AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) – The fastest-growing metro area in the United States is home to a sprawling retirement community in Florida.
The Villages metropolitan Statistical area grew by 5.4 percent from 2013 to 2014, making it the fastest growing metro area in the U.S., according to new population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau today.
Located about 40 miles northwest of Orlando, The Villages MSA is predominantly comprised of The Villages, a master planned retirement community for those 55 and up, and has an estimated population of about 114,000.
Two more Florida metro areas join The Villages in the top 10 fastest growing in the nation: Cape Coral-Fort Myers saw its population grow by 2.7 percent and Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island grew at 2.5 percent.
“Migration to Florida from other states and abroad was heavy enough to overcome the fact that in about half the state’s counties, there were more deaths than births over the 2013 to 2014 period,” the Census Bureau said in the data release.
The Myrtle Beach MSA, which spans South and North Carolina, is the second fastest growing metro in the U.S. The data shows the area grew 3.2 percent to about 418,000 people.
The Austin, Texas MSA ranked third fastest at a 3.2 percent population change between 2013 and 2014. The metro area, which includes the Texas capitol and Round Rock, the home of Dell Computers, added an estimated 57,500 people for a total estimated population of 1,943,299.
The fourth fastest growing metro is Odessa, Texas, one of two oil rich West Texas metros on the list. Odessa saw 2.9 percent growth while neighboring Midland came in at number nine with 2.6 percent.
St. George, Utah came in at 2.9 percent growth to make number five on the list, while Bend-Redmond, Oregon snagged the seventh spot at 2.7 percent.
Greeley, Colorado rounded out the top 10 with a 2.6 percent change.
Fastest growing counties
Four out of the top five fastest growing counties in the country are home to heavy oil and gas drilling activity.
The Census Bureau data shows of counties with at least 10,000 residents, North Dakota is home to the two fastest growing counties in the country. Williams County grew its population by 8.7 percent to about 32,000 while Stark County grew by seven percent to about 30,000. Both counties had large numbers of active drills and wells in 2014.
Sumter, Florida, home to The Villages, comes in third with a population growth of 5.4 percent in 2014.
The gas drilling boom is also responsible for Pickens County, Alabama, which boasted a change of 5.1 percent in its population.
In the Miami Valley the growth of Greene County rises 0.22% as well as Miami County 0.47%. Montgomery County drops 0.31%, along with Preble County at 0.34%, and Clark County 0.18%.