Houston could be 2nd biggest metro in U.S. by year 2100, new report says
Start spreading the news: Houston will eclipse New York City as the 2nd biggest metro area by the year 2100, a new report predicts.
An analysis by moving services site moveBuddha published June 22 says Houston's population could swell to 31.38 million people in the next 77 years.
Based on current population and migration trends, in fact, America’s three biggest metropolitan areas by 2100 will be Dallas-Fort Worth (No. 1), Houston (No. 2), and Austin (No. 3), replacing New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago as the country’s most populous metros, the report predicts.
Dallas-Fort Worth's population is estimated to grow to 33.91 million, and Austin's is projected to jump to 22.29 million.
"The future of America may lie in Texas," the report's author says.
The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau says Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land is currently the No. 5 biggest metro in the country with a population of more than 7.2 million and a 10-year growth rate of about 20 percent.
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land had the second highest numeric increase in population between 2021 and 2022 of any U.S. metro (124,281 residents), following Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (170,396 residents), according to the Census Bureau.
There are some risks to continued population booms, including the effects of climate change, moveBuddha points out. While heat will be a major issue, there are much more dangerous possibilities.
"The bigger threat may be more destructive hurricanes from off the Gulf of Mexico," the report's author says. "Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston in 2017, and major storms like that could become more common. A historic flood also nailed the city in 2019. Planning for a future of these climate-induced threats will be critical for Houston."
The study also comes with an obvious caveat: no one is sure what the future looks like in terms of population growth. Academics, scientists, and futurists alike haven't been able to agree on population predictions. Climate change isn't just a risk for Houston, but for the entire world, the report reminds.
"According to one GDP projection through 2099, over three-quarters of U.S. counties will suffer economically because of climate damage," the report says. "That could be from everything from heat-related deaths to sea-level rise to increased natural disasters... But if global warming is held in check, Texas may be America’s haven in 2100. New technologies may help us adapt to extreme weather and heat."
According to the report, the top 10 largest metros and their populations by 2100 will be:
- No. 1 – Dallas-Fort Worth (33,907,275)
- No. 2 – Houston (31,384,122)
- No. 3 – Austin (22,293,980)
- No. 4 – Phoenix (22,271,212)
- No. 5 – New York City (20,810,467)
- No. 6 – Atlanta (18,370,497)
- No. 7 – Los Angeles (15,502,798)
- No. 8 – Washington-Arlington, D.C.-Virginia (14,972,830)
- No. 9 – Orlando (14,172,727)
- No. 10 – Miami (13,779,843)
This article originally ran on CultureMap.
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