(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.

READ MORE: City Council Latino Caucus Moves To Put Proposed Ward Map On 2022 Ballot For Voter Referendum

Chrissy Mancini Nichols, director of research and evaluation at the Metropolitan Planning Council, doesn’t deny the numbers or Chicago’s role in them.

READ MORE: Liana Wallace On 'Survivor' All-Black Alliance Falling Apart: 'Just Wanted Us To Make Top 8, Then We Can Have World War II''

“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.

MORE NEWS: Suburban Family Still In Shock After They Hired Home Improvement Contractor Via HomeAdvisor, Only For The Contractor To Smash Up Their Property

That could discourage people from moving there, Mancini Nichols says.