The Dallas-Fort Worth region, once again, added the most new residents of any metro area in the country -- roughly 400 per day, or a total of 146,238, over the year that ended in July, census data released Thursday shows. That kept D-FW firmly in its spot as the nation's fourth-largest metro, though the region is catching up to Chicago, whose population has been sliding as economic factors tip the scales in favor of Texas, experts say. The thousands of people moving in both from other states and abroad have powered a population boom in Texas and especially in D-FW, where leaders have made a point of pitching its relatively low costs of living and business-friendly regulatory environment to companies located elsewhere. On the list of the counties that saw the biggest gains over the year, six out of 10 were in Texas, including Denton and Collin counties, which were ninth and 10th, respectively.
"When [Collin and Denton] were smaller, they were up in the top 10 in terms of the rate of growth, and now they're cracking the top 10 in terms of numeric growth because the foundation is there," he said. "The economic development that's going on up there is drawing migrants into those counties."
That, he said, is where the Chicago area seems to be struggling.As of January, Chicago's annual job growth had been the slowest of any of the nation's 12 biggest metro areas. In that same report, D-FW ranked second, behind Phoenix, which also added thousands of residents last year. Meanwhile, the Chicago metro lost more than 13,000 residents. Cook County, which is home to Chicago, lost the most people of any county in the country. Potter said he couldn't pinpoint an exact time when D-FW will surpass Chicago, it's possible that it could happen in coming decades. "It depends on what happens in Chicago -- if they continue to lose population and if D-FW continues the pace that it is," he said. "We could see it in the next decade or the one after."
According to projections from Potter's office based on growth trends from 2000 to 2010, D-FW's population is expected to grow to almost 10 million by 2030. And experts don't expect that to slow anytime soon. Still, Potter said that as living costs rise in D-FW and decline in Chicago with shifting demand, some of the differences between the two metros could even out.
- Dallas Morning News, June 21, 2018