Detailed Findings & Methodology
Domestic migration — Americans moving into the metropolitan area from other parts of the country — was the largest contributor to population growth 23 of the fastest growing cities in each state. Natural population growth — births minus deaths — was the driver in 16 cities, while international immigration contributed the most to growth in the remaining 11 cities. The metropolitan areas that grew the most tended to see the largest share of total growth come from domestic migrants.
While there are many reasons populations move to a given area, Frey noted that “…traditionally, jobs are the main reason places grow.” He added that amenities and the service sector can have an influence, it is jobs that tend to be the primary driver, citing the recent population surge in North Dakota that came as a result of the oil boom there.
Of the fast-growing cities on this list, only 10 have higher unemployment rates than the comparable statewide figures. Of those 50, 33 have seen employment increase by more than the national employment increase of 10% since 2010.
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, to find a more affordable housing market to buy their first home, or, like many of the residents in the fastest growing cities in America, to retire.
To determine the fastest growing city in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the population change between July 2010 and July 2017 in each state’s metro areas with data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program. The components of population growth — births, deaths, and international and domestic migration — were also from this report. Jobs added between 2010 and 2016 came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. February 2018 unemployment rates came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Local Area Unemployment Statistics and are seasonally adjusted.