Energy boom spurs growth west of the Mississippi

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Updated: 3/26 10:32 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — America's energy boom is fueling population growth west of the Mississippi River.

Census Bureau data released Thursday shows 6 of the 10 of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas and 8 of the 10 fastest-growing counties are located in or near the oil- and gas-rich Great Plains and Mountain West.

Odessa and Midland, Texas, are the second and third fastest-growing metro areas, and Midland spokeswoman Sara Higgins says oil is why. She says people are coming there to work.

The fastest-growing metro area is the Florida retirement community The Villages, with its 5.2 percent population increase between 2012 and 2013. Following The Villages, Odessa and Midland are Fargo and Bismarck, N.D.

The fastest-growing counties are Williams County, N.D.; Duchesne County, Utah; Sumter County, Fla.; Stark County, N.D.; and Kendall County, Texas.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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