EDINBURG, Texas – The cities of Edinburg, Alton, Palmview and Los Fresnos were among the big winners under Census 2020.

All four cities saw their population grow by more than 30 percent over the last decade.

Edinburg’s population grew by 23,143, from 77,100 under Census 2010 to 100,243 under Census 2020. That is a percentage increase of 30.01 percent. The growth cements Edinburg as the third largest city in the Rio Grande Valley. Edinburg city leaders had previously celebrated reaching 100,000 residents when population estimates came out a year ago. Now the milestone is official.

Alton grew by 47.45 percent over the last ten years, from 12,341 under the 2010 Census to 18,198 under the 2020 Census. That is an increase of 5,857.

Los Fresnos grew by 46.40 percent over the past decade. The 2010 Census had the city’s population down as 5,542. Census 2020 shows the city at 8,114, an increase of 2,572 people.

The most amazing growth, however, has been recorded by Palmview. Its population grew by an incredible 189.9 percent over the past decade. The 2010 Census pegged Palmview at 5,460. The 2020 Census shows the city at 15,830. An increase of 10,370 residents.

Jose Luis Perez

Palmview Mayor Pro Tem Jose Luis Perez said the growth is largely due to some major annexations.

“We annexed a large part on the north side of Palmview. We annexed about mile north by four miles east and west, and a little part of the south side,” Perez explained.

Indeed, Perez lived on land serviced by Hidalgo County prior to the annexations of 2015 and 2016.

“My area was not Palmview. We were providing police, fire and ambulance so it made sense to annex the colonias. I ran for office because I wanted to make sure everyone was represented,” Perez said.

“We annexed north of 495, the city ended there. We annexed all the way to 2-Mile Line, which is a mile long. We also annexed east to the boundary with Mission.”

Perez said Palmview plans to annex even more land.

“We want to get all the way to 3-Mile Line. The sewer project has delayed us a little bit but it is coming along. Businesses were a little skeptical because we are the only ones in the Valley without a sewer. We have built one new plaza, now there is another one going up next to HEB.”

No change in Big Six


Census 2020 shows that the Big Six cities in the Valley remain in the slots they previously held. Brownsville is the largest city by population, McAllen is second, Edinburg third, Mission fourth, Pharr fifth and Harlingen sixth.

Brownsville grew by 6.69 percent. Census 2010 put the city at 175,023. Under Census 2020 it is 186,738. That is an increase of 11,715 residents.

McAllen grew by 9.49 percent. Census 2010 put the city at 129,877. Under Census 2020 it is 142,210. That is an increase of 12,877 residents.

Mission grew by 11.31 percent. Census 2010 put the city at 77,058. Under Census 2020 it is 85,778. That is an increase of 8,720 residents.

Pharr grew by 13.21 percent. Census 2010 put the city at 70,400. Under Census 2020 it is 79,715. That is an increase of 9,315 residents.

Harlingen grew by 10.76 percent. Census 2010 put the city at 64,849. Under Census 2020 it is 71,829. That is an increase of 6,980 residents.

Weslaco remains the 7th largest city in the Valley. Its population grew by 12.58 percent. In 2010 it was 35,670. In 2020 it was 40,160. That is an increase of 4,490.

8th placed San Juan grew by 4.24 percent. Its population is now 35,294.

9th placed San Benito grew by 2.51 percent. Its population is now 24,861.

10th placed Alamo grew by 6.21 percent. Its population is now 19,493.

Rio Grande City grew by 10.71 percent. Its population is now 15,317.

Hidalgo grew by 19.34 percent. Its population is now 13,964.

Raymondville saw its population decline by 9.28 percent. In 2010 it had 11,284 residents. Now it is down to 10,236.

Many Valley leaders believe there was an undercount in 2020, caused by Covid-19. The census numbers are used to reapportion congressional boundaries and distribute federal and state funding.

Editor’s Note: We will bring more Valley reaction to Census 2020 in upcoming editions. 


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