Dallas County's 10 Fastest Growing Neighborhoods

Dallas' urban core is in the midst of a renaissance. Empty nesters and yuppy millennials are eschewing the grownup responsibilities of suburban homeownership. Developers are clearing dilapidated inner-city neighborhoods to fill the seemingly insatiable demand for luxury Khrushchyovkas. There are people downtown after business hours, and many of them aren't even homeless.

But the urban resurgence, while undeniably real, is an exception to the prevailing trend of suburban-style development far from the core. One needn't look all the way to booming Collin County to see the trend either. Above, we've mapped population changes in each of Dallas County's 529 census tracts (roughly equivalent to a neighborhood) from 2010 through 2014. There are a few splotches of dark green, meaning the most growth, in the urban core, but most of the 130,000 residents Dallas County added during those five years settled further out, either on the undeveloped fringes of Dallas proper or in its suburbs. In fact, of the county's 10 fastest-growing census tracts, only one — a forest of new apartments that have mushroomed up between the new Parkland Hospital and Oak Lawn — is close to the center of the city.

The rest of the list is populated mostly by greenfield development where developers have put up sprawling subdivisions on empty land. The two exceptions are near Town East Mall in Mesquite and the Five Mile Creek area of Dallas, south of where Interstate 35 and U.S. 67 split. The Mesquite neighborhood actually had four fewer occupied housing units in 2014 than in 2010, according to census data, but more people crowded into each one as the average family became poorer and had more children. Five Mile Creek had an increase of about 400 housing units, and the average unit was more densely used, with a significantly lower proportion inhabited by one or two people.

Even focusing exclusively on Dallas, urban core development tends to be overshadowed by either greenfield development or increasing concentrations of poverty. In far East Dallas immediately west of Eastfield College, census tract 123.01 added 1,530 residents, which would put it at No. 12 on the countywide fastest-growing list. This was accompanied by a sharp increase in the poverty rate, which nearly doubled from around 19 percent to just under 35 percent. The city of Dallas' next entry on the list — census tract 112 in South Oak Cliff, coming in at No. 15 — saw healthier growth, with poverty dipping slightly as it added 1,489 residents. No. 16, census tract 108.01 in west Oak Cliff, saw an 11 percent jump in poverty and a 10 percent decline in median income as it added 1,459 people.

After the Medical District, a gentrifying inner-city neighborhood doesn't show up until No. 17, where the Cedars/Farmers Market/Deep Ellum's census tract 204 added 1,434 people. Victory Park and the western portion of Uptown come in at No. 19 (+1,410), the northern half of downtown is No. 67 (+850), North Oak Cliff is No. 75 (+819); eastern Uptown around Greenwood Cemetery is No. 93 (+706); the West Village area is No. 105 (+616); East Village/CityPlace East is No. 119 (+578);  the Central Business District is No. 148 (+481).

The growth in these core areas is significant and is transforming many of them into vibrant neighborhoods. But it's worth remembering that most of the growth in Dallas is of a different character and is happening in other neighborhoods.

Here's Dallas County's top 10:

10. Rowlett - Census Tract 181.39
2010 Population: 5,633
2014 Population: 7,208
Population Change: +1,575
Percent Change: +27.96%

9. Mountain Creek (Dallas) - Census Tract 165.10
2010 Population: 10,652
2014 Population: 12,253
Population Change: +1,601
Percent Change: +15.03%

8. Five Mile Creek (Dallas) - Census Tract 60.02
2010 Population: 3,918
2014 Population: 5,563
Population Change: 1,645
Percent Change: 41.99%

7. North Las Colinas (Irving) - Census Tract 141.37
2010 Population: 2,423
2014 Population: 4,179
Population Change: +1,756
Percent Change: +72.47%

6. West Lancaster - Census Tract 168.04
2010 Population: 6,538
2014 Population: 8,317
Population Change: +1,779
Percent Change: +27.21%

5. South Las Colinas (Irving) - Census Tract 142.06
2010 Population: 2,553
2014 Population: 4,345
Population Change: +1,792
Percent Change: +70.19%

4. Sachse - Census Tract 181.22
2010 Population: 11,552
2014 Population: 13,507
Population Change: +1,955
Percent Change: +16.92%

3. North Lancaster - Census Tract 167.03
2010 Population: 8,560
2014 Population: 10,867
Change: +2,127
Percent Change: +24.85%

2. Mesquite - Census Tract 178.07
2010 Population: 4,337
2014 Population: 6,615
Change: +2,278
Percent Change: +52.52%

1. Medical District -  Census Tract 4.01
2010 Population: 3,213
2014 Population: 5,816
Change: +2,603
Percent Change: +81.01%

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