Alamo City Growth

San Antonio named fastest-growing large city in U.S., hits new population milestone

San Antonio named the fastest-growing large city in the nation

San Antonio skyline
San Antonio has reached a new population milestone: 1.5 million residents. Photo by SeanPavonePhoto/Getty Images

New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau underscore just how much bigger the San Antonio metro area is getting. The Alamo City added the greatest number of residents among large U.S. cities from 2016 to 2017, and New Braunfels ranked among the fastest-growing cities on a percentage basis.

From July 1, 2016, to July 1, 2017, San Antonio’s population swelled by 24,208, according to Census Bureau data released May 24. Put another way, that's an average of 66 new residents per day (people moving to the city and babies being born).

“That’s a growth rate of 1.6 percent. This growth was enough to push San Antonio’s population above the 1.5 million mark,” Census Bureau demographer Amel Toukabri says in a release.

To be precise, San Antonio’s population stood at 1,511,946 as of July 1, 2017.

“It comes as no surprise to me that San Antonio was the fastest-growing city in the country from 2016 to 2017. A competitive cost of living and business-friendly atmosphere make our city a great place for young people, families, military members, and businesses,” says Richard Perez, president and CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

“All you have to do is come to San Antonio and see our 300 years of culture and history, proud residents, excited tourists, and a bustling economy sprinkled with opportunity,” Perez adds. “San Antonio is real and ready.”

San Antonio wasn’t the only big gainer among Texas cities with at least 50,000 residents.

Dallas ranked third for numeric growth among large cities from 2016 to 2017, adding 18,935 residents and landing at a population of 1,341,075. Fort Worth was in fourth place with 18,664 new residents. It bypassed Indianapolis to become the 15th largest city in the U.S; as of last July, Fort Worth’s population was 874,168.

No. 9 on the list of fastest-growing cities was the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Frisco, adding 13,470 residents from 2016 to 2017. Austin rounded out the Texas contingent in the top 15, taking the No. 12 spot with the addition of 12,515 residents and elevating the total population to 950,715 as of last July.

Examined on a percentage basis, seven Texas cities with at least 50,000 residents were among the 15 fastest-growing U.S. cities from 2016 to 2017, according to the Census Bureau.

At No. 1 in that ranking was Frisco, notching an 8.2 percent increase in population from 2016 to 2017. As of last July, Frisco was home to 177,286 people.

At No. 2, right behind Frisco, was the San Antonio suburb of New Braunfels, with a growth rate of 8 percent. As of last July, its population stood at 79,152. City planning director Chris Looney predicts the population of New Braunfels will reach 91,974 in 2022.

In third place for percentage growth was the Austin suburb of Pflugerville, which registered a 6.5 percent jump in population during the one-year period. It was home to 63,359 people as of last July.

Another Austin suburb, Georgetown, held down the No. 6 spot, with a 5.4 percent population spike from 2016 to 2017. The city had 70,685 residents as of last July.

Other Texas cities in the top 15 for percentage growth were:

  • McKinney (DFW), ranked ninth, with a 4.8 percent growth rate and a July 2017 population of 181,330.
  • Flower Mound (DFW), ranked 11th, with a 4.3 percent growth rate and a July 2017 population of 76,681.
  • Cedar Park (Austin), ranked 13th, with a 4.2 percent growth rate and a July 2017 population of 75,704.