LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Newly released estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau indicated that Nacogdoches and Angelina counties saw their populations increase from 2010 to 2012. Nacogdoches County's population went from 64,524 to 66,034, an increase of 2.3 percent.
Angelina County also saw an increase, according to the Census Bureau figures. The county's population grew by 1 percent, going from 86,771 in 2010 to 87,597 in 2012.
In the Deep East Texas area, Cherokee County's population also spiked a little. Cherokee County went from 50,845 in 2010 to 51,206 in 2012, an increase of .7 percent.
Among the East Texas counties those that lost population from 2010 to 2012 included Houston (-2.4 percent), Sabine (-3.7 percent), San Augustine (-0.5 percent), Trinity (-1.9 percent), and Tyler (-1.4 percent).
On a statewide level, Texas had 11 counties among the 50 fastest-growing, along with 11 among the 50 highest numeric gainers in the period from July 1, 2011 to July 1, 2012. Harris County (Houston) was the United States' third most populous county. The two most populous counties in the nation were Los Angeles County, Calif. and Cook County, Ill.
A majority of the metropolitan statistical areas, micropolitan statistical areas, and counties were located in or at least near the Great Plains and West Texas, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
"After a long period of out-migration, some parts of the Great Plains ─ from just south of the Canadian border all the way down to West Texas - are experiencing rapid population growth," Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau's senior adviser performing the duties of director, said in a press release. "There are probably many factors fueling this growth on the prairie, but no doubt the energy boom is playing a role. For instance, the Permian Basin, located primarily in West Texas, and North Dakota accounted for almost half of the total U.S. growth in firms that mine or extract oil and gas, during a recent one-year period."
Midland, Texas, was the fastest-growing metro area over the July 1, 2011, to July 1, 2012, period, with its population increasing 4.6 percent. Adjacent Odessa, Texas, ranked fifth overall, Austin-Round Rock, Texas, was seventh, while two areas in Wyoming (Casper and Cheyenne), along with Manhattan, Kan., and Bismarck, N.D., were also among the 20 fastest-growing metropolitan areas.
All total, 40 of the 50 fastest growing metro areas in the United States in the period from July 1, 2011 to July 1, 2012 were in the South or West. Eight were in the Midwest, and one was in the Northeast, The last metro area - Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Arkansas-Missouri - straddles the South and Midwest regions.