Special Report

America's Fastest Growing Cities

Source: Eddie Maloney from North Las Vegas, USA / Wikimedia Commons

5. St. George, UT
> 2010-2018 pop. growth: +24.1% (33,308)
> 2018 unemployment: 3.4%
> 2010-2018 employment change: +39.2% (+17,726)
> Median household income: $55,175

St. George is the fastest growing city in the fastest growing state. Since 2010, St. George’s population has grown by 24.1%, compared to Utah’s 13.9% growth rate and the U.S. 5.8% population growth over the same period.

Across Utah, population growth is driven by births far outpacing deaths, but not in St. George. About 75% of the 33,308 net increase in population in the metro area was driven by people moving into the area. Americans often move for job opportunities, and overall employment in the metro area spiked by a staggering 39.2% in the last eight years.

Source: RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / Getty Images

4. Austin-Round Rock, TX
> 2010-2018 pop. growth: +25.5% (440,788)
> 2018 unemployment: 3.0%
> 2010-2018 employment change: +29.8% (+226,252)
> Median household income: $69,717

Austin is one of only four U.S. metro areas to report greater than 25% population growth over the last eight years. Due largely to people moving to the central Texas metro area from other parts of the country and the world, Austin is home to 440,800 more people today than in 2010.

Austin’s thriving job market has likely been a draw for many new residents. Major employers in the metro area include tech giants like IBM, Amazon, and Apple. In the last eight years, total employment in the metro area climbed by nearly 30%, more than double the national employment growth over that time.

Source: Billy Hathorn / Wikimedia Commons

3. Midland, TX
> 2010-2018 pop. growth: +25.8% (36,537)
> 2018 unemployment: 2.2%
> 2010-2018 employment change: +36.4% (+24,507)
> Median household income: $75,570

Half a dozen Texas metro areas rank on this list, but none grew as fast as Midland. There are over 36,000 more people living in Midland today than there were in 2010, a 25.8% population growth.

A strong economy can be attractive to potential new residents and young families, and Midland’s 2.2% unemployment rate is among the lowest in the country and well below the 3.9% national rate. Many jobs in the area are also high paying, as the typical Midland household earns $75,570 a year, about $18,000 more than the typical American household.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

2. Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC
> 2010-2018 pop. growth: +27.1% (102,569)
> 2018 unemployment: 5.0%
> 2010-2018 employment change: +50.5% (+53,329)
> Median household income: $47,732

Even though there were more deaths than births in Myrtle Beach over the last eight years, enough people moved to the metro area to record a near nation-leading population growth of 27.1%. Over 100,000 more people moved to the metro area than moved out between 2010 and 2018. Job growth in the metro area was even more staggering over the same period. There are now over 53,000 more people working in Myrtle Beach than there were in 2010, a 50.5% increase. Nationwide, employment grew by 12.5% over the same period.

Source: Michael Warren / Getty Images

1. The Villages, FL
> 2010-2018 pop. growth: +36.6% (34,476)
> 2018 unemployment: 5.1%
> 2010-2018 employment change: +42.9% (+8,513)
> Median household income: $54,771

The Villages was initially conceived of in the 1960s as a planned retirement community for northerners looking to winter in a warmer climate. Today, with 50 golf courses and 2,500 clubs and activities, The Villages is a fulfillment of its founder’s vision. Over the last eight years, the number of people living in the metro area climbed by 36.6% — by far the largest population growth of any U.S. metro area.

As the U.S. population ages, increasingly more Americans are moving to metro areas in the Sun Belt, like The Villages. Over 54% of metro area residents are of retirement age, more than triple the 14.9% share of Americans.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.