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Brownsville-McAllen fastest growing cities in Texas

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Posted: Saturday, July 2, 2005 12:00 am

By Gilberto Salinas

The Brownsville Herald

July 2, 2005 McAllen and Brownsville are the fastest growing cities in Texas and both cracked the top 25 nationally, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics released this week.

Brownsvilles 2004 population figure is 161,225, up from 155,857 in 2003, making it the 21st-fastest growing city in the nation and second in the state behind McAllen.

All we need to do is step outside of our homes to confirm everything that we have suspected for a while that economic devel-opment is not slowing down, Mayor Eddie Trevio said Friday.

This is a great sign for the (Rio Grande) Valley and the state.

Though Brownsvilles population is larger than McAllens, the cities were neck to neck in percent growth rate. McAllen increased by 4,185 people since 2003, a 3.6 percent growth rate. Brownsville recorded a 3.4 percent increase, adding 5,368 residents.

Laredo ranked No. 23 with a 3.3 percent growth rate. The border citys population is 203,212, up from 196,647.

Were not going to slow down any time soon. It will be this way for a while, said Bill Summers, president of the Rio Grande Val-ley Partnership/Chamber of Commerce.

A lot of things have made this happen, Summers said. The Valley is more and more working together and it helps create a big region that people like to deal with.

Port St. Lucie, Fla., was the fastest growing city in the nation, according to the Census Bureau. The city recorded 12-percent growth, increasing from 105,707 in 2003 to 118,396 in 2004. The remaining top five were Elk Grove, Calif., with 10.6 percent, North Las Vegas, Nev., at 9.8 percent, Gilbert, Ariz., with 7.7 percent and Cape Coral, Fla., at 7.6 percent.

The Brownsville Economic Development Council uses the population and growth rate figures when meeting with prospects re-searching the area for new business.

The 160,000-plus population gives Brownsville a certain appeal among corporations in the country, said Orlando Campos, director of recruitment for BEDC.

It shows prospects that there is a labor pool and that people are coming down to the area. For companies, it means they will be able to find the folks that they need, he said.

Were just five years away from our projection of 200,000 in 2010. Based on our projection, we estimate that the city will reach 200,000.

Trevio said the citys population signs would probably be swapped out. We need to get all of the population figures standard-ized, Trevio said. I think weve still got one with 98,000 (population) on it.

Fastest growing U.S. cities as of July 2004:

1. Port St. Lucie, Fla. 118,396

2. Elk Grove, Calif. 100,760

3. North Las Vegas, NV 158,748

4. Gilbert, Ariz. 156,917

5. Cape Coral, Fla. 127,985

6. Moreno Valley, Calif. 166,290

7. Chandler, Ariz. 223,991

8. Miramar, Fla. 101,486

9. Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. 159,346

10. Roseville, Calif. 103,609

18. McAllen, Texas 120,743

21. Brownsville, Texas 161,225

23. Laredo, Texas 203,212

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Note: Figures pertain to cities with a population of 100,000 or more.

gsalinas@brownsvilleherald.com

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