While some metro areas have fallen on hard economic times, others are thriving, according to a recent report from WalletHub. In a study on the fastest growing cities in America, WalletHub identified the top 15 cities by population growth in 2017, and what patterns these cities exhibit that makes them so attractive.
Wallethub notes that eight of the top fifteen cities are in the South, many of which are in Texas. Wallethub’s number one spot is Fort Myers, Florida, a small city with the highest growth by percentage. Frisco, Texas had the highest growth in real numbers, while Austin, Texas was the highest growing large city. Frisco also boasts the highest job growth rate in the country.
By GDP, California cities take the top spot. The top six cities with the highest regional GDP growth are all in California, including San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara.
According to the panel of experts assembled by WalletHub, one of the main points to consider in a fast growing city is how to manage the growth and accommodate citizens, such as through housing and job opportunities.
“Growth creates a double-edged sword: increased economic prosperity, jobs, incomes, activities and opportunities but with increased property values and costs: entertainment, travel (congestion), higher taxes and fees,” said James P. Gaines, Chief Economist, Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. “There is simply no guarantee that growth will not stimulate the demand for housing (and other activities). Some areas may experience population growth, for example, without creating the necessary job base to create substantial prosperity.”
With the increase in population comes an increased employment pool. Austin Troy, Chair and Professor Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Colorado Denver, discussed the additional impact of growth on employment, positive and negative.
“On the question of employment, cities wouldn’t be growing without the presence of employment opportunities,” said Troy. “It is a dynamic process, though, in that the more people that are attracted to a city due to its growth, the larger and more talent that city’s labor pool becomes, which in turn makes it more of a draw for more companies and entrepreneurs, which in turns drives further demand for employees.”