The Fastest-Growing US Counties Are All in the South

By: Anneken Tappe · March 26, 2024 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

The gravitational pull of America’s cities and states is shifting, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the trend. The Southern U.S. was the fastest-growing region in the nation. States like Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia were the primary benefactors of this surge — and their economies have grown with it.

Southern Comfort

Counties in the South had a higher-than-average population growth rate of 0.56% last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau , nearly double the prior year’s growth rate. And it was broad-based, too: Almost two-thirds of the more than 1,400 Southern counties saw their populations expand in 2023.

On top of that, all ten of the fastest-growing counties in the U.S. last year were in the South, including six in Texas alone.

There are many reasons drawing people to move into the so-called Sunbelt, which describes America’s southwest, including cheaper cost of living, as well as housing, and attractive job opportunities. High inflation over the past years has increasingly driven people to reevaluate where they live as well. These factors, along with an influx of investment in the region, are continuing to drive the population surge.

And the Southern economies are logging noticeable growth as well. Between the second and third quarter of 2023, the Texan economy expanded at the second fastest pace in the nation, surpassed only by Kansas.

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