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Harlingen Growth Evident in 2020 Census

HARLINGEN, Texas–More people are choosing Harlingen and the proof is in the new Census results.  According to the new numbers, Harlingen’s population grew by nearly 11% now standing at 71,829. That’s 6,980 more people calling Harlingen home than the 64,849 in 2010.

These new numbers surpass the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation’s prediction of 71,066 by 2025.  Mayor Chris Boswell attributes the population increase to the concentrated efforts to grow the City. “Our partnerships with UTRGV, the School of Medicine, and the Veteran’s Administration, retail growth, and strong job creation have contributed to our population growth.  The 11% growth rate is almost double the growth rate in the prior 10 years and exceeds or is equal to the other major Valley cities.” 

The Mayor says the increase was expected as evidenced in the number of residential and commercial permits the City is issuing. “In 2020 we issued 759 permits with a construction value of $70,745,821.  Of that, 28.8% was for new homes.  So far this year as compared to the same time last year we’re up 10%.  The total permits issued to date are 651 with a construction value of $58,250,991.49.  We expect to finish the year with strong numbers again.” 

The City’s Building Permits Division has been so busy that new staff has been added to help facilitate the permitting process.  

The new Census numbers show that the majority of the growth has been in District 5 on the City’s Westside which now consists of 17,733 people.  This side of town has also seen an increase in commercial construction, especially along Interstate 2 such as the new Texas Regional Bank headquarters and the new Stuart Place Crossing Retail Development.

Harlingen’s population increase means a larger share of the $675 billion in federal funding for roads, schools, hospitals, public works projects, and programs such as Medicaid and SNAP.

Harlingen Economic Development Corporation CEO, Raudel Garza says many businesses also use these numbers when deciding where to open new stores, restaurants, or factories that create jobs and infuse dollars into the local economy. “It’s a matter of supply and demand–a larger population means greater demand and also greater supply.  When businesses in the industrial and manufacturing sector see that a city’s population is growing that also means there is a greater pool of skilled labor.  As for retail, most retailers base their decision on demographics that include the size of the market and growth. Our new population numbers and the 11% growth rate show we’re growing, and we encourage businesses to choose Harlingen to expand their customer base and bottom line.”

The Census is also used to amend or redraw electoral districts based on where populations have increased or decreased. 

Both Mayor Boswell and Garza anticipate the population growth to continue as Harlingen is not landlocked like other cities in the Rio Grande Valley.



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