A significant drop in Houston’s population growth allowed San Antonio to best the state’s most populous city in gaining the most new residents last year, new census figures released Thursday show.

Unsurprisingly, the state’s biggest cities added the most people in the past year. Gaining 24,473 residents, San Antonio ranked third among cities across the country that experienced the biggest growth as counted by the U.S. Census Bureau between July 2015 and July 2016. In fact, San Antonio welcomed more new residents in 2016 than New York City, which added 21,171 new residents during the same period.

Phoenix ranked first in the nation with 32,113 new residents, followed by Los Angeles with 27,173.

“I think that shows the growth that we’ve been anticipating and what our SA Tomorrow plan shows, so I’m not surprised to see that number,” Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales (D5) said. “We just need to make sure that everybody that comes here has affordable housing and a quality place to live.

“Hopefully we’ll continue to make those changes that will make San Antonio affordable and accessible to all the people coming.”

Houston’s drop in new residents — down to 18,666 from about 40,800 in 2015 — comes in the same year in which Harris County lost a significant amount of residents to other areas, according to Census data released in March.

Texas suburbs made up half of the country’s 10 fastest growing cities with three cities outside Houston and Dallas topping the list, according to the census figures.

Rapid growth in Conroe, Frisco, and McKinney made those suburbs the three fastest-growing cities in the country among those with a population larger than 50,000, according to population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Their population growth outpaced Georgetown and New Braunfels, which topped the list last year.

Located near The Woodlands north of Houston, Conroe grew by 7.8 percent, from 76,362 in 2015 to 82,286 in 2016. Georgetown — north of Austin — ranked fifth on the national list, and New Braunfels — located between San Antonio and Austin — ranked 9th.

Suburbs also made up the list of fastest-growing cities in the state, continuing a years-long trend of explosive suburban population growth.

Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune

Alexa Ura covers politics and demographics for The Texas Tribune, where she started as an intern in 2013. She previously covered health care for the Trib. While earning her journalism degree at the University...

Annie Daniel

Annie Daniel joined The Texas Tribune in 2014 shortly after graduating from UNC Chapel Hill where she studied both multimedia journalism and political science. She is now a member of the Tribune’s interactive...