Special Report

America's Fastest Growing Cities

4. Odessa, TX
> Population growth (2010-2014):
> Total population: 149,378
> Per capita income: $56,864
> Unemployment rate: 3.9%

As in nearly all metro areas, migration accounted for a majority of the population growth from 2010 to last year in the Odessa metro area. The area’s population grew by 8.6% due to natural growth, one of the highest natural population increases nationwide and the highest among the fast growing metro areas. Due largely to the success of the regional oil and gas industry, Odessa had an unemployment rate of less than 4% in 2013, which fell even lower to 2.6% in December of last year. The healthy job market likely made the area a good candidate for Americans looking to relocate.

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3. Austin-Round Rock, TX
> Population growth (2010-2014):
> Total population: 1,883,051
> Per capita income: $52,110
> Unemployment rate: 5.1%

Austin-Round Rock is the largest of the top 10 fastest growing cities. At a total population nearly 1.9 million in 2014, its population has grown by almost 230,000 over the last four years. A strong economy and a vibrant community have helped attract many migrants, especially young people, to the area. The area’s average age is roughly 34 years old, among the youngest in the country. The Texas metro is home to the state’s capital, as well as the headquarters of Dell computers.

2. Midland, TX
> Population growth (2010-2014):
> Total population: 155,723
> Per capita income: $129,193
> Unemployment rate: 3.2%

Midland has been the second fastest growing metro area over the last four years. This growth rate has been supported by both a healthy birth rate and strong net migration. The population grew nearly 10% as a result of migration from 2010 to 2014. The metro area’s above average share of 20-40 year olds likely contributed to the birth rate, as well as helped invigorate the local economy. Like several other fast-growing metro areas, Midland is at the center of a regional oil boom. The vibrant economic activity has attracted so many new residents that the area has had to deal with housing shortages.

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1. The Villages, FL
> Population growth (2010-2014):
> Total population: 107,056
> Per capita income: $18,739
> Unemployment rate: N/A

Florida’s largest retirement community, The Villages, has been the fastest growing metro area in the country over the last four years. Its 21.3% population growth rate over that period was nearly twice as fast as the next fastest growing metro area. The town was started in the 1980s by billionaire H. Gary Morse as a community for wealthy retirees aged 55 and older. As of 2013, more than 50% of the area’s population was 65 years or older compared with the national share of that age group of about 14%. The area’s increasingly fast pace population growth has been supported by the tailwind of an aging U.S. population as the baby boomer generation has started to enter retirement age.

Click here to see the fastest shrinking cities in America

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