Andy Boyd of Fort Worth has spent the better part of his 39 years calling Tarrant County home. He says he can still remember when it was a sleepy, rural place to live.
"There was nothing here," he says from his home off West 7th Street. "There were fields over there."
My, how things have changed.
This week, the United States Census released numbers showing that Tarrant County saw the fifth largest population growth in the country, from July 2015 to July 2016. More than 35,000 people moved here in 365 days time.
"We cracked the 2 million mark this year, so we’re very excited," says Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley. As of July 2016, the Census counted the county's population to be 2,016,872.
Whitley is excited, but not surprised. He says they've long been investing for that growth, especially when it comes to improving our roads.
"Over the past decade, we’ve been able to spend a little over $10 billion in Tarrant County alone," on roadwork, Whitley says.
And Tarrant County is in good company. Three other Texas counties ended up on the Top 10 list for growth; Harris County was number two, Bexar County was number seven, and Dallas County was number nine.
While Tarrant County saw more than 35,000 people move to the area last year, Dallas County saw less than 30,000.
So why Tarrant County over so many other large Texas counties? Quality of life, jobs, abundant housing, plenty of land left to develop and a pro-business attitude are Whitley's reasons.
"I say this a little tongue in cheek but I do mean it—we’re a little more laid back," Whitley says. "Our heritage is the old west. Our heritage is Cowtown, where the west begins."
And in true Tarrant County spirit, people like Andy Boyd say: Welcome.
"Right now, we’re all open arms, you know?" he says.