Forbes has just recently released its 2015 list of the nation’s fastest-growing cities. The cities were analyzed based on such factors as population growth, year-over-year job growth, federal unemployment data, gross metro product growth, and median annual pay for workers with degrees. Interestingly, Texas has half the cities in this year’s top ten. North Carolina is right behind it with two cities on the list. Raleigh and Charlotte both made the cut. Here are the top 10 cities on this year’s list:
At the top is Houston with a 2014 population growth rate of 1.81% and a job growth rate of 4.5%. The median pay was $71,900 with an unemployment rate of only 4.8%. The projected population growth rate for this year is expected to stay high at 1.74% as well, making Houston a popular destination for those looking to relocate.
Right behind Houston is Austin with an even higher 2014 population growth rate of 2.52%. The lower job growth rate of 3.14% and the slightly higher unemployment rate of 4.13% are what place Austin just behind Houston, but it is still projected to grow in population by 2.51% in 2015.
Rounding out the top three is Dallas with a 2014 population growth rate of 1.98% and a job growth rate of 4.1%. The projected population growth rate is also expected to increase to 2.04% in 2015. With an unemployment rate of just under 5% and a median pay of $67,500, Dallas is another great choice for those looking for a fresh start.
Coming up right behind the top three Texas cities is good old Raleigh. With a 2014 population growth rate of 1.86% and an even higher projected growth rate for 2015 of 2.02%, Raleigh is holding its own against the big three Texas cities. A median pay of $64,700 and an unemployment rate of 4.83% explain what makes this North Carolina city a popular place for those relocating.
Rainy Seattle is sitting comfortable up in the top five fastest growing cities as well. With a 2014 population growth rate of 1.3% and with its projected growth rate set to stay the same in 2015, Seattle is holding its own when it comes to growth. With the highest median pay rate of the top five cities at $72,000 and a job growth rate of 3.56%, Seattle is set to continue to grow rapidly in the coming years.
Denver’s low unemployment rate of only 4% paired with its job growth rate of 2.66% and median pay of $64,300 make it understandably popular. A population growth rate of 1.74% in 2014 and a projected growth rate of 1.74% in 2015 add to its appeal.
7. San Francisco
Gorgeous and temperate San Francisco, California, may have a lower population growth rate of 0.93% but its job growth rate of 3.52% and median pay of $81,700 more than make up for that, earning it the number 7 spot on this year’s list.
8. Fort Worth
The fourth Texas city to make its way onto the list is Fort Worth. With a population growth rate of 2.03% in 2014 and a projected growth rate of 2.1%, Fort Worth holds its own with the rest of the cities on the list. A median pay of $60,900 and a job growth rate of 2.64% add to the reasons for its number 8 spot.
Anyone in the Charlotte area is not surprised in the least at the presence of the Queen City on this list. With its median pay of $61,500 and its job growth rate of 3.1%, Charlotte is proving to be a boomtown when it comes to population and economic growth. The 1.93% population growth rate of 2014 and projected growth rate of 1.98% further prove that Charlotte has earned its spot on this list.
10. San Antonio
Rounding out the five Texas cities in the top 10 is San Antonio. Even though the median pay rate of $58,300 is a bit lower than the rest of the list and its unemployment rate is 4.56%, San Antonio is still quite a bit ahead of other cities in the country. The 2014 population growth rate of 1.89% and 2015 projected growth rate of 1.93% further prove its position as a boomtown.
Heavily dominated by Texas and North Carolina, this year’s top 10 list shows a distinct shift from some of the bigger metropolitan areas and shows that growth is being driven further south as people look for better opportunities for themselves and their families.