Houston is growing rapidly

March 19, 2009 4:44:31 PM PDT
More people are moving to Texas. New census numbers show Dallas and Houston are the fastest growing cities in the nation. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Between July 2007 and July 2008, Dallas had the largest population boom, but Houston was second with more than 130,000 new residents.

The Houston economy is not the best it's ever been, but it is far better than most around the country. That may, in part, be a reason that the region continues to grow at a phenomenal pace.

We have a lot more neighbors than we did just a year ago and apparently a lot fewer than we'll have in years to come. We're just that popular it seems.

"It's good for the region," said Bob Eury of the downtown district.

Eury is a cheerleader for downtown Houston, promoting what the city's center has to offer business and families. He says our growth, according to the latest census numbers, is not surprising.

"I think this region is still viewed as a region of opportunity for people, accepts all types of people. We have a wonderful instinct and attitude towards creating jobs," said Eury.

The numbers were released Thursday. Between 2007 and 2008, only the metro Dallas-Fort Worth region grew faster than us. Houston added 130,0000 people. Phoenix was third.

Of the 100 fastest growing counties in the country, Texas is home to 19 of them. Harris County is third in the nation in population.

To look at the most recent projections from the state of Texas, the population for Harris County will increase more than another half-million people between now and 2040.

The question then is can we handle that growth? Can we absorb the population while maintaining the desired green space and roads, houses, and schools?

"Those are new questions that Houston has to address," said Stephen Klineberg, Sociology Professor at Rice University.

Klineberg specializes in where people live and why. He said the key to our successful growth isn't just the number of people who move here and how we accommodate them, but the diversity of those people and their expertise as we move from a 19th and 20th century economy based on oil to one much more advanced.

"We've got to make sure that this growth, the benefits of that growth are also translated into building a better, more beautiful, more healthy, more interesting, urban destination," said Klineberg.

The census numbers released don't go into great specifics as to the diversity of population growth. That we should get from the official 2010 census, which begins in 377 days.

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