Houston remains fourth largest city, according to report

Between 2010-2014, Houston experienced exponential, atypical growth of 30,000-35,000 new residents every year.

If that continued, Houston might've been on track to become the third largest city in the nation.

But, Houston had an economic downturn in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Greater Houston Partnership research analyst Nadia Valliani said now they're seeing higher growth rates in surrounding suburban counties.

"Like Fort Bend has grown by 34 percent in the past eight years. They're the 10th fastest growing county in the country.Montgomery has experienced nearly 30 percent growth. They're ranked 18th in the country," said Valliani.

The report shows more U.S. residents are moving to Houston's outskirts, while immigrants are moving to the city.

Valliani said the region has grown by a million residents since 2010, and a third of that is foreign born folks coming here.

"International migration is very important to our economy, so while the foreign-born make up about 24 percent of our population, they contribute 29 percent to our GDP," said Valliani.

She said if it weren't for the immigrants, Harris County and the region's population growth would've been much weaker.

She added now that the economy is booming again, they expect to see more population growth pick back up.

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