Skip to Main Content

Dallas-Fort Worth could be biggest metro in U.S. by year 2100, new report says

June 26,2023

See full CultureMap article by Amber Heckler here.

Start spreading the news: Dallas-Fort Worth will eclipse New York City as the biggest metro area by the year 2100, a new report predicts.

An analysis by moving services site moveBuddha published June 22 says the Metroplex's population could swell to 33.91 million people in the next 77 years.

Based on current population and migration trends, in fact, America’s three biggest metropolitan areas by 2100 will be DFW (No. 1), Houston (No. 2), and Austin (No. 3), replacing New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago as the country’s most populous metros, the report predicts.

Houston's population is estimated to grow to 31.38 million, and Austin's is projected to jump to 22.29 million.

"The future of America may lie in Texas," the report's author says.

The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau says Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington is currently the fourth biggest metro in the country with a population of just under 7 million and a 10-year growth rate of about 20 percent.

DFW had the highest numeric increase in population between 2021 and 2022 of any U.S. metro (170,396 residents), followed by the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land (124,281 residents), according to the Census Bureau.

There are some risks to continued population booms, including the effects of climate change, moveBuddha points out.

"[Dallas-Fort Worth] would experience more than 130 days of 95-degree temps by 2100," the report's author says. "Water scarcity could also be an issue. But like Atlanta, landlocked [DFW] could become a top destination for people fleeing the flooding coastlines from sea level rise."

The study also comes with an obvious caveat: no one is sure what the future looks like in terms of population growth. Academics, scientists, and futurists alike haven't been able to agree on population predictions. Climate change isn't just a risk for DFW, but for the entire world, the report reminds.

"According to one GDP projection through 2099, over three-quarters of U.S. counties will suffer economically because of climate damage," the report says. "That could be from everything from heat-related deaths to sea-level rise to increased natural disasters... But if global warming is held in check, Texas may be America’s haven in 2100. New technologies may help us adapt to extreme weather and heat."

According to the report, the top 10 largest metros and their populations by 2100 will be:

No. 1 – Dallas-Fort Worth (33,907,275)
No. 2 – Houston (31,384,122)
No. 3 – Austin (22,293,980)
No. 4 – Phoenix (22,271,212)
No. 5 – New York City (20,810,467)
No. 6 – Atlanta (18,370,497)
No. 7 – Los Angeles (15,502,798)
No. 8 – Washington-Arlington, D.C.-Virginia (14,972,830)
No. 9 – Orlando (14,172,727)
No. 10 – Miami (13,779,843)
These projections were calculated using census data from 2010 and 2020, using annual compound and 10-year population growth rates for U.S. metro areas with over 250,000 people. The study then hypothesized the annual compound growth rates between 2020 and 2100 to find 2100's estimated population numbers for the same cities.
The full report and its methodology can be found on