Texans have long proclaimed that everything is bigger in Texas! If you look at the population growth numbers for the top ten metropolitan areas from July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2013, that’s been especially true for Texas. In a Dallas morning news story published on Thursday, March 27, Texas has two of the top ten metropolitan areas in the country. They are Houston and Dallas / Fort Worth.
Houston was first in the nation for population growth with a net increase of 137,692 people in the 12 month time period. The Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex came in third with a net increase of 108,112 people. The top ten metropolitan areas on the list are:
- Houston (includes The Woodlands & Sugar Land) up 137,692 people
- New York, Newark, Jersey City up 111,749 people
- Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington up 108,112 people
- Los Angeles, Long Beach, Anaheim up 94,386 people
- Washington, Arlington, Alexandria up 87,265 people
- Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale up 71,130 people
- Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Roswell up 68,513 people
- Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach up 64,909 people
- San Francisco, Oakland, Hayward up 62,117 people
- Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue up 57,514 people
There were several interesting points raised in the study on the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex.
- Dallas County added close to 27,000 new residents in this time period, over 24,000 coming from new births. The remaining growth came from domestic and international migration.
- Tarrant County grew by almost 30,000 new residents. 16,000 came through new births while the remaining 14,000 came through domestic and international migration.
- The majority of the remaining 51,112 people moved into counties surrounding Dallas and Tarrant counties with the lion’s share going to Collin and Denton counties.
- About half of the population growth in Collin County and about 60% of the growth in Denton County came from domestic and international migration.
- More people moved out of Dallas County than moved in.
KDFW, the NBC affiliate in north Texas, aired a report on January 25th of this year on the topic of population growth projections for north Texas. By 2020, or six years from now, many people estimate another 1 to 2 million people will live in Dallas / Fort Worth area. When I moved her in 1980 there were about 2.9 million people living in north Texas. That number increased to 6.5 million by 2009 and is projected to be 7.5 million plus by 2020.
If these estimates are accurate, there will be a lot more cars on the highways and roadways of Dallas / Fort Worth than there are now. Wikipedia contains a list of US states by vehicles per capita based on 2007 data. In 2007, there were 720 vehicles per 1,000 people in Texas. If this level holds as our population grows over the next 6 years, there will be between 720,000 and 1.44 million new vehicles in north Texas alone.
That level of vehicle growth alone guarantees that car insurance rates in Texas will continue to rise over the next six years. The reason for the increase in car insurance rates is very basic; more cars on the road mean the opportunity to be involved in an accident is greater so premiums will continue to rise. Texas currently ranks 14th nationally with an average annual car insurance premium of $1,620. I expect our growth will place us in the top 10 by 2020.
While car insurance rates may increase over the next four years, there are a number of things each of us can do to keep our rates as low as possible including:
- Move closer to work – a shorter commuting distance does help keep rates lower.
- Take Defensive Driving – many carriers, not all, offer a discount for taking a defensive driving course every two years.
- Raise your collision deductible – higher deductibles mean lower rates while lower deductibles mean higher rates.
- Comparison shop – evaluate new options every year with different carriers to see who can lower your rates.
- Bundle – adding a renters, condo, or home policy with the same carrier may lower all your rates overall.
- Your next car – when you’re ready to replace your existing car, compare insurance rates by the vehicles you’re interested in. Some models cost less to insure than others.
- Consider mass transit – taking Dart or the bus even one day a week lowers the number of days you commute and can help save you money on your car insurance.
- Pay off your car – many carriers charge less for a vehicle that’s paid for than one that has a loan or a lease.
What do you think? Share your comments, questions, and money saving ideas with us in the comments section of our blog or on our Facebook and Google + pages. I’d love to hear from you!