the country did, those economic circumstances still a play a role in international migration, which dropped after the downturn,” said Steve Mudrock, director of the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas at Rice University.

The latest data also shows that Texas was the third fastest growing state in the nation, with the largest numeric increase in population, as experts say.

Texas had 11 counties among the 50 fastest growing, as well as 11 among the 50 highest numeric gainers, with four counties—Harris, Dallas, Travis and Tarrant—making it into the top 70 in raw numbers.