The Des Moines-West Des Moines metropolitan statistical area grew to 599,789 residents as of 2013, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. 


That is up from 589,443 estimated in 2012 and up from 569,633 in the 2010 census.  


The Des Moines-West Des Moines MSA consists of Polk, Warren, Dallas, Guthrie and Madison counties.


Polk County grew by 1.7 percent between 2012 and 2013. Warren County grew by 0.9 percent. Dallas County grew by the most in the state at 3.5 percent, up to 74,641 people from 72,098 a year ago.


Dallas County has grown by 12.9 percent since 2010, which makes it the 11th-fastest growing county in the nation.


"That's where we're seeing the land is available. As we go west of town, that's where the desired markets are for the new home buyer," said Creighton Cox, executive officer at the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines and a member of the Urbandale City Council.


He said the growth in Dallas County is not surprising, as "that's where we're seeing the highest number of permits," including in the Dallas County side of Urbandale, Clive and West Des Moines, as well as in Waukee.


The fastest growth is happening in the west, but expect the entire metro area to continue to grow, he said.


"It's what we've been expecting over the last five to eight years, not only with Des Moines and the (metropolitan statistical area) getting the accolades it has nationally, but just the general growth or the transfer from the rural communities into the urban Des Moines metro," Cox said. "Although we heard more about it eight years ago, we're seeing the reality of it now."