(CBS) -- Local planning officials admit that the city of Houston, Texas is growing so fast right now that it could pass Chicago to become the nation's third largest city, reports WBBM's Political Editor Craig Dellimore.
Demographers forecast that Houston could have a population as high as 2.7 million people by 2025, while Chicago would have just 2.5 million, leaving the city fourth largest, not third.
Chrissy Mancini Nichols, director of research and evaluation at the Metropolitan Planning Council, doesn't deny the numbers or Chicago's role in them.
"There is a link between people leaving the Chicago region for Texas, Houston, Austin, Dallas," she says.
Mancini Nichols says there are job opportunities in Houston and a lower cost of living but she doesn't believe Houston's growth can be sustained.
"There are few restrictions on zoning which has led to sprawl and that has already created major problems with traffic congestion," she says.
That could discourage people from moving there, Mancini Nichols says.
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