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In a full-page advertisement in the Austin American-Statesman, Texans for Reliable Power suggested a need for more electricity generation in the state by presenting "facts" starting with: "Texas is experiencing the fastest population growth in the country. As we add more than 1,000 people a day, each new Texan and new business increases demand on our grid."
Is Texas (still) growing that fast?
In 2010, we rated as Mostly True a claim by Gov. Rick Perry that more than 1,000 people move to Texas every day. With help from the U.S. Census Bureau, we learned that about 635 people were then coming to Texas every day, on average. A census official based that number on average daily net migration from other states (393) plus average daily net migration from other countries (242). IRS data, meanwhile, suggested that about 1,353 a day switched their residence to Texas between the time they filed their tax returns in 2007 and when they filed in 2008.
Eric Bearse, a spokesman for the group, which he described as organized by investor-owned power plants, said the ad's reference to Texas having the nation’s fastest population growth reflected raw changes in population, not percentage changes. That’s "because it is the raw number of people that add demand to the (electrical) grid," Bearse said by email before pointing out web links to census population estimates for the states through June 2013 plus a Dec. 21, 2011, census press release indicating Texas was the nation’s fastest-growing state from April 2010 to July 2011.
Before Bearse provided the group's back-up information, we had inquired about how fast Texas is growing to the Census Bureau and the Texas state demographer, Lloyd Potter.
Potter drew on the bureau’s state population estimates as of the end of June 2012 and June 2013 to respond by email that Texas gained more than 1,000 residents a day, by those figures, and also gained the most residents of any state.
However, Potter and bureau spokesman Robert Bernstein, also replying by email, each told us that Texas has not had the fastest growth rate.
Specifically, Texas led the nation by gaining 387,397 residents from July 2012 through June 2013. California, ranking second, saw a population bump of 332,643, according to the bureau estimates. Yet North Dakota, whose population increased by 22,000 residents, experienced the greatest percentage growth, 3.1 percent, trailed by Utah (about a 46,000 person increase, 1.6 percent). Next among the states, Colorado and Texas each saw increases of 1.5 percent, according to the estimates.
Potter and Bernstein each said that the estimated increase in the population of Texas in 2012-13 means the state gained an average of 1,061 residents a day over the 12 months.
The group said: "Texas is experiencing the fastest population growth in the country," adding "more than 1,000 people a day."
From July 2012 through June 2013, the state’s population increased more than 1,000 people a day, according to government estimates.
In raw numbers, Texas also added more new residents than any other state. But the state’s 1.5 percent growth rate trailed the gains of North Dakota and Utah, tying the pace of growth of Colorado. North Dakota also grew faster than Texas from 2010 through June 2013, according to census bureau estimates.
Texas ranks among the fastest-growing states; it’s not quite No. 1. We rate this claim as Mostly True.
MOSTLY TRUE – The statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information.
Click here for more on the six PolitiFact ratings and how we select facts to check.
Truth-O-Meter article, "Perry says 1,000 people move to Texas daily," PolitiFact Texas, Jan. 13, 2010
Emails, Eric Bearse, spokesman, Texans for Reliable Power, Jan. 10, 2014
Emails, Lloyd Potter, Texas state demographer, Jan. 9, 2014
Emails, Robert Bernstein, public affairs specialist, U.S. Census Bureau, Jan. 9, 2014
Web page, "Population Estimates, State Totals: Vintage 2013," U.S. Census Bureau (accessed Jan. 9, 2014)
Chart, Population changes in Texas and other states in recent years based on census bureau population estimates (created by PolitiFact Texas, Jan. 9, 2014)
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