Special Report

The Fastest Growing City in Each State

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The U.S. population has grown by 3.7% over the past five years. While this is historically a relatively slow growth, some urban areas have experienced explosive growth over the same period.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year population change in the nation’s 382 metro areas to determine the fastest growing city in each state. The Villages, Florida grew more than any other city, with a population increase of 25.8% over the past five years.

Even the fastest growing city in a given state is not necessarily fast growing when compared to all cities nationwide. Of the 50 cities on this list, nine did not keep pace with nationwide growth. All but one of these nine cities are in the Northeast or Midwest. Recently, Americans in search of jobs and cheaper housing options have been moving out of Northeastern and Midwestern states in favor of Southern and Western states.

Click here to see the fastest growing city in each state.

Domestic migration was the largest contributor to population growth in 22 of the fastest growing cities in each state. Natural population growth — births minus deaths — was the driver in 18 cities, while international migration contributed the most in the remaining 10 cities.

Because securing employment is often the first step of relocation, new residents of an area typically put downward pressure on a city’s unemployment rate. Of the fast-growing cities on this list, 36 have unemployment rates lower than the respective state rate.

Finding a job is by no means the only reason for relocating to a new city. Americans may move to take care of a family member, move in with a new spouse, find an affordable housing market to buy their first home, or, like many of the residents in the fastest growing city in America, retire.

To determine the fastest growing city in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the five-year population change between July 2011 and July 2016 in each state’s metro areas with data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 Current Population Survey. July 2016 population figures as well as the largest driver of population growth were also from this survey. Jobs added between July 2011 and July 2016 came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics survey. February 2017 unemployment rates came Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Local Area Unemployment Statistics.

This is the fastest growing city in each state.

Source: tonya cook / Wikimedia Commons

1. Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, Alabama
> Population (2016): 208,563
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +11.7% (AL: +1.3%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 9,800 (+14.9%)
> Unemployment: 5.1% (AL: 6.2%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

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Source: Thinkstock

2. Anchorage, Alaska
> Population (2016): 402,557
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +3.7% (AK: +2.7%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 2,900 (+1.6%)
> Unemployment: 6.0% (AK: 6.4%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

Source: Thinkstock

3. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona
> Population (2016): 4,661,537
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +9.7% (AZ: +7.2%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 260,900 (+15.7%)
> Unemployment: 4.6% (AZ: 5.1%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

Source: Thinkstock

4. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Arkansas
> Population (2016): 525,032
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +10.5% (AR: +1.7%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 40,100 (+19.9%)
> Unemployment: 2.7% (AR: 3.7%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

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Source: Thinkstock

5. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California
> Population (2016): 4,679,166
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +6.4% (CA: +4.2%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 382,900 (+19.5%)
> Unemployment: 3.5% (CA: 5.0%)
> Largest driver of growth: International migration

Source: Thinkstock

6. Greeley, Colorado
> Population (2016): 294,932
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +14.0% (CO: +8.2%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 16,700 (+20.7%)
> Unemployment: 2.9% (CO: 2.9%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

7. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut
> Population (2016): 944,177
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +1.6% (CT: -0.4%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 18,600 (+4.7%)
> Unemployment: 5.1% (CT: 4.7%)
> Largest driver of growth: International migration

Source: Thinkstock

8. Dover, Delaware
> Population (2016): 174,827
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +5.8% (DE: +4.9%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 5,400 (+8.6%)
> Unemployment: 4.8% (DE: 4.5%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

Source: Thinkstock

9. The Villages, Florida
> Population (2016): 123,996
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +25.8% (FL: +7.9%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 5,300 (+25.1%)
> Unemployment: 7.0% (FL: 5.0%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

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Source: Thinkstock

10. Savannah, Georgia
> Population (2016): 384,024
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +7.9% (GA: +5.1%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 23,800 (+15.6%)
> Unemployment: 4.8% (GA: 5.3%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

Source: Thinkstock

11. Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii
> Population (2016): 165,474
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +5.5% (HI: +3.7%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 8,400 (+12.8%)
> Unemployment: 3.1% (HI: 2.8%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

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Source: Thinkstock

12. Boise City, Idaho
> Population (2016): 691,423
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +10.2% (ID: +6.2%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 48,900 (+19.0%)
> Unemployment: 3.5% (ID: 3.6%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

Source: Thinkstock

13. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
> Population (2016): 238,554
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +2.2% (IL: -0.5%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 3,700 (+3.7%)
> Unemployment: 4.9% (IL: 5.4%)
> Largest driver of growth: International migration

Source: Wikimedia Commons

14. Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana
> Population (2016): 216,679
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +6.0% (IN: +1.8%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 11,800 (+13.7%)
> Unemployment: 3.8% (IN: 4.1%)
> Largest driver of growth: International migration

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Source: Thinkstock

15. Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa
> Population (2016): 634,725
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +9.3% (IA: +2.3%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 41,800 (+13.1%)
> Unemployment: 2.9% (IA: 3.2%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

Source: Willjay / Wikimedia Commons

16. Lawrence, Kansas
> Population (2016): 119,440
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +6.2% (KS: +1.3%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 2,600 (+5.5%)
> Unemployment: 3.3% (KS: 4.0%)
> Largest driver of growth: International migration

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Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/joeshlabotnik/

17. Bowling Green, Kentucky
> Population (2016): 171,122
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +6.4% (KY: +1.5%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 7,400 (+11.2%)
> Unemployment: 4.1% (KY: 4.9%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

Source: Richard David Ramsey / Wikimedia Commons

18. Hammond, Louisiana
> Population (2016): 130,710
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +6.6% (LA: +2.3%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 1,600 (+3.8%)
> Unemployment: 6.3% (LA: 5.8%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

Source: Thinkstock

19. Portland-South Portland, Maine
> Population (2016): 529,657
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +2.6% (ME: +0.2%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 12,100 (+6.2%)
> Unemployment: 2.5% (ME: 3.2%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

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Source: Eric Fischer / Wikimedia Commons

20. Salisbury, Maryland
> Population (2016): 400,200
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +5.8% (MD: +3.0%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 13,800 (+8.9%)
> Unemployment: 5.8% (MD: 4.2%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

Source: Thinkstock

21. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts
> Population (2016): 4,794,447
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +4.0% (MA: +3.0%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 183,400 (+11.1%)
> Unemployment: 3.3% (MA: 3.4%)
> Largest driver of growth: International migration

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Source: Thinkstock

22. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Michigan
> Population (2016): 1,047,099
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +5.1% (MI: +0.5%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 73,400 (+15.7%)
> Unemployment: 3.4% (MI: 5.3%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

Source: Thinkstock

23. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota
> Population (2016): 3,551,036
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +4.8% (MN: +3.2%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 192,800 (+10.8%)
> Unemployment: 3.8% (MN: 4.0%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

Source: Thinkstock

24. Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Mississippi
> Population (2016): 391,266
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +4.1% (MS: +0.4%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 4,100 (+2.7%)
> Unemployment: 5.0% (MS: 5.2%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

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Source: Thinkstock

25. Columbia, Missouri
> Population (2016): 176,594
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +6.4% (MO: +1.4%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 6,000 (+6.7%)
> Unemployment: 3.0% (MO: 4.1%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

Source: Thinkstock

26. Billings, Montana
> Population (2016): 169,728
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +5.6% (MT: +4.5%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 5,500 (+6.9%)
> Unemployment: 3.3% (MT: 3.8%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

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Source: Thinkstock

27. Lincoln, Nebraska
> Population (2016): 326,921
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +6.6% (NE: +3.5%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 14,300 (+8.3%)
> Unemployment: 2.6% (NE: 3.2%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

Source: Thinkstock

28. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada
> Population (2016): 2,155,664
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +9.6% (NV: +8.2%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 142,200 (+17.7%)
> Unemployment: 5.1% (NV: 4.9%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

Source: Thinkstock

29. Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire
> Population (2016): 407,761
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +1.5% (NH: +1.2%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 9,600 (+9.6%)
> Unemployment: 2.8% (NH: 2.7%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

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Source: Thinkstock

30. Trenton, New Jersey
> Population (2016): 371,023
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +0.8% (NJ: +1.2%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 25,900 (+10.9%)
> Unemployment: 3.9% (NJ: 4.4%)
> Largest driver of growth: International migration

Source: Thinkstock

31. Santa Fe, New Mexico
> Population (2016): 148,651
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +2.3% (NM: +0.2%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 2,000 (+3.2%)
> Unemployment: 5.4% (NM: 6.8%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

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Source: Maeshima hiroki / Wikimedia Commons

32. Ithaca, New York
> Population (2016): 104,871
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +2.7% (NY: +1.2%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 4,400 (+7.7%)
> Unemployment: 3.9% (NY: 4.4%)
> Largest driver of growth: International migration

Source: Thinkstock

33. Raleigh, North Carolina
> Population (2016): 1,302,946
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +12.0% (NC: +5.1%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 92,800 (+18.3%)
> Unemployment: 4.2% (NC: 5.1%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

Source: Bobak Ha'Eri / Wikimedia Commons

34. Bismarck, North Dakota
> Population (2016): 131,635
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +12.1% (ND: +10.6%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 7,600 (+11.4%)
> Unemployment: 2.8% (ND: 2.9%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

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Source: Thinkstock

35. Columbus, Ohio
> Population (2016): 2,041,520
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +6.0% (OH: +0.6%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 125,400 (+13.4%)
> Unemployment: 4.2% (OH: 5.1%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

Source: Thinkstock

36. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
> Population (2016): 1,373,211
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +7.6% (OK: +3.6%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 46,700 (+8.1%)
> Unemployment: 4.1% (OK: 4.6%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

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Source: Thinkstock

37. Bend-Redmond, Oregon
> Population (2016): 181,307
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +13.5% (OR: +5.8%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 17,400 (+27.7%)
> Unemployment: 3.7% (OR: 4.0%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

Source: Wikimedia Commons

38. State College, Pennsylvania
> Population (2016): 161,464
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +4.2% (PA: +0.3%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 2,500 (+3.5%)
> Unemployment: 3.9% (PA: 5.0%)
> Largest driver of growth: International migration

Source: Thinkstock

39. Providence-Warwick, Rhode Island
> Population (2016): 1,614,750
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +0.8% (RI: +0.4%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 40,800 (+7.5%)
> Unemployment: 4.5% (RI: 4.5%)
> Largest driver of growth: International migration

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Source: Thinkstock

40. Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
> Population (2016): 449,295
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +16.5% (SC: +6.2%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 15,900 (+10.3%)
> Unemployment: 5.1% (SC: 4.4%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

Source: Thinkstock

41. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
> Population (2016): 255,729
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +9.9% (SD: +5.0%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 17,600 (+12.8%)
> Unemployment: 2.4% (SD: 2.8%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

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Source: Thinkstock

42. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, Tennessee
> Population (2016): 1,865,298
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +9.8% (TN: +4.0%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 164,100 (+21.0%)
> Unemployment: 3.8% (TN: 5.3%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

Source: Wikimedia Commons

43. Midland, Texas
> Population (2016): 168,288
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +16.1% (TX: +8.6%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 8,100 (+10.4%)
> Unemployment: 4.2% (TX: 4.9%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

Source: Nick Christensen / Wikimedia Commons

44. St. George, Utah
> Population (2016): 160,245
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +13.2% (UT: +8.3%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 13,500 (+29.0%)
> Unemployment: 3.2% (UT: 3.1%)
> Largest driver of growth: Domestic migration

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Source: Thinkstock

45. Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont
> Population (2016): 217,365
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +2.1% (VT: -0.3%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 8,800 (+7.6%)
> Unemployment: 2.4% (VT: 3.0%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

Source: Thinkstock

46. Richmond, Virginia
> Population (2016): 1,281,708
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +5.1% (VA: +3.7%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 62,100 (+10.3%)
> Unemployment: 3.9% (VA: 3.9%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

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Source: Thinkstock

47. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington
> Population (2016): 3,798,902
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +8.6% (WA: +6.8%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 261,300 (+15.3%)
> Unemployment: 3.8% (WA: 4.9%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

Source: Jae69376 / Wikimedia Commons

48. Morgantown, West Virginia
> Population (2016): 138,380
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +4.6% (WV: -1.3%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 4,000 (+6.3%)
> Unemployment: 3.9% (WV: 5.2%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

Source: Thinkstock

49. Madison, Wisconsin
> Population (2016): 648,929
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +5.7% (WI: +1.2%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): 36,100 (+9.9%)
> Unemployment: 2.7% (WI: 3.7%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

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Source: Phillip Stewart / Flickr

50. Casper, Wyoming
> Population (2016): 81,039
> Population chg. (2011-2016): +6.1% (WY: +3.1%)
> Jobs added (2011-2016): -1,600 (-4.0%)
> Unemployment: 6.4% (WY: 4.7%)
> Largest driver of growth: Natural change

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