County keeps growing … and growing … and growing

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In March, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated Collin County's 2017 population to be at 969,603, give or take a few souls. The 30,000 increase from the previous year comes to about 82 new folks moving here every day.

And when the North Central Texas Council of Governments released 2017 population estimates for its 16-county region, we noticed that Collin County surpassed Dallas and Tarrant counties in raw number growth for the second straight year.

In short, we just keep going – er, growing -- in virtually every category.

A study by The Perryman Group, released in a January 2017, forecasted that Collin County would continue to expand "at a rate outpacing the state and nation."

"Between 2010 and 2015, Collin County experienced an influx of over 125,000 residents, growing from about 788,600 in 2010 to just over 914,100 in 2015 (a growth rate of nearly 16%). Over the same period, employment in the county rose by approximately 73,000 workers (from about 398,900 to 472,000), a more than an 18% increase.

"Compared to 2000, the population in Collin County has risen by about 86% as of 2015, with over 422,000 new residents. This rate of expansion far exceeds that of the United States as a whole, which was just over 14% from 2000 to 2015.

"Similarly, employment has expanded by almost 77% since 2000, from about 267,000 workers to 472,000 in 2015. For the United States overall, the number of employed persons grew by a total of 16% from 2000 to 2015."

By 2040, the study predicted, the number of wage and salaried workers could top 928,000, while the total population would more than double to 1.9 million.

Back at the Census Bureau, official counts and estimates show a 91-percent growth rate from 2000-2016, with an annual average growth rate of more than 4 percent. That average is clearly affected by boom years from 2000-2006 where a 4-percent annual increase was on the low end of the growth rate, and we saw a 9.4-percent and 7.1-percent spikes in 2001 and 2006, respectively.

Those growth rates levelled off during an economic recession from 2008-2010, but have climbed steadily since. As a point of reference, if annual growth continued at 4 percent, Collin County would reach 1.6 million residents by 2030. By comparison, the Texas Demographic Center, using actual migration trends tracked from 2000-2010, predicts Collin County would hit 1.7 million over the next 13 years, while NCTCOG estimates a jump to 1.9 million residents in the same time frame.

On May 25, new figures from the Census Bureau also showed that Frisco and McKinney were second and third among the nation's 15 fastest-growing cities with a population of 50,000 or more from 2015 to 2016.

Frisco grew by 6.2 percent and McKinney grew by 5.9 percent. The national average for annual growth rate for cities in this category is 0.7 percent. Both cities grew at more than eight times that pace.​ You can also take a look at NCTCOG city population estimates for 2017​ here​.

Any way you look at it, there is continued growth and expansion headed our way.

Along with the growth, some figures from the Census Bureau continue to point to what many already know or suspect about Collin County: the workforce here also continues to be made up of a large, highly educated group.

From 2009 to 2015, workers 25 and older with a graduate degree outnumbered those who had no high school diploma – for the first time.

The county's workforce with bachelor and graduate degrees in 2015 hit 49.7 percent. That's almost 280,000 people, or about the entire population of the city of Plano.  

The Texas Workforce Commission, from 2010 to 2016, tracked the county's labor force growing at almost the same rate as the population, while its numbers on employed increased at a higher rate.

In that vein, one statistic that did decrease was unemployment, where the TWC marked the unemployment rate in 2010 at 7.2 percent, and dropping to 3.5 percent by 2016.

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