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Thursday, June 21, 2018 by Syeda Hasan

Austin-Round Rock is the 9th-fastest-growing metro area in the U.S.

The Austin-Round Rock metro area is the ninth fastest growing in the country, according to 2017 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The total population in 2017 was 2.1 million. The area did see a slight decline in its rate of population growth compared to the year before. Molly Cromwell, a demographer with the U.S. Census Bureau, says the decrease can be attributed to a drop in net domestic migration – that is, fewer people moving to the area from other parts of the U.S.

“There were nearly 5,000 fewer people moving into the metro area from other places in the country than moving out of it in 2017 compared to 2016,” Cromwell said.

Researchers note that these latest population estimates do not account for any displacement or population changes stemming from hurricanes Harvey, Irma or Maria.

The Census Bureau also reports that the U.S. population as a whole is getting older, while many counties across the Midwest and the South are getting younger. In Texas, 93 counties saw a decline in their median age, but overall, the state population got older between 2010 and 2017. The median age for Texas increased from 33.6 to 34.6 years.

“Travis County is following the overall aging trend in Texas with a median age increase from 31.9 in 2010 to 34.3 in 2017,” Cromwell said. “The county also saw the 65 and older population increase at an even more rapid rate than the state overall.”

The Census Bureau also reports that the nation as a whole is getting more racially and ethnically diverse. Asians are the fastest-growing racial group in the country, a trend that is primarily attributed to net migration, which includes people coming into the U.S. from other parts of the world.

When looking at the raw numbers, the state of Texas had the highest black population in the country in 2017 at 3.8 million. The state’s total population was 28.3 million.

“The population of blacks or African-Americans has been consistently large in Texas for quite some time, however,” Cromwell said. “Looking back as far as 2010, Texas has been in the top three states with the largest black or African-American population. This is a factor of Texas’ large population size.”

This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting partnership with KUT. Graphics credit: U.S. Census Bureau; photo by Lars Plougmann made available through a Creative Commons license.

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