Although growth slowed slightly during the past three years because of the pandemic, North Texas’ population remained red hot. The region is now home for over 8 million people. 

Since 2020, North Texas has welcomed 453,000 new residents, according to new data released by the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Fort Worth remained the top city in sheer numbers, adding nearly 20,000 new people — the equivalent of the current population of Crowley.

It was followed by Celina, Frisco, Arlington and Mansfield, rounding out the top five cities that added the most people this past year. 

These numbers are slightly different from the recently released census numbers, which calculates population starting from July 2021 to July 2022. The Council of Governments numbers are from January 2022 to January 2023. 

While Fort Worth had the largest population growth, Collin County added more residents than other counties, with more than 40,000 residents. Following Collin County are Denton and Tarrant Counties, which added over 30,000 new people each. 

For perspective, that’s the equivalent to adding a new small city, like Colleyville, in one year.

But few of the large cities in the area were among the fastest-growing cities in terms of  percentage growth. Instead, smaller cities took the lead, such as Celina, 40 miles north of Dallas, whose population grew by nearly 40%. 

In Tarrant County, the city of Haslet saw a 31% increase in population. Fort Worth suburbs in Denton County – Argyle and Northlake – were also on the list with about a 20% increase each.

Helen You, associate director and senior demographer at the Texas Demographic Center, said the growth of the region is mostly due to growing economic opportunities.

“The growth in Fort Worth and other major cities in the region can be attributed to a combination of factors such as natural population increase, international migration, and net domestic migration. On the hand, smaller cities in the surrounding areas primarily experienced growth as a result of outmigration from the core cities,” she said in an email statement.

While Fort Worth continues to welcome residents, it must also prepare for that growth in an efficient and sustainable way

Kyle Walker, associate professor of geography and director of the Center for Urban Studies at Texas Christian University, said it’s important for growing cities like Fort Worth to also take into account the smaller cities and surrounding suburbs nearby. 

“This is important for Fort Worth to think about as it grows, wanting to make sure the city grows not just as a place that’s a giant overgrown city with a bunch of suburban subdivisions,” Walker said. “You want to make sure you’re also growing that economic base, the job space. Make sure you’re growing a healthy core, you know, along with the growth in sort of the new neighborhoods on the edges…”

Sandra Sadek is a Report for America corps member, covering growth for the Fort Worth Report. You can contact her at or on Twitter at @ssadek19

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Sandra Sadek is the growth reporter for the Fort Worth Report and a Report for America corps member. She writes about Fort Worth's affordable housing crisis, infrastructure and development. Originally...