While several Texas cities are growing the fastest in the nation, the city’s population is on the decline, and the populations of Killeen, Nolanville and Harker Heights have experienced a more gradual growth.

Ten of the 15 fastest-growing large cities were located across the South in 2016, with four of the top five in Texas, according to new population estimates released May 25 by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Conroe, north of Houston, was the fastest-growing large city in the nation, with a growth rate of 7.8 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to the bureau’s report. That growth rate is more than 11 times the nation’s growth rate of 0.7 percent. Conroe’s 2015 population was 76,362 and grew to 82,286 in 2016.

The Census Bureau classifies large cities as those with a population above 50,000.

Some of the other fastest-growing cities were Frisco (6.2 percent); McKinney (5.9 percent); Greenville, South Carolina (5.8 percent); and Georgetown (5.5 percent), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In comparison, Killeen’s population was at 140,613 in 2015, and steadily grew to 143,400 in 2016, about a 2 percent increase.

Copperas Cove’s population decreased slightly from 33,018 in 2015 to 32,808 in 2016, while the population of Harker Heights increased slightly, from 29,124 in 2015 to 29,757 in 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Nolanville’s population increased slightly from 4,771 in 2015 to 4,953 in 2016.

“Overall, cities in the South continue to grow at a faster rate than any other U.S. region,” said Amel Toukabri, a demographer in the Census Bureau’s population division. “Since the 2010 Census, the population in large southern cities grew by an average of 9.4 percent. In comparison, cities in the West grew 7.3 percent, while cities in the Northeast and Midwest had much lower growth rates at 1.8 percent and 3.0 percent respectively.”

Find more highlights from this year’s Census release and local-level statistics at census.gov.

jdowland@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7464

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