Gaithersburg is 8th Fastest Growing City in the Nation (VIDEO)

Gaithersburg Annual Planning Report CoverThe city of Gaithersburg experienced Maryland’s largest population increase in the last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, making it the nation’s eighth-fastest growing municipality.

In estimates released on May 22, the Census reported that the city of Gaithersburg grew by 2,747 residents, or 4.4 percent, between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2013, to a total population of 65,690. That percent increase put it in the top eight in the U.S. for cities of 50,000 or more.

Following Gaithersburg in population gains over the last year was Rockville (822, or 1.3 percent), Bowie (598, or 1.1 percent), Frederick (506, or 0.8 percent) and Salisbury (436, or 1.4 percent).

The Census Bureau’s municipal estimates are based on a housing unit methodology driven by the number of building permits issued for the construction of residential units. Gaithersburg has undergone a building boom in the last few years after city officials approved two major mixed-use developments on the south side as well as two large apartment buildings in its historic Olde Towne.

The new buildings are either near transit – the MARC train’s Brunswick line – or planned transit with the expected construction of the Corridor Cities Transitway. The transit line, likely to be bus rapid transit, will have five stops in Gaithersburg. Also, the city is about a 10-minute drive from the Shady Grove Metro station.

Gaithersburg is a Maryland-designated Sustainable Community, which gives it the state’s stamp of approval as a community where growth and state programs should be targeted.

“Gaithersburg is the kind of place where we want growth to occur,” said Maryland Planning Secretary Richard E. Hall. “It is a historic population center along a technology corridor that is, and will be, served by transit. Growth there makes good use of existing infrastructure and helps keep growth where it should be rather than sprawling into our agricultural and forested land.”

Baltimore is the largest city in Maryland, with 622,104 residents. While Frederick (66,893) has long been the state’s second-largest city, the strong growth in Gaithersburg has moved its population total past Rockville (64,072). If similar growth rates prevail in the 2013 to 2014 period, the city’s population would surpass Frederick next year.

Maryland Department of Planning demographers analyzed the Census Bureau municipal population estimates for the state. Learn more at the Maryland State Data Center.

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