Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday shows the Killeen-Temple metropolitan area is continuing to gain more residents.
The Census Bureau says the Killeen-Temple area moved from 443,653 residents on July 1, 2017 to 451,679 on July 1 of last year. By gaining 8,026 residents, the area’s population increased by 1.8%.
The area moved up three spots in the ranking of U.S. metro area populations and is now at No. 119 nationally. The percentage of change from 2017 to 2018 was ranked as the 41st highest among the 390 metro areas measured.
In 2010, the population of the Killeen-Temple area was estimated at 405,313. The area has gained 46,366 residents since 2010, an increase of 11.4%. That increase is ranked as the 63rd highest in the U.S. over that period.
Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra said Friday that he’s not surprised by the increase in the area’s population.
“A couple of years ago when we would look at housing in (Killeen), we would have 1,100 homes active for sale,” said Segarra, who works as a Realtor. “And right now when we pull it up it’s around 350 homes. That in itself is an indicator that we are growing very rapidly.
“Even though we love the growth, our challenge is to continue to provide the services that are required when a city like ours is growing at that pace.”
Killeen City Councilwoman Shirley Fleming agreed with Segarra’s assessment, though she’s concerned more about jobs than services.
“I’m glad to see that Killeen is growing,” Fleming said Friday. “But I’m wanting to see other things along with that growth.
“We’re growing drastically, which is OK. We have people coming in and out of Killeen, and I think we need to concentrate on better jobs for them.”
The Census Bureau also had new data for county populations, but did not break out individual population data for cities in the Killeen-Temple metropolitan area. Killeen’s estimated population at the beginning of this year was 147,630. The City of Harker Heights estimates its current population is 30,361. Copperas Cove had an estimated population of 34,787 in January of this year.
POPULATION FIGURES FOR BELL, CORYELL, LAMPASAS COUNTIES
Bell County went from 347,851 to 355,642 residents between 2017 and 2018, a gain of 7,791. The 2.2% increase was the 33rd highest among Texas counties during that time, according to the Census Bureau. Bell County’s population is currently ranked No. 16 among Texas’ 254 counties.
Over the period from 2010 to 2018, Bell County has gained 45,483 residents. The gain in population of 14.7% was ranked as the 36th most in Texas during that time frame.
Coryell County has actually lost population over both the last year and since the last U.S. Census. From 2017 to 2018, the county lost 75 residents and now has an overall population of 74,808. The 0.1% decrease did not affect the county’s place at No. 49 in the statewide population ranking.
Between 2010 and 2018, Coryell County lost 666 residents. That amounts to a drop in the county’s population of about 1%.
Lampasas County gained residents from 2017 to 2018. By moving from 20,919 to 21,229 residents, the county gained an additional 1.5% in population. Lampasas County currently ranks 116th among Texas counties in overall population.
From 2010 to 2018, Lampasas County’s population grew from 19,680 to 21,229, according to the Census Bureau. The 7.9% gain was the 69th largest increase in the state of Texas over that period.
TEXAS COUNTIES, CITIES PLACE IN TOP TEN FOR GROWTH NATIONALLY
Counties and metropolitan areas in Texas are keeping pace with communities in other states when it comes to population growth.
The Census Bureau report said the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area had the biggest gain in residents nationally from 2017 to last year.
The Dallas metro’s increase of 131,767 people was about 35,000 more than the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona metro area.
The metro area containing Houston, the Woodlands and Sugar Land was third on that list with an increase of just over 91,000 people.
Texas also had the fastest growing community in terms of percentage of population growth.
The Midland area saw an increase of 4.3% from 2017 to 2018, ranking No. 1 overall in the United States. Odessa was fifth overall in percentage growth at 3.2%
Texas counties also showed strong population growth from year to year.
The Census Bureau said Harris County placed third nationally among 3,142 U.S. counties in terms of numerical growth. Harris County gained 34,460 residents from 2017 to 2018 to finish behind Maricopa County, Arizona and Clark County, Nevada.
Collin County, Texas, was ranked fourth in numeric growth, with Tarrant County eighth and Bexar County ninth.
In terms of percentage growth, Comal County was ranked second nationally with a gain of 5.4% from year to year. Kaufman County was third in the U.S. with a growth percentage of 4.7%. Midland County was sixth nationally, while Hood County was ninth.