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Midland And Odessa See Populations Rise With Oil Boom. During Same Time, Big Bend Numbers Decline

( / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

By Carlos Morales

Two of the fastest-growing metro areas last year were in Texas.

Both Midland and Odessa saw a boom to their population numbers in 2018, according to new data released from the U.S. Census. From 2017 to 2018, The Tall City saw population growth at 4.3 percent — a jump from 170,948* to 178,331 — a 7,383 person increase.  In Odessa —  which ranked fifth in the country's top metropolitan areas — saw growth at 3.2 percent or a bump of 4,951 Odessans last year.

To the south of the Permian Basin, heading into Texas' Big Bend region, overall population last year saw a slight decline, according to the new census data. In Brewster, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties there was a drop between 2017 and 2018. All three far West Texas counties saw a drop of about 1 percent of their population.

When it comes to a numeric growth in population (not based on percentages) Texas continues to rank highly.

*Editors Note: In a previous version of this article Marfa Public Radio stated between 2017-2018 Midland's population went from 141,671 to 178,331. This was incorrect. Midland's population in 2010 was 141,671. In 2017, it's population was 170,948 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Carlos Morales is Marfa Public Radio's News Director.