Of the 10 fastest-growing U.S. metro areas in 2013, six were in the oil- and gas-rich Great Plains region (three in Texas, two in North Dakota and one in Wyoming), according to a new report released by the U.S. Census Bureau.


"Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industries were the most rapidly growing part of our nation's economy over the last several years," said John Thompson, director of the Census Bureau. "A major reason was the energy boom on the Plains, which attracted job seekers from around the country."


The gulf coast also saw a rise in population. Between 2012 and 2013, the overall fastest-growing metro area of all was The Villages in Florida. Popular with people who have retired, its population jumped by more than 5% in 2013. Other popular spots on the gulf were Florida's Ft. Myers-Cape Coral area, and Daphne-Fairhope-Foley in nearby Alabama.

There were several other notable findings in the Census Bureau's latest population estimate. For instance, in terms of a numeric increase, Houston, TX, witnessed the largest gain, adding 138,000 Lone Star Staters between 2012 and 2013.


More people became city dwellers in 2013. The nation's metro areas are home to around 270 million people (an increase of 2.3 million from the previous year), according to the report. In fact, of the nation’s nearly 385 metro areas, only 92 saw a decrease in population from 2012. New York City has more people than any other U.S. city, with approximately 20 million as of July 2013. The Big Apple was followed by Los Angeles and Chicago.


Have you or your family made a move recently – or plan to this year? If yes, will it be to one of these popular destinations?