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Has any market historically witnessed the level of growth DFW has been seeing recently?

• In a recent regional chamber lunch, the question came up as to what other markets historically saw the kind of population growth we are now seeing.  The off-the-cuff answer was – maybe LA in the 1980s.

• Turns out, that was correct – but is it a little more complicated.  On a pure percent growth basis, DFW has always charged ahead.   Even into the late 1960s, DFW consistently exceeded LA’s  annual growth rate by a wide margin.

• Because LA was almost 4-times DFW in 1970, its lower growth rate still translated into huge population gains.

• Even with its lower growth rate, LA expanded through the 1970s and 1980s.   When DFW was adding 140,000 people a year in the mid 1980s, LA was at 200,000-plus – putting it ahead by more than 100,000 people a year (see red circle).  LA’s edge waned in the 1990s when both markets matched each other in ongoing high population gains.

• Despite DFW’s population base still being half of LA’s, the last almost 15 years has seen extraordinary population growth here, rivaling  the old days in LA, but with a stronger current economic engine.   

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis; U.S. Census; JLL Research

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