In order to understand which Texas cities surged in popularity in 2021, we compared the net inflow ratio from year to year.
Leander came in at the top with the highest popularity increase, while Fort Worth and McKinney followed in second and third place, respectively.
At the bottom of the list, Round Rock experienced the largest decline in the ratio change from 2020 to 2021, with Frisco and Cedar Park close behind.
It’s important to note that while Round Rock continues to see inflow, it’s at a much slower rate than the year before. The city saw about 320 inbound moves for every 100 out in 2020, and that rate dropped by 103.6% in 2021 to 220 moves in for every 100 out.
Unsurprisingly, most of the cities experiencing increased growth rates in 2021 are located in or near major metropolitan areas. Sugar Land, Katy, and Humble all are on the outskirts of Houston, while Leander is a rising area just 25 miles northwest of downtown Austin.
But cities like Houston and Austin steadily lose residents to surrounding areas. For example, the population center of Harris County has completely shifted from Houston’s historic center to its suburbs. In 2020, 118% more people lived in the metro area outside of Houston’s city limits than they did in 2000.
3. Texas-Size Growth: Fastest Growing Texas Metros, Cities, and Towns
So far we’ve looked at the Texas cities that are experiencing the most recent and relative growth across the state according to moveBuddha data.
To get a more comprehensive picture, we expanded our analysis to uncover the Texas cities that saw the most growth from 2010 to 2020 (using Census data). We divided the cities into five categories grouped by population size:
- Metropolitan cities: 250K+
- Large cities: 100-250K
- Mid-size cities: 50K-100K
- Small cities: 10K-50K
- Towns: Less than 10K
Here we've mapped all the fastest growth in the state from 2010 to 2020:
Fast growth often includes skyrocketing home prices. So we've also included details about typical home values (using Zillow's Home Value Index — ZHVI) to understand how prices have fluctuated over time and details about the local median household income to see which cities offer homebuyers a better bargain.
Examining population data from 2010, 2020, and Zillow home values across this period to as recent as March 2022, we found a few trends:
- Excluding metros, Dallas cities dominate this past decade's fast growth with 16 cities popping up. These DFW-area cities offer homes that are on average valued at $501K, from high-value Prosper's homes at $774K to the little town of Josephine's more affordable $303K.
- Central Texas: 13 of the fastest growing are scattered in the Texas Triangle. Those around Austin specifically experienced the highest increases in home values from 2020 to March 2022, an average of 72% across 10 cities. That equates to Austin-area homes that cost on average about $240K more in 2022 than they did in 2020 at an average value of $533K.
- Comparatively, Houston and San Antonio offer much more affordable area homes. The lowest value homes are located primarily in the west and southern parts of the state, El Paso ($188K), Laredo ($190K), and Odessa ($197K).
Metropolitan cities: Modest growth yet surprisingly affordable homes
According to Census data, here is how the population growth has been distributed across Texas’ largest metropolitan areas (250K+) from 2010 to 2020.
Of the metropolitan cities, Fort Worth (25%), Austin (24%), and San Antonio (18%) saw the most growth from 2010 to 2020. Typical area homes across all metropolitan areas over this period saw an average 57% jump in home prices, with an additional average increase of 37% over the last two years.
Can we still call Austin affordable? Defying the average mentioned above, in the Capitol city home values leaped, +81% from 2010 to 2020! The city has seen a rapid rise in population - an average of 180 new residents moved into Austin every day in 2020. Many of the newcomers are following a surge in startup and venture endeavors settling in Austin. According to PitchBook, VC investors in 2021 funneled 5.5 billion to Austin-based startups. So it may be less surprising that average Austin homes have gone from $238K in 2010 to $431K in 2020 and the latest March 2022 price is $702K!
The second most expensive for homes is Plano, where a typical home is about $516K. But this business hub also boasts the highest median income at $102K, $20K more than Austin. Plano provides a highly educated workforce that serves major employers like JPMorgan Chase, PepsiCo, Samsung Electronics, Toyota, and many more.
Of the three fastest-growing metros, San Antonio — Texas’ second-largest city — offers the most bang for your buck, with prices for a typical home in March 2022 at $290K.
Fast-growing Fort Worth homes are priced around $311K, while Dallas is $326K and Plano climbs up even higher for typical homes at $516K.
Large cities: Urban spill feeding large-city growth
As a whole, large Texas cities (100-250K population size) experienced on average nearly twice the population growth rates (31% average growth across all 10 cities) from 2010 to 2020 as the metropolitan areas (14% average growth across all 9 metros).
Goin' to the big D's suburbs: 4 Dallas suburbs lead large-city growth. Of the fastest-growing large cities, those experiencing the most growth are primarily situated around the DFW metropolitan area, including Frisco, McKinney, Denton, and Carrollton. In fact, Dallas suburb Frisco’s population saw a 79% increase between 2010 and 2020.
Round Rock: Itself a suburb of Austin, a decade ago finding a home in Round Rock under $200K was a breeze — the average typical home in 2010 was valued at $197K in 2010. Compare that to March 2022's ZHVI a reported $553K.
Larger purchasing power: While cities in this category are slightly on average more expensive than the larger metro cities, it’s important to note that the top four have median incomes well above the four fastest-growing metropolitan cities. This translates to a lower income to housing cost ratio in the four fastest-growing large cities.
Mid-size cities: Big city access without the big prices
Mid-size cities, with populations of 50,000 to 100,000 can offer the best of both city living and an escape from metropolitan chaos. These are the mid-size Texas cities that saw the most growth in the last decade.
Perfectly positioned New Braunfels: Topping the mid-size city list with a 66% rise in population is a fast-growing German immigrant settled city right at the heart of the Austin-San Antonio Corridor. Likely contributing to the growth, New Braunfels boasts a strong job market, with employment projected to rise 17% by 2025. While the median income here is higher than the national and state average, housing costs are on the rise.
Conroe, Houston-area's best-kept secret? Nature abounds in this lakeside city located about 40 miles north of Houston. It's the second-fastest growing city in this category, having grown 47% from 2010 to 2020. Conroe also offers relatively affordable housing, with a typical area home running around $317K. With a median income of $85,348 (well above both the national and state median) the low ratio of income to home price means that you’ll have more buying power.
Unexpected boomtowns, College Station and Odessa: Far from any major metropolitan areas these two cities saw growth rates that landed them in the top 10.
Odessa is strategically positioned in the Permian Basin, an area rich in petroleum and natural gas. Recent, large production of gas and oil in the region has boosted the economy and attracted workers from across the country.
While College Station, aptly named thanks to long-time residing Texas A&M, is right at the center of the Texas Triangle, which contains 5 of the largest cities in the state. It's much more than just a college town, with Forbes ranking College Station number two in its Best Small Places for Business and Careers in 2019.
Small cities: Explosive growth
Moving down in population size but up in growth and affordability, we come to Texas’ small cities, which started 2010 with populations between 10,000 and 50,000.
Not so small anymore: Leander, Little Elm, Kyle, Georgetown, Farmers Branch: Five of the ten small cities we looked at actually grew past the 50K threshold, with the largest, Georgetown, coming in at a population of 85,538 in 2020.
Skyrocketing home prices in Williamson County, no slowdown in sight.The fastest-growing small city from 2010 to 2020 is located in the county, the once-rural #1 Leander. Back in 2010 home prices in Leander were about $198K. From that price, 2020 saw a 55% jump while today's typical homes are a +178% jump from 2010 prices, up to $550K (March 2022).Hutto and Georgetown, also located in Williamson, have seen price increases on par with those in Leander.
Compared to Austin's Travis County, the real estate market is still more affordable in Williamson County despite a 42% increase cost in homes over the past year. That said, there's no slow down in sight. For instance, a new Samsung semiconductor fabrication facility in Taylor is estimated to bring around 2,000 jobs to the county by the time it’s operational in 2024. (Surrounding small towns like Thrall, Thorndale, Granger, Circleville, and Coupland could potentially see massive growth in the years to come.)
DFW's fast-growing small towns, Little Elm and Forney: Second-fastest growing small town is Little Elm, a lakeside suburban city north of Dallas. The "Antique Capital of Texas," Forney, comes in at 3rd and is located just east of DFW.
Towns: Tiny but mighty popular
Towns that started out in 2010 with small communities of less than 10K have collectively experienced the most growth.
Populations in these tiny towns shot up between 170% to 1,368%from 2010 to 2020.
From 1,167 to 17,136: Houston-area #1 fast-growing town Fulshear saw the greatest increase in population across the decade.
Four other cities also surpassed a population of 10,000 from 2010 to 2020.Of these, Celina, Melissa, and Prosper are all located in Collin County, in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. While the 4th, Manor, is 15 miles from Austin’s downtown.
This category is also exceptional in that it is the only one in which every town has a median income above the national and state median – five boast incomes over $100K. But in almost every case, high incomes haven’t been enough to offset the huge home price increases.
Josephine won't break your pocketbook. Along with remarkable population growth, the home prices are the most affordable of all these tiny towns at $303K as of March 2022 according to Zillow, pair that knowledge with the fact that area median incomes are around $101,560. Plus, it’s just 40 miles from Dallas with a nearly direct route via I-30 West.
The Texas of the future
Nearly all of the explosive growth that the state has experienced over the last decade has taken place in metro areas, which grew 18% compared to less than 1% in rural areas.
New residents will find that many of the smaller cities and towns just outside of the large metro areas provide access to everything the big cities have to offer at a more affordable cost of living.
For those looking to make Texas their new home, the state has a lot to offer. Economically and culturally strong urban centers. A growing and diverse population. Low taxes and a business-friendly environment. And yes, even wide open spaces for those looking to get away from it all.
Planning a move to Texas
If you've got a TX move on the horizon, these pages will help you:
- Best Texas Movers Pretty straight forward, we looked at hundreds of movers across the state and these are the best ones in Texas.
- Find your Texas moving route Want detailed help for your move? Pick where you're moving to and from in Texas, and we'll help you find out costs and movers
Sources and Methodology
This report primarily uses a combination of U.S. Census Bureau data and moveBuddha proprietary data. For understanding the cost of area homes we use Zillow's Home Value Index and for rent data we referred to RentData.org.
moveBuddha proprietary data:
- 2022 State-to-State: We looked at queries for moves from all states outside of Texas looking to move to Texas. Queries for this analysis were collected at moveBuddha.com from January 1 to July 5, 2022.
- 2022 most popular cities in Texas to move to, in-to-out raio: We compared inflow and outflow of cities across Texas by dividing the number of queries for moves into the city by the number of queries for moves out. This gave us an in-to-out ratio for each city. Cities with ratios higher than 1 saw higher inflow, and ratios falling below 1 saw higher outflow. Queries for this analysis were collected at moveBuddha.com from January 1 to July 5, 2022. For city-level analysis, we only included cities with a minimum of 25 inbound queries and 25 outbound queries.
- 2021 "Surge Cities" in Texas: Using the in-to-out ratio for Texas cities collected in 2020 and 2021, we compared the change in ratio from year to year to understand which cities were experiencing significantly higher (or lower) inflow in 2021 than in 2020. More information about our 2020 to 2021 move data can be found in our end of the year Migration Report.
U.S. Census Bureau — population, median income, historical population data:
Historical population totals, April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2020. To understand the methodology for devising these population estimates, please refer to the official methodology for total resident population estimates.
The median income is provided at the county level.
Zillow — Zillow Home Value Index city data:
The Zillow Home Value Index or ZHVI provides us with the typical home value within each city at a given period of time.
RentData.org — Fair Market Rent 2021
To understand the cost of rent for each city, we've included RentData.org's Fair Market Rent data for 2021. It's important to note that this is the 40th-percentile of rent prices, so will reflect prices slightly below average.
How many people have moved to Texas 2021 to 2022? ›
Texas saw the largest net population gain for the one-year period ended July 1, 2022, with more than 450,000 people moving to the state, according to a new report from analysts led by Rafe Jadrosich at Bank of America Global Research.What is the migration report for Texas? ›
Texas ranked second in the nation for relocation activity in 2019, according to the 2021 edition of the Texas Relocation Report, which analyzes the latest available migration data from the U.S. Census Bureau and U- Haul. According to the Census estimates, Texas welcomed 537,000 - 582,000 new residents in 2019.Where are Texans moving to the most? ›
- California: 37,063 Texans moved there. ...
- Colorado: 32,295 Texans move to Colorado, while only 18,189 Colorado residents move here.
- Oklahoma: 26,383 Texans moved to Oklahoma, while only 23,535 moved from Oklahoma to Texas.
- Florida: 26,174 Texans moved to Florida, and 41,238 Floridians relocated here.
In 2019, Texas welcomed between 537,000 to 582,000 out-of-state residents. Of those, 82,235 moved from California to Texas, per the latest state-to-state migration data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That's up from 63,174 people who did so just two years prior.What state has the most people moved to in 2021? ›
Americans Moved South in 2021, Often Influenced by the Pandemic. Vermont experienced the most inbound moves, while New Jersey once again saw the most people packing up and heading out, according to a new study by United Van Lines. By Elliott Davis Jr.What state has the most people leaving? ›
Top states residents are leaving
The annual 2022 United Van Lines National Movers study is out! But it wasn't good news for New Jersey or New York. A similar report from United Van Lines showed New Jersey as the top outbound state, followed by Illinois, New York, Michigan, and Wyoming.
that for the U.S. as a whole where Asians and Latin Americans account for the majority of recent immigrants. For Texas, 83.2 percent of its recent immigrants were born in either Latin America or Asia.Where are all the migrants coming from in Texas? ›
Migrants have been illegally crossing the northern border into the U.S. at historically high levels. Nearly all the migrants flown to Texas border cities so far have been Mexican.Which immigrants moved to Texas? ›
The first Swedish immigrants settled mainly in the towns of Galveston and Houston. The first Norwegian immigrants settled near the Dallas area and in East Texas. The largest groups of immigrants to move to Texas were from Germany. During 1836 and 1846 over 35,000 immigrants moved to Texas from Germany.What is the friendliest city in Texas? ›
The Alamo City wins out, and for a lot of different reasons, according to the article.
What is the #1 city to move to in Texas? ›
Austin. Known for its booming economy; excellent education, entertainment, and recreational opportunities; diverse dining scene, and sunny weather, Austin is one of the most popular cities in Texas — and the country.Where do most black Texans live in Texas? ›
The earliest black residents in Texas were Afro-Mexican slaves brought by the Spanish. A large majority of Black Texans live in the Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio metropolitan areas. Texas has the largest African American population in the United States.Is it smart to move to Texas right now? ›
Warm and tax-friendly, living in Texas is a great idea. With many diverse cities and endless job opportunities, Texas is a popular destination for young professionals, families, and retirees. Compared to living in Florida, Texas is slightly cheaper and just as warm as the sunshine state.Where is the best place to live in Texas weather wise? ›
Fort Worth has the fewest muggy days in Texas.
The Texas summer is just plain hot, period. But in Fort Worth, everyone enjoys being outside most of the year. There are about 1/3 of the days with a 65°- 68° dew point (mid-May thru mid-September) with a few of those days at a 70° - 72° dew point.
One of the BIG reasons to move to Texas from California is the taxes. California state income tax is the highest in the country, on all levels. Californians pay as much as 13.3% in state income tax and, depending on local rates, between 7.25% and 10.75% in sales tax.What state is losing population the fastest? ›
New York's population shrunk by 0.9 percent between July 2021 and July 2022, Illinois lost 0.8 percent of its population, and Louisiana (also 0.8 percent), West Virginia (0.6 percent), and Hawaii (0.5 percent) rounded out the top five jurisdictions for population loss.Why are people moving to Texas? ›
State leaders pointed to a number of reasons why people — mainly millennials — have been so attracted to Texas. There's no state income tax and the cost of living is lower than the national average. Plus, there are plenty of business-friendly policies.Which U.S. state is losing population the fastest? ›
Change in population, 2020 to 2022
Idaho, Montana and Florida saw the most population growth, while New York, Illinois and Louisiana saw the most decline.
- New Jersey. In 2022, for the fifth consecutive year, New Jersey was the No. ...
- Illinois. For the Illinoisans leaving the state, the choice came down to moving for a new job (31%), family (30%), retirement (24%) and a new lifestyle (22%). ...
- New York. ...
- Michigan. ...
There are at least ten valid reasons to leave Texas. Key concerns are crime, healthcare, education, natural disasters, travel and transport, rising heat, property taxes, cost of property, and more. While new residents are flocking to Texas, Texans are leaving the State for numerous reasons.
Are Californians still moving to Texas? ›
Texas is the top state Californians are moving to. Based on U.S. Census American Community Survey migration data from 2009 to 2019, Texas has been the #1 destination for departing Californians within the last decade. During that time period, an average of about 68,700 Californians moved to Texas each year.Where are the most refugees in Texas? ›
The leading countries of origin in Fort Worth among all agencies include Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burma, Syria and Iraq. ZIP codes 76119, 76106 and 76116 received the most refugees over the five-year span, according to the report.What is the highest ethnic group in Texas? ›
Hispanic Texans are estimated to be the state's largest demographic group. Hispanic residents accounted for 40.2% of the state's population in 2021, while non-Hispanic white residents accounted for 39.4%, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.Who is helping migrants in Texas? ›
- Texas Immigrant Rights Hotline. ...
- American Gateways. ...
- Immi. ...
- Immigration Law Help. ...
- Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) ...
- Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) ...
- Texas Here to Stay / Texas No Nos Vamos. ...
- Tahirih Justice Center.
Table Summarising the Difference between Migrant and Immigrant. The word migrant refers to someone who moves to other places in search of work or better living conditions. The word immigrant refers to those who have moved to foreign countries permanently for work or for better living conditions.How many immigrants move to Texas? ›
Net domestic migration has averaged 108,000 people per year over the period and international migration about 83,000. The domestic migration rate of 5.8 people per 1,000 residents in 2021 equaled 170,307 new arrivals from other states, about twice the population of Bryan, Texas (Chart 1).How many people move to Texas a day 2021? ›
If you're planning a move to the Lone Star State, you're not alone. An estimated 1,000 people move to Texas every day, and it's no surprise why.How many Americans are moving to Texas? ›
(NewsNation) — More Americans are moving to Texas than any other state, with close to half a million people moving there since July 2021, according to data from the U.S. Census. The Lone Star State is now home to over 30 million people — second only to California.What is the population migration in Texas? ›
Out of the almost 29-million Texans in 2020, more than 1.55 million (5.3%) residents moved from the county they resided in during the previous year. Although a relatively small percentage, this number of “on-the-move” Texans is greater than the total population of 11 states plus the District of Columbia.How has the population changed in 2021 in Texas? ›
Driving the news: Texas saw the most population growth among the U.S. states between 2021 and 2022, per the U.S. Census Bureau. By the numbers: The Lone Star State added 470,708 people between July 2021 and July 2022, reaching a total population of 30,029,572, according to data released late last month.
How many people are moving to Texas every week? ›
The new migration
That means about 3,800 more people move into Texas than leave – every single week. Texas is one of the most diverse states in the U.S. From 2015 to 2019, 40 percent of people moving to Texas came from other countries.
People are moving to Texas primarily for economic reasons. They want good job opportunities and to be able to afford the type of lifestyle they want to live. When you look at the West Coast compared to Texas, there's a gigantic difference in housing prices. And that is by far the biggest driver.Why is so much people moving to Texas? ›
One of the BIG reasons to move to Texas from California is the taxes. California state income tax is the highest in the country, on all levels. Californians pay as much as 13.3% in state income tax and, depending on local rates, between 7.25% and 10.75% in sales tax.What is the most moved to state in 2023? ›
One of the most popular states to move to in 2023 is Texas, and for good reason. This state boasts an impressive job market since it is home to many tech companies, startups, and artistic hubs.Is it cheaper to live in Texas or Florida? ›
Florida has a higher cost of living index than Texas across most categories. This is consistent with the fact that Floridians need a higher living wage to survive. Not only is Texas 8% cheaper than Florida overall, but housing, utilities and groceries all cost significantly less in the Lone Star State.What percent of Texas is white 2021? ›
|White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent|| 40.3%|
|Foreign born persons, percent, 2017-2021||17.0%|
Idaho, Montana and Florida saw the highest population growth among U.S. states between 2020-2022, per new U.S. Census Bureau data, while New York, Illinois and Louisiana suffered the most shrinkage.What cities in Texas are growing in population 2021? ›
Between July 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, Texas' population increased by 310,288, more than any other state in the nation. Georgetown and Leander were revealed as the fastest-growing cities in the country with populations greater than 50,000, both increasing their populations by more than 10% between 2020 and 2021.