2000 Population: 5.2 million
2009 Population: 6.4 million
Percent growth 2000-2009: 24 percent
The Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex continues to grow even amidst a recession. Its spot in the middle of the country makes it an easy plane ride from either coast, which is why many companies decide to put their headquarters there. Firms such as American Airlines, Lockheed Martin, Citigroup, and AT&T all have major operations in Dallas, which Mike Rosa of the Dallas Regional Chamber says helped insulate the city from the recession. “When there’s an economic shock that hits one industry, we’ve got other sectors that are doing fine or growing, so we’re buffered economically,” he says. Over the past few years, the metroplex has been adding about 100,000 people per year as companies such as AT&T, Hostess, and Comerica Bank have moved their headquarters to the area.
Houston metropolitan area
2000 Population: 4.74 million
2009 Population: 5.87 million
Percent growth 2000-2009: 23.8 percent
Between 2000 and 2010, the U.S. population grew 9.7 percent and Texas’s population grew 20.6 percent, with Houston’s metropolitan area leading the way, growing 26.1 percent behind a robust oil and energy-based economy. With 24 Fortune 500 companies based in the city, Houston trails only New York in the number of Fortune 500 headquarters. Since 2000, about 300,000 immigrants have moved to Houston. The city also saw a huge population spike in the middle of the decade, when many displaced victims from Hurricane Katrina relocated to the city from New Orleans. Houston is expected to see even more natural growth in the coming years, because it has one of the youngest median ages in the country at 32.9, compared to a national average of 36.8. More than 80 percent of mothers are 35 or younger at the time they give birth.