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As a result, migration is a key factor in the state’s urban growth while growth from migration is minimal in rural areas.Current trends suggest external migration is facilitating a growing population divide between urban and rural Texas.However, the impacts of external migration on non-metro population growth have been more limited.The net domestic migration rate in non-metros was 2.22 net migrants per 1,000 residents compared to 4.49 net migrants per 1,000 in metro areas.These recent trends illustrate how migration favors urban growth over rural growth.Compared to urban areas, the rural areas of Texas have smaller migration volumes, lower migration rates, and a more limited geography of population mobility.As a group, external migrants are drawn to the state’s major metropolitan areas.
In the five most populous Texas counties (Bexar, Dallas, Harris, Tarrant, and Travis), their collective share of all Texas immigrants grew from 47.3 percent in 2008 to 54.6 percent in 2016.
This occurred even though these five counties contained less than 45 percent of the state’s population throughout the 2008-2016 period.
Texas immigrants are not only becoming more concentrated in the MSA’s principal county, they also are becoming more diverse.
When internal, domestic, and international migration were combined, the overall migration rate for metro areas was 12.43 net migrants per 1,000 residents while that for non-metro areas was 4.28 net migrants per 1,000 residents.
With this, the metro growth rate from migration was 2.9 times greater than the non-metro growth rate from migration.
Most notably, Mexican immigration has declined while immigration from Asia and other regions has increased.