Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, April 18, 2019

Contact: Kelley Dennings, (919) 355-8102,

Rapid Texas Population Growth Increases Pressure on Imperiled Wildlife

Limited Family Planning Access Amplifies Environmental Threats

DALLAS— U.S. Census Bureau data released today show that Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas, is the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States, increasing pressure on the region’s endangered species such as whooping cranes and Texas horned lizards.

The biggest contributor to growth in Dallas was caused by natural increase, or a higher number of births compared to deaths. The data also found that 4 of the 10 fastest-growing U.S. counties are in Texas, raising concern for imperiled wildlife already stressed by habitat loss, drought and climate-driven extreme weather events.

“Soaring human populations are putting incredible pressure on endangered wildlife in Texas and across the Southwest,” said Kelley Dennings, a population campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We're crowding out wildlife and destroying wild places at an alarming pace, but Texans don’t always have the ability to decide if and when they want to have kids. More reproductive freedom could yield big environmental benefits.”

Texas has one of the highest unintended pregnancy rates in the country and the highest rate of people lacking health insurance. Much of the state is considered a “contraceptive desert,” where there are no health centers that offer a full range of family planning services. Family planning, education and access to affordable contraception are crucial factors in addressing unsustainable population growth.

“People in Texas and across the country deserve full access to contraception, reproductive healthcare and family planning services,” Dennings said. “These are basic human rights. And they’re critical to tackling the problem of unsustainable population growth.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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