The survey says: Huntsville's the fifth fastest-growing city in Texas

Joshua Yates/The Huntsville ItemDespite it's small-town vibe, Huntsville has been placed at No. 5 on the top 20 fastest-growing cities in Texas list. With 39,000-plus residents, Huntsville's cultural and historical draw makes it a great place to live. 

Quick, what’s the fastest-growing city in the state of Texas? 

Austin? Dallas? Houston?

Incorrect on all three.

Researchers at SaveOnEnergy.com say the answer is Henderson. That’s right, Henderson, a small East Texas town (population 13,700) located in between Longview and Nacogdoches.

Huntsville, believe it or not, is No. 5 on the top 20 fastest-growing cities in Texas list.

“That’s great news,” Huntsville Mayor Andy Brauninger said.

City secretary Lee Woodward added, “We know that Huntsville is a great place to live and work. I’m glad to see us being recognized for all the positive qualities the city has to offer. Our vision for the city of Huntsville is a community that is beautiful, historic, culturally diverse, affordable, safe and well-planned, with great opportunity for our citizens.”

The research team at SaveOnEnergy.com seem to agree.

According to a SaveOnEnergy.com press release, “the city of Huntsville has a distinguished history, serving as the home to both the first and third president of the Republic of Texas. A city full of history, nature and hospitality, Huntsville also has a Main Street area full of small-town charm — one of many Texas’ downtown areas enhanced by the Texas Department of Transportation’s Main Street beautification program. 

“With downtown exteriors painted by Richard Haas and a visitor center full of information, Huntsville is able to host annual events for all of its 39,000-plus residents like its Cinco De Mayo Festival, Downtown Farmers Market and Fair on the Square.”

U.S. Census data from a five-year period allowed researchers to see which cities people are moving to in Texas. The SaveOnEnergy.com team sifted through census data and ranked the top 20 Texas cities with the highest percentage of inbound movers. 

Researchers uncovered a number of factors that make these cities attractive for people who are looking to relocate, such as top-tier educational institutions, outdoor recreation centers and successful corporations for potential employment. 

According to SaveOnEnergy.com’s statistics, more than 20 percent of Huntsville’s total population moved to the city from outside of the country, state or county during the last five years. That places Huntsville behind Henderson, San Marcos, College Station and Addison, but ahead of Nacogdoches, Galveston, Round Rock, Denton, Copperas Cove and Cedar Park on the top 20 list.

According to Mitch James, communications director for SaveOnEnergy.com, Texas’ largest cities like Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin fell just outside of the top 20.

“So yes, it is true,” James said, “based on the U.S. Census American Culture Survey Data, that a higher percentage are moving to the smaller cities listed in the report. 

“... There is no doubt that many of the large cities in Texas are the fastest-growing in the U.S. among higher-population cities, based on several reports,” James added. “What is unique about this report is that when we broke it down further to look at smaller communities in addition to the larger cities and based on the U.S. Census data, these communities listed ranked higher by percentage of incoming movers than the large cities.”

In SaveOnEnergy.com’s top 10 are Henderson, San Marcos, College Station, Addison, Huntsville, Raymondville, Levelland, Mineral Wells, Canyon and Nacogdoches.

Rounding out the top 20 are Webster, Stephenville, Killeen, Galveston, Round Rock, San Angelo, Boerne, Denton, Copperas Cove and Cedar Park.

The United States Census Bureau serves as the leading source of information about the nation’s people and economy. Each decade, U.S. citizens fill out a survey, serving as a snapshot for data about population, income, housing and more. 

Additionally, the American Community Survey now collects survey information annually. The ACS randomly samples 3.5 million addresses and reports on the statistics about specific geographic areas that cover one- and five-year periods. SaveOnEnergy.com used five-year estimates from the most recently available census data.

It’s no surprise that Texas is heavily populated. In fact, the Lone Star State the second-largest state in the nation by area and population with more than 26 million residents. Researchers looked at more than 1,700 cities and towns and focused on those with populations over 10,000. 

The top 20 list concentrates on incorporated places instead of metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas. This allowed for a more focused data-set covering cities, instead of general areas or counties, that had the highest percentage of movers.

The U.S. Census Bureau defines an incorporated place as a city, town, village or borough (or other legal description) that provides governmental functions to a concentrated group of people. Places are usually within a single state but can extend across county boundaries.

From this data set, the SaveOnEnergy team excluded movers who moved from within their current county, and only looked at movers who moved from outside Texas or from another county within Texas.