By Moses Leos III
For the third straight year, San Marcos tops the list as the fastest growing city in the country with a population of 50,000 or more.
The information, released as part of the Census Bureau’s 2014 population estimates, shows San Marcos’ population increased by 7.9 percent from last year.
San Marcos was one of six locales in Texas that made the list of the top-15 fastest growing cities by percentage. Joining San Marcos was Georgetown, which grew by 7.6 percent, while New Braunfels had an increase of 4.6 percent.
“With so much to offer, educational opportunities, recreational activities, and economic opportunity, it’s no wonder more and more families are calling it home,” Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) said in a statement.
Hays County held the distinction as of one of the nation’s fastest growing counties in terms of housing units. The county ranked fifth in the country with a 4.7 percent jump in housing units from 2013 to 2014.
Buda continues to see a high rate of growth. For the third year in a row, Buda’s population estimates have increased by 8 percent or more.
Last year the city garnered its highest population percentage increase since an 18 percent rise between 2010 and 2011.
In 2014, Buda’s population increased by 12 percent, with the city now housing over 11,000 inhabitants.
Since the 2010 Census, Buda has seen a 57.1 percent increase in population.
Buda Mayor Todd Ruge said the city “knew the growth was coming,” and that the city has planned for it.
One of the city’s initiatives continues to be keeping its small town charm.
“It’s very important, not only to our citizens but our staff,” he said.
But the influx of growth presents road and drainage challenges that Ruge said the city has done an “adequate job” in planning for. Providing enough water to citizens, primarily in the short term, is something Buda continues to work on.
Economically, Ruge said the city has been conservative in the types businesses brought in. It stems from the city’s limited extra territorial jurisdiction, which keeps the city “hemmed in.”
While the city continues to investigate the business that could fit in Buda, Ruge hopes to see high tech or manufacturing jobs that provide livable wages and benefits.
Kyle continues to maintain a steady pace of growth. Last year the city saw a 3.5 percent increase in population.
It’s a slight increase from the 2.8 percent jump in population in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.
But as growth rises along the IH-35 corridor, cities located west of the interstate have not seen population rise as rapidly.
Dripping Springs increased its estimated population by 134 people from 2013, which equates to a 6.3 percent jump.
In the four years since the last census, Dripping Springs has grown by 24 percent.
Meanwhile, Wimberley only grew by an estimated 19 residents from last year. The city’s population, however, has decreased by .04 percent since the 2010 Census.