Brace yourselves, North Texans. The 30-county swath known as North Texas is on track to absorb close to 3 million people — more than the population of the modern-day Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL, metro area — over the next 15 years.
A study by LawnStarter indicates that North Texas — whose major cities include Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano and Denton — is expected to add 2,923,219 residents from 2015 to 2030. As of 2014, the population of the Tampa-St. Petersburg area was 2,793,814. Our data analysis is based on population projections from the Texas state demographer.
If the state demographer’s crystal ball is right, the population of North Texas would climb from an estimated 7,669,168 in 2015 to a projected 10,592,387 in 2030. That would represent a 15-year increase of 38.1 percent. To put the 2030 figure in perspective, the Chicago, IL, metro area is home to almost 9.5 million people.
Collin County Leads the Charge
The borders of North Texas are loosely defined. We went with a 30-county configuration stretching from Cottle County, adjacent to the Texas Panhandle, on the region’s western border to Fannin County, just east of Denison, TX, on the region’s eastern border.
At 80.3 percent, Collin County will lead North Texas in population growth from 2015 to 2030, followed by Rockwall County (75.8 percent), Denton County (74.5 percent) and Kaufman County (73.4 percent), according to our study. Just two counties in North Texas, Cottle and Foard, are projected to lose residents from 2015 to 2030.
In Collin County, the projected bump in population would merely continue a similar trend from 2000 to 2014, county spokesman Tim Wyatt says. Among the factors contributing to Collin County’s growth are:
- Well-educated workforce. Wyatt says 50 percent of the county’s workers hold at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Solid tax base. The county’s tax base has increased 11.5 percent in 2015, according to Wyatt. Corporate expansions underway or completed in Collin County include FedEx, Liberty Mutual, State Farm and Toyota.
- Top-notch schools. In the McKinney School District, for instance, 2014-15 standardized test results outpaced those for the state as a whole.
Summing up Collin County’s economic health, Wyatt says: “While much of the country was wondering how they would climb out of the 2008-2010 recession, we were already climbing out of it.”
Jobs Lure New Residents
Toyota is moving its North American headquarters to North Texas.
Lloyd Potter, the state demographer for Texas, says most of the population growth in North Texas is coming from people moving from other areas to Collin County, Denton County and other counties. Outside the urban cores and fast-growing suburban counties in North Texas, counties are seeing slow growth or are even losing population, he says.
“Growth, especially in high-migration areas, is being driven by employment opportunity. Thus, growing economic activity is creating jobs that are attracting migrants,” Potter says.
Below is a table containing 2015 population estimates and 2030 population projections for all 30 counties in North Texas.
|County||Population 2015||Population 2030||Percentage Change|