15 Cities That Grew the Most Over the Past Decade

Happy family moving into new home
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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Porch.

With less natural population growth and decreased immigration, the population of the United States has been growing more slowly every year since 2015, according to new Census Bureau estimates. In fact, the 0.35% growth rate between 2019 and 2020 represents the lowest growth rate in more than a century.

America is now an aging nation, as the age brackets for residents 55 and older are expanding at a pace that far exceeds the younger brackets. Over the past decade, the population of retirement-age residents (65 to 74 years old) soared 48.9% according to Census figures, while those 75 or older grew 24.1%, and those 55 to 64 increased 15.3%. In comparison, the total U.S. population increased by just 6.5% over the same time period, with certain age cohorts experiencing a population decline.

Such dramatic demographic shifts have reshaped the makeup of entire regions, states, and cities as the eldest generation increasingly moves from traditional job havens across the Rust Belt and Northeast to more retirement-friendly locales in the West, Southwest, and Southeast. The growth in housing units over the last 10 years exploded in states like North Dakota (thanks also to the fracking boom), Utah, Idaho, and Texas—all of which reported a roughly 15% or more increase in residential units, according to Census data. New home construction has also been a hot trend in Washington, the Carolinas, South Dakota, and Nevada.

When it comes to population growth, though, the Southwest is the clearest beneficiary of America’s changing demographics. While West Virginia, Illinois, New York, and a few New England states actually shrunk over the last decade, nearly all states between Washington and Texas expanded significantly. Utah led the way at 17.1% population growth between 2010 and 2020, followed by Texas (16.3%), Idaho (16.3%), Nevada (16.1%), Arizona (15.8%), Florida (15.3%), and Colorado (15.1%). Among the most-cited reasons for migration to these states are a lower cost of living and more favorable business conditions. The interior western states have also gained from residents moving out of California.

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Large Cities With the Most Population Growth Since 2010

Family moving day.
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To see how these trends have affected specific cities across the country, researchers at Porch looked at three classes of city sizes and calculated the difference between their 2010 and 2020 populations as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. For the purposes of this analysis, only cities with at least 100,000 residents in 2020 were included.

Similar to state-level trends, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, and Florida are all well-represented. Texas holds two of the three fastest-growing large cities, as well as the top two midsize cities and seven of the top 10 small cities. Dallas suburb Frisco easily led the nation with a growth rate of more than 77%, thanks to a low cost of living, plenty of job opportunities, and brand new infrastructure.

Keep reading to see the large cities with the most population growth over the past decade.

15. Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Springs, Colorado
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  • 10-year percentage change in population: 14.60%
  • 10-year total population change: 61,405
  • Population 2020: 482,131
  • Population 2010: 420,726

14. Raleigh, NC

Raleigh, North Carolina
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • 10-year percentage change in population: 16.73%
  • 10-year total population change: 68,002
  • Population 2020: 474,414
  • Population 2010: 406,412

13. San Antonio, TX

San Antonio at night.
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  • 10-year percentage change in population: 17.57%
  • 10-year total population change: 234,152
  • Population 2020: 1,567,118
  • Population 2010: 1,332,966

12. Miami, FL

Miami, Florida
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  • 10-year percentage change in population: 17.65%
  • 10-year total population change: 70,727
  • Population 2020: 471,525
  • Population 2010: 400,798

11. Washington, DC

Washington, D.C.
orhan-cam / Shutterstock.com
  • 10-year percentage change in population: 17.77%
  • 10-year total population change: 107,534
  • Population 2020: 712,816
  • Population 2010: 605,282
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10. Phoenix, AZ

John Wollwerth / Shutterstock.com
  • 10-year percentage change in population: 17.88%
  • 10-year total population change: 259,129
  • Population 2020: 1,708,127
  • Population 2010: 1,448,998

9. Aurora, CO

Aurora Colorado
Arina P Habich / Shutterstock.com
  • 10-year percentage change in population: 18.14%
  • 10-year total population change: 59,493
  • Population 2020: 387,377
  • Population 2010: 327,884

8. Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, Georgia, Piedmont Park skyline autumn
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • 10-year percentage change in population: 19.36%
  • 10-year total population change: 83,136
  • Population 2020: 512,550
  • Population 2010: 429,414

7. Mesa, AZ

Mesa, Arizona
Tim Roberts Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • 10-year percentage change in population: 19.81%
  • 10-year total population change: 87,326
  • Population 2020: 528,159
  • Population 2010: 440,833

6. Tampa, FL

Tampa, Florida
kevin-j-king / Shutterstock.com
  • 10-year percentage change in population: 20.89%
  • 10-year total population change: 70,443
  • Population 2020: 407,599
  • Population 2010: 337,156

5. Charlotte, NC

Charlotte North Carolina
Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com
  • 10-year percentage change in population: 21.92%
  • 10-year total population change: 161,904
  • Population 2020: 900,350
  • Population 2010: 738,446

4. Denver, CO

Denver, Colorado
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • 10-year percentage change in population: 21.98%
  • 10-year total population change: 132,526
  • Population 2020: 735,538
  • Population 2010: 603,012

3. Austin, TX

Austin, Texas
Roschetzky Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • 10-year percentage change in population: 23.48%
  • 10-year total population change: 189,270
  • Population 2020: 995,484
  • Population 2010: 806,214

2. Fort Worth, TX

Fort Worth Texas
Barbara Smyers / Shutterstock.com
  • 10-year percentage change in population: 23.96%
  • 10-year total population change: 179,301
  • Population 2020: 927,720
  • Population 2010: 748,419

1. Seattle, WA

Seattle, Washington
cdrin / Shutterstock.com
  • 10-year percentage change in population: 26.05%
  • 10-year total population change: 159,060
  • Population 2020: 769,714
  • Population 2010: 610,654

Detailed Findings & Methodology

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Population and housing data is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 Population Estimates Program. To identify which cities grew the most over the past decade, researchers calculated the percentage change in population between 2010 and 2020. All cities present in the 2020 Census with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis. Additionally, to improve relevance, cities were grouped into cohorts based on population size: small (100,000–149,999), midsize (150,000–349,999), and large (350,000 or more).

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