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Austin growth leads list of projected gains nationwide

Population project to surpass milestone in March

Austin leads the list of large U.S. cities projected to pass population milestone this year, the Austin Business Journal reported Thursday, with a total increase of 2.8 percent expected in the next year.

That increase is for the five-county metro area, which sprawls into four other counties beyond city limits. Austin is expected to hit another major population milestone in a matter of months.

The number of people living in the metro area will cross 2.1 million on March 20, according to the report. (We’ll assume that the fact that the date is one day after the end of SXSW, which floods the city with 200,000-plus temporary residents, is purely coincidental.)

The Journal got its numbers from one of its affiliated publications, Buffalo Business First, whose database shows 25 of the country’s major cities reaching population milestones—round figures that end with five zeroes—this year.

While the numbers show Dallas-Fort Worth was the first of the markets studied to hit market a benchmark this year—its population was 7,300,000 on Jan. 14—Austin is projected to have the highest growth rate in the country, 2.8 percent over last year, according to the article. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. (up 2.5 percent), and Raleigh, N.C. (up 2.3 percent), are projected for second and third places, respectively.

ABJ noted that the Austin-Round Rock population should reach nearly 4 million by 2040, which puts it at the fastest projected major metro growth rate for the foreseeable future as well.

Another population milestone looms for Austin, other big U.S. cities in '17 [ABJ]