17. Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL
> Population growth (2010-2015): 11.09%
> Total population: 262,172
> Per capita income: $44,950
> Unemployment rate: 4.6%
Compared to the other rapidly growing metropolitan areas that have grown over the past five years, Crestview’s population growth has slowed lately. The area’s population increased by 1.93% last year, while the population of most of the other fastest growing metro areas increased by at least 2%. Still, that 1.93% growth is substantially greater than the 0.79% national increase over the same period.
16. Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL
> Population growth (2010-2015): 11.20%
> Total population: 203,709
> Per capita income: $39,040
> Unemployment rate: 6.0%
Some of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley metropolitan area’s population growth was due to natural population growth — approximately 1,200 more people were born in the region than died over the last five years. The vast majority of the area’s population growth of 21,444 was due to migration. Well over 18,000 more people moved to the area than left since April 2010.
15. Auburn-Opelika, AL
> Population growth (2010-2015): 11.51%
> Total population: 156,993
> Per capita income: $33,064
> Unemployment rate: 5.3%
Residents of most fast-growing metros have relatively high incomes, reflecting the economic strengths that help keep and draw residents to the area. In the Auburn-Opelika metro, however, the per capita income of $33,064 is one of the lowest in the country. The low incomes could be due at least in part to the youth of the population, as younger Americans tend to earn less than their older counterparts. Just 10.4% of adults are 65 or older, one of the lowest such shares nationwide.