San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas


For the second consecutive year, San Marcos has been named the fastest-growing city in the nation in relative terms, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Between July 2012 and July 2013, the city’s population grew by eight percent, an increase from 50,001 to 54,076, according to the census bureau. Since the official once-a-decade census was taken in 2010, San Marcos’ population has grown by 9,182 residents a 20.5 percent increase.

Two other Interstate 35 corridor cities made the top ten list: Cedar Park with a 5.6 percent increase to 61,238 and Georgetown with a 4.5 percent increase to 54,898.

In numeric terms, San Antonio was the fourth fastest-growing city in the United States, adding 25,378 residents for a total of 1,409,019. Austin added 20,993 residents for a total of 885,400, the census bureau estimates.

Fastest-growing cities in the U.S. (by percentage)





1San Marcos, Texas



2Frisco, Texas



3South Jordan, Utah



4Cedar Park, Texas



5Lehi, Utah



6Goodyear, Ariz.



7Georgetown, Texas



8Gaithersburg, Md.



9Mount Pleasant, S.C.



10Meridian, Idaho



11Odessa, Texas



12Gilbert, Ariz.



13McKinney, Texas



14Franklin, Tenn.



15Pearland, Texas



*Estimated increases between July 2012 and July 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.


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16 thoughts on “San Marcos again named nation’s fastest-growing city

  1. Actually, it does Charles. Those students drive our local economy and are the difference between us being the “fastest growing town in America” and in being….well, Lockhart for example. The former is a place that I’m excited to live and own a business in, while the latter is going nowhere fast.

    I would go so far as to suggest that if you dislike college students so much, you might have made a mistake by choosing to live in a college town…..I get that the University was smaller 20 years ago than it is now, but the fact remains that *right now* – and going forward – it will continue to grow.

    The “locals” can either find ways to peacefully coexist – and perhaps even take advantage – of the situation, or we can sit on our proverbial front porches and scream at the “damn kids” to “get off our lawns”…..either way, it won’t change anything about reality except how happy we choose to be going forward.

  2. Again, jobs please.

    The worst thing about the students, is watching them leave when they graduate. It is especially painful, to meet and watch the few hangers-on, who try desperately to stay, but after a handful of years, they finally throw in the towel, and chase the jobs in other cities. (often commenting for years after, that they wish they could have stayed here)

  3. The enrollment numbers for Texas State come nowhere close to accounting for a 4,000 person increase. Texas State reported, and you can check for yourself, 2010 enrollment 32572, 2011 enrollment 34113, 2012 enrollment 34229, and 2013 enrollment 35568. The difference between 2013 and 2010 does not even come to 4000 people. So there is something else going on here. People and not just students are coming so everyone needs to figure out a way to grow the city. If you don’t build it they will come anyway and that appears to be happening.

  4. Great point Ted….we do need more jobs here. And more than anything else, we need more entrepreneurs from the University to stay here in San Marcos after they graduate and *create* jobs too.

    I can imagine, though, that after 4 (or 5 or 6) years of hearing that we don’t want “their kind” here from a small but very vocal contingent of stodgy locals, many are all too happy to put San Marcos in their rear view and go where they feel they are wanted…..or do these people really think that there’s a magical transformation at graduation where “they” are suddenly one of “us” and they’re cool all of a sudden?

  5. The ones I talk to are not happy to leave, for the most part. Thankfully, very few of them seem to feel unwelcome. They are just done trying to pay the bills waiting tables and want to put their degrees to work.

    I know of a few who talk about coming back, and starting a business, but that is a tough road and a subset even talk about how that would be more practical in Austin or elsewhere.

    That being said, there is a transformation that takes place, in certain regards. It is always interesting to watch as they take greater interest in the city, the longer they stay here. “Ugh, more apartments?” is a common grumble from people I know, 3-5 years out of college, whether they stay here or not.

  6. It would be nice if this new site template could be made to handle paragraph breaks better, if nothing else. As an aside, I think it is the worst one to be rolled out since the site went live.

  7. I agree that paragraphs issue in the comments is obnoxious. It’s been on the list of adjustments but we’ll see if we can’t move it along. What else don’t you like about the site design, Ted? This is as good a place as any to discuss.

  8. It’s really busy and it can be a chore to find new stories. Also, the previews of the comments on the right are wrong (they tend to list the second most recent comment twice, or something).

  9. Also, the slideshow headline/quote widgets should be fixed-height, so the controls don’t move around.

    Don’t get me wrong; they’re minor annoyances, but past templates have been much better.

  10. • The slideshow images are a fixed size but the issue is that the excerpts underneath vary by several lines. So you can kind of get motion sickness as the slideshow cycles through and things move up and down on the page in the center column. I’ll put this on the list for look at as well. The result may be to not have the slideshow cycle automatically, which is how it was formatted originally when we launched the redesign.
    • I’m more concerned about your difficulty finding new stories because it is something I haven’t thought about. If a new story isn’t published “above the fold,” in the slide show or column of stories in top half of the page, it is published in chronological order in the “In the news” section. But if the format isn’t intuitive and user-friendly, then it just isn’t.
    • While I’m geeking out, I’d suppose that some of the busyness you refer to might be on story pages as opposed to the front page? I do like that the body of stories is such a narrow column as opposed to stretched across the screen. When we publish infoboxes within the body of the story, however, it does get crowded in there. That’s easy enough to fix but may not be what you’re referring to.
    • I think the 2014 design is generally an improvement over previous versions but I’m always asking for feedback and don’t mind getting it when I do. I welcome ideas you or anyone else have for improving the Mercury user experience.

  11. There are two slideshows, and then there is the lefthand column.

    Then, there are fifteen tiles for the “In The News” section.

    Below all of that, there is another slideshow, and a righthand column, with obits, San MArcos, Hays County, and Texas State.

    Below that, there is “In Case You Missed It.”

    That’s not even delving into the nav bar at the top.

    It’s just a lot of places to look for new content. If you’re saying there will never be new content in many of those areas, I am not sure that makes it better. It might be worse. None of those sections, other than “In Case You Missed It” (which I completely missed until now), seems to scream “don’t look for new content here.”

    I am happy to discuss offline, so that your news story doesn’t turn into an ad-hoc focus group.

  12. A recent article about a brewer building here quoted him as saying Austin was just too expensive. Enrollment in Austin ISD is declining per a recent Statesman article partly because the cost of living is forcing families to move outside the district. I think this is the beginning of a trend. We have to be careful we don’t get too expensive to quick or we’ll get rejected. We need nice housing so we need to approve La Cima and fund the Centerpoint connection. Need to complete Loop 110.

  13. I’m starting to wonder if we are shooting ourselves in the feet.

    Students graduate and outgrow apartments (often even before they graduate). A shortage of careers makes them unable to buy houses (and maybe reluctant, even if they could). Rental restrictions and a shortage of small homes severely limit their options. And then, they move on.

    They’re chasing jobs, primarily, but housing is probably a factor. Also, rental restrictions are probably doing their part to drive demand for the apartments we (and they) are so sick of.

    I am not sure what the answer is, but simple math would seem to indicate that if people can’t afford to buy houses, and you won’t let them rent houses (when the regs are actually enforced, that is), they’ll rent apartments, or leave. Which, leaves us with the problems we face: too many apartments and too few people sticking around.

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