The Changing Demographics of Texas

Like all of America, Texas is getting older and more urban.

At 2.38 million, Houston is only 293,000 residents away from overtaking Chicago as the third largest city in the US, according to the 2020 Census. State demographer Lloyd Potter says in the past ten years, 96 rural counties have lost population while the cities keep getting bigger, most especially within the burgeoning triangle of Dallas, Houston and San Antonio/Austin..

Texas is about 85% urban/suburban, 15% or less rural.

From 2010 to 2019 the population of Houston has jumped almost 11%, a reflection Potter finds consistent with the state. “People tend to still think about Texas as ‘the old West,’ but we’re a very urban state when you look at the population urban and suburban,” says Potter.

And for the old timers that have been in Houston for a while, there have been a lot of changes. “I remember when the Galleria went up and everybody went up and everybody was a little skeptical because it was way out there, and now it’s another urban center with a lot of really tall buildings and corporate offices.”

Consistent with national trends, the 65+ population of Texas has increased close to 5% in the past decade.

photo: Getty Images

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