The 12 Big ’Burbs That Are Growing Like a Weed

Frisco TX

They say everything’s bigger in Texas. That well-worn phrase definitely could be applied to some of the Lone Star State’s big suburbs.

A LawnStarter analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows that from 2014 to 2015, Texas had five of the 12 fastest-growing big suburbs — those with at least 100,000 residents. Three of those Texas suburbs are in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, with one each in the Austin and Houston metro areas.

Frisco TX

The population of Frisco, TX, grew 6.35 percent from 2014 to 2015.

In loose terms, all 12 of the suburbs on our list are known as “boomburbs.” These are large, rapidly growing communities that aren’t the biggest cities in their region, according to the Brookings Institution. Boomburbs offer housing, retail, offices and entertainment but lack large downtowns, Brookings says.

“Typically large and sprawling, boomburbs are ‘accidental cities,’ but not because they lack planning. Many are made up of master-planned communities that have grown into one another. Few anticipated becoming big cities and unintentionally arrived at their status,” according to Brookings.

Booming ’Burbs

While there’s been lots of chatter about a recent surge in urban population, big-city growth managed to outpace suburban growth for only a short period. Today, suburbs remain residential magnets. In fact, 27 percent of Americans surveyed in 2015 for real estate marketplace Trulia said they most wanted to live in the suburbs, compared with 27 percent preferring rural areas and 8 percent leaning toward big cities.

It’s no wonder, then, that suburbs big and small keep expanding.

“Rather than becoming more urban, the country continues to become more suburban, with less-dense areas and regions gaining more population than their inner-city cousins,” population experts Joel Kotkin Wendell Cox wrote recently.

Here’s our list of the 12 Big ’Burbs That Are Growing Like a Weed — and that continue to add to the allure of suburban life.

1. Frisco, TX

Frisco IKEA

Metro area: Dallas-Fort Worth
2014 population: 145,189
2015 population: 154,407
2014-15 growth rate: 6.35%

2. Pearland, TX

Pearland TX

Photo: KB Home

Metro area: Houston
2014 population:
2015 population: 108,821
2014-15 growth rate: 5.30%

3. Murfreesboro, TN

Murfreesboro TN

Photo: Flickr/Brent Moore

Metro area: Nashville
2014 population:
2015 population: 126,118
2014-15 growth rate: 4.36%

4. McKinney, TX

McKinney TX

Photo: McKinney Convention & Visitors Bureau/B. Shoemate

Metro area: Dallas-Fort Worth
2014 population: 156,898
2015 population: 162,898
2014-15 growth rate: 3.82%

5. Carrollton, TX

Carrollton TX

Photo: Flickr/Ricardo S. Nava

Metro area: Dallas-Fort Worth
2014 population:
2015 population: 133,168
2014-15 growth rate: 3.62%

6. Irvine, CA

Irvine CA

Photo: Flickr/Neil Kremer

Metro area: Los Angeles
2014 population:
2015 population: 256,927
2014-15 growth rate: 3.43%

7. Gilbert, AZ

Gilbert AZ

Photo: Flickr/Brook Ward

Metro area: Phoenix
2014 population:
2015 population: 247,542
2014-15 growth rate: 3.39%

8. Santa Clara, CA

Levi's Stadium

Photo: Dilemma X

Metro area: San Jose
2014 population:
2015 population: 126,215
2014-15 growth rate: 3.21%

9. Henderson, NV

Henderson NV

Photo: Timberlake Cabinetry

Metro area: Las Vegas
2014 population:
2015 population: 285,667
2014-15 growth rate: 3.02%

10. Hillsboro, OR

Hillsboro OR


Metro area: Portland
2014 population:
2015 population: 102,347
2014-15 growth rate: 2.92%

11. Round Rock, TX

Round Rock TX


Metro area: Austin
2014 population:
2015 population: 115,997
2014-15 growth rate: 2.85%

12. Cary, NC

Cary NC

Photo: LG Real Estate

Metro area: Raleigh
2014 population:
2015 population: 159,679
2014-15 growth rate: 2.75%

Top photo:


John Egan

John Egan is the former editor in chief of Now, he is a freelance writer extraordinaire. He lives in Austin, Texas.