New to HOU

Houston's big population boom continues with this many new residents each day

The Houston metro area's population grew by more than 90,000 people between 2017 and 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Photo by Zview/Getty Images

The meteoric rise of the Houston metro area's population continues skyward. From 2017 to 2018, the region added about 251 residents per day, according to population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Put another way, the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land region gained 91,689 residents in just one year, the Census Bureau says. That's as if the region absorbed a city around the size of, well, Sugar Land, every 365 days.

All in all, the Houston area ranked third in numeric population growth from 2017 to 2018 among U.S. metro areas with at least 1 million residents, the bureau's estimates show. On July 1, 2017, the bureau counted an estimated 6,905,695 residents in the Houston area. On the same date on July 1, 2018, the area's population stood at 6,997,384. The bureau's estimates take into account people moving into and out of the Houston area, as well as births and deaths.

If you think that growth rate is impressive, consider the Houston area's leap in population from 2010 to 2018.

For that period, Houston ranked second among all U.S. metro areas for population growth on a numeric basis. The Census Bureau says the region's headcount shot up about 18.2 percent from 2010 to 2018, going from 5,920,487 to 6,997,384.

Fort Bend has done its part to feed the Houston area's growth. Among U.S. counties, Fort Bend County ranked 10th for population growth on a percentage basis from 2017 to 2018. The headcount spiked 34.7 percent, from 584,690 to 787,858.

Elsewhere in Texas:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth led U.S. metro areas for numeric growth in population from 2017 to 2018, adding 131,767 residents. In just one year, the region's population rocketed from 7,407,944 to 7,539,711 (1.8 percent).
  • The Austin metro area's population grew 2.5 percent from 2017 to 2018, going from 2,115,230 to 2,168,316, an added 53,086 residents.
  • The population of the San Antonio metro area grew 1.8 percent from 2017 to 2018, going from 2,474,274 to 2,518,036. In that one-year span, the area added 43,762 residents.
  • For 2017 to 2018, Comal County ranked sixth among U.S. counties for percentage growth in population. The number of residents jumped 36.8 percent, from 108,485 to 148,373.
  • In seventh place for percentage population growth among U.S. counties from 2017 to 2018 was Kendall County. The number of residents soared 36.6 percent, from 33,411 to 45,641.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

Camppedia, a Houston-based startup, can help match kids to summer camps all around town. Educational First Steps/Facebook

Tudor Palaghita and his sister Ana are both parents and both busy professionals. And both used the same word when it came to finding camps to help their kids pass the long, steamy summer: painful.

"We're working parents, we're strapped on time, but we want to make sure we give our kids enriching experiences," explains Ana. "One spring, we were going through the [camp search] process, and we talked about how difficult it was. And the next spring, we said, there's something here. We feel this pain, our friends feel this pain, and no one is helping us. Why don't we solve our problem ourselves?"

And that's exactly what they did. The duo used their business and technology backgrounds — Ana has an MBA from Northwestern University and built a successful career in a major financial institution, and Tudor has his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from Georgia Tech — to launch Camppedia.com. The site is intended to be a one-stop shop for parents looking for camps for their children.

The tool launched in March of 2019, coinciding with spring break. Currently, it offers options throughout central Houston. Parents can select camps for their children based on interests, their ZIP codes, cost or even those that offer extended hours for moms and dads with full-time jobs.

"We believe the most important aspect to building anything is to understand your users," says Tudor, who left his research and development job at a major oil and gas services company to work full-time on Camppedia. "Before we launched, we did a lot of interviews and talked to a lot of parents, and then hand sketched prototypes to better convey our idea."

The pair went one step further after that, speaking with camp providers, seeking input about not only their products, but also the issue they faced in terms of marketing or registration. Following that fact-finding mission, they built Camppedia to show as many options as possible for families who want to book activities, as well as giving users the option to build their own calendars, save favorite options and see what camps actually have spots available. When parents select a camp, they are then driven to the individual camp's website to book.

Development on Camppedia, which is a member company at Station Houston, began last September, when the duo began looking at what to include on the site and finding partners who could assist them in building it.

"We looked at a bunch of different paths from a technology perspective," says Ana, who works on the site from her home in Virginia. "Because you can build the sort of the fancy, what I'd call destination-technology architecture, or you could build something scrappier, and I think we landed on something scrappy because we are still learning. Chances are [going forward] we'll change quite a bit."

Camppedia is built on WordPress, and currently features more than 275 camps from large to small. Tudor and Ana have been making improvements ever since, but the response has been enthusiastic. Parents, the pair say, have loved having so much information in one place. And camps have actually come to them, seeking information about how to be listed. That led to the creation of a camp partnership category, where camps can pay to use certain features on Camppedia's site, such as the ability to reach out to interested parents.

Going forward, the duo look forward to further building Camppedia as a resource. They're looking at adding reviews and experiences from parents, as well as finding ways to take the concept nationwide. But they're really happy with how the site has grown and the response they've had. The business, they insist, is designed to be a service that will support parents as they try to make the best decisions they can for their children.

"While the road ahead is daunting," says Tudor. "We are super excited about the possibility of building something truly useful for working parents who nowadays are struggling with so many competing priorities and whose needs seem to be somewhat overlooked by the digital reinvention coming out of Silicon Valley."


Photos courtesy of Camppedia