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Census: Philly grows again

Philadelphia continues to grow, according to new Census Bureau figures.

The city's population rose by 9,040 from the one-year period from July 2011 through July 2012, according to estimates released today. So, the most recent population estimate of 1,547,607 reflects a little more than half a percent growth over that year span.

But the even better news: Philly's population grew by almost 20,000, or 1.3 percent over the two year span from 2010 through 2012. It remains the nation's fifth most populace city, wedged between Houston and Phoenix.

The data reinforce a turnaround in the city's growth. Philadelphia began to decline in population in 2002, dipping to a low of 1,488,710 in 2006. However, the population has been rising since.

But the turnaround trend isn't unique to Philadelphia. It continues a growth pattern in large urban centers. In fact, the new data show that of the 20 largest U.S. cities only one saw a contraction – Detroit, which lost more than 4,700 people in one year.

But while Philadelphia and other east coast cities continued to draw people, the big growth was in Texas, according to the data that reflects cities of 50,000 or more. Of the 15 fastest growing, large cities, eight of them were in Texas between July 2011 and July 2012 – the latest estimates available.

New York continued to be the nation's most populous city by a wide margin, with 8.3 million residents in 2012, followed by Los Angeles and Chicago. The composition of the list of the 15 most populous cities has remained unchanged since last year; however, the list's order has changed slightly.

The estimates cover all municipalities, including cities, towns and townships.