New census estimate shows slight population growth in Wichita Falls area

What the US Census Bureau takes, the US Census Bureau gives back – at least a little.

The 2021 population estimates released Thursday by the bureau give the Wichita Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) a small increase in population from the official 2020 census.

The new estimate puts the MSA at 149,103 souls, up 220 from the official 2020 count.

The Wichita Falls MSA includes Archer, Clay, and Wichita counties. The new numbers show Wichita County growing by 196 people and Clay County picking up 27 residents while three people moved away from Archer County.

All numbers are still lower than the 2010 population count.

Despite an improved annual estimate, Wichita Falls is stuck with the official 2020 census count for the next 10 years. This tally showed that the Wichita Falls area lost more than 2,000 people between 2010 and 2020 at the same time that Texas experienced explosive growth and most of its cities also increased in population.

Continued:Why did Wichita Falls lose residents while other towns gained?

The census bureau makes population estimates each year between the official 10-year counts and the criteria are based on factors other than an actual count.

The census numbers have been a sore spot with community leaders saying indicators such as home sales, utility hookups, retail business growth and traffic show the Wichita Falls MSA is growing. rather than declining.