Bell County grows by a third
Bell County has climbed to No. 16 of the state's 254 counties in terms of population size, according to numbers released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
When the once-a-decade report was conducted in April 2010, Bell County had 310,235 people living in it. That's 30.4 percent more than it had in 2009 — when 237,974 ranked the county No. 19.
Within Bell County, Killeen's population was counted at 127,921 people. Temple was counted at 66,102.
"Bell County has, over the past several decades, experienced impressive growth, but this is even more than anyone predicted," County Judge Jon Burrows said.
The Census Bureau began this month to release population counts to the states, with more states released each day. The counts released Thursday will be used in redistricting while also giving a glimpse of the makeup of Texas and its largest-growing counties.
Bell County's rate of growth outstripped the state's growth of 20.6 percent. The state grew from 20.8 million people in 2000 to 25.1 million in April 2010.