April 19, 2019 11:00 AM, EDT

Two Texas Oil Towns Among Metros With Fastest Population Growth

Midland, TexasGetty Images

Two Texas economies are reaping the benefits from the oil boom in the Permian Basin with people “voting with their feet.”

Texas oil centers Midland and Odessa were among the fastest-growing U.S. metros in 2018, according to newly released Census data for the 12-month period ending July 1, 2018. Both cities benefited from more people moving in than out. Midland had the highest growth of all U.S. metros, in relative terms, with a population gain of 4.3%. Odessa took the fifth spot with a 3.2% population increase.

The two towns are located in what’s called the Permian Basin, a 75,000-square-mile area containing rich petroleum and natural gas deposits. Large production of gas and oil has boosted the economy and attracted workers from across the United States, raised salaries and increased living costs.

Fastest growing population graphic

Myrtle Beach in the Carolinas; St. George, Utah; and Lakeland, Fla., were also among the top five fastest-growing metros. A retirement community, The Villages, Fla., came in sixth.

Midland has ranked among the top fastest-growing cities for years. From 2010 to 2018, Midland saw population grow nearly 26%, only surpassed by The Villages, Myrtle Beach and Austin, Texas.

The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro areas in Texas each gained over 1,000,000 people since the 2010 Census, according to July 1, 2018, population estimates. With populations of 7,539,711 and 6,997,384, respectively, Dallas and Houston are positioned as the fourth- and fifth-most populous behind New York, Los Angeles and Chicago metropolitan areas.