Texas continued to make population gains in 2012, with eight of the 15 fastest-growing large cities in the nation, while New York City -- the nation's most populous city by far -- had the greatest numeric gain between 2011 and 2012, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates out Thursday.
New York City had an estimated population of 8,336,696 on July 1, 2012, a 67,058 increase over the prior year, according to census estimates.
The second-most populous city was Los Angeles, with an estimated 3,857,799 people. Rounding out the top five were Chicago, with 2,714,856 people; Houston, with 2,160,821 people; and Philadelphia, with 1,547,607 people. Houston also had the second-largest numeric population gain, 34,625, after New York City.
County population census estimates released in March showed Long Island's population remained mostly level, with Nassau County posting a modest gain. Estimates for Suffolk County showed a drop, primarily because people left for other parts of the country, which the census calls domestic migration.
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The July 2012 population estimate for Nassau was 1,349,233, a gain of just over 3,400 people from the year before. Suffolk's July 2012 population estimate was 1,499,273, a 1,000-person decline from July 2011, according to the estimates.
New York City also was the only city among the top 15 municipalities that added the most people that was not located in the South or West. As the South and West continue to outpace states in the Northeast in population gains, Texas stands out.
Texas was the only state that had more than one city on the list of the top 15 fastest-growing large cities. Large cities were classified by the bureau as those with a population of at least 50,000. (The bureau said only 3.7 percent, or 726 of 19,516 incorporated places in the United States, had populations of 50,000 or more).
"The Lone Star State also stood out in terms of the size of population growth, with five of the 10 cities and towns that added the most people over the year," the census bureau said in a statement. "The fastest-growing municipalities are spread across Texas, from the High Plains of West Texas to the Houston suburbs," the bureau added.
"We are showing an increase in domestic migration in many areas within the South and West, with Texas being one of them," census bureau demographer David Dixon said.
The bureau said the composition of the list of the 15 most populous cities has remained unchanged since last year, but the order has shifted. Between 2011 and 2012, Austin moved up from 13th to 11th in total population, ahead of Jacksonville, Fla., which is now 12th.