The booming Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area added more residents during the past decade than any other city in the United States.
According to the latest Census Bureau figures, the population of the sprawling Texas metro area grew by about 1.3 million people, or 25%, between April 1, 2000, and July 1, 2009.
The population is now estimated at 6.5 million residents, but an exact count won’t be available until the 2010 census is complete.
The Palm Coast metro area in Florida had the highest percentage increase in growth. Its population exploded by 84% over the nine-years-plus covered by the Census Bureau report. But even after the jump there were only about 92,000 people living in the area.
Dallas’s attractions include a very favorable business climate, according to Mayor Tom Leppert. There’s no corporate income tax, building costs are relatively reasonable and regulations are minimal.
“It’s a great place to do business,” he said, “especially attractive for companies from high-tax states.”
Helping to drive growth is the area’s main airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International, the third busiest in the nation. Its location is far enough south to ensure good weather yet central enough to make it easy to fly to the Northeast, the Midwest and the Pacific Coast. It is also well positioned for air traffic with Latin American markets.
“Dallas has no port,” said Leppert. “The airport became a 21st century port.”
What it has lacked in the past — a vibrant downtown — is starting to develop. Recent additions include a huge new arts center, urban park, light rail system and new housing. These have bolstered the city’s density and made downtown more interesting and fun.
Fastest growing counties in the United States
That said, the metro area’s suburbs are booming as well, according to Leppert. Indeed Rockwall County, northeast of Dallas, is one of the 10 fastest growing counties in the nation.