Results from the 2020 census reveal some notable changes to the U.S. population over the last decade. The U.S. population grew by about 7% from 2010 to 2020, or by about 20 million people. Over the same period, over 80% of U.S. metro areas reported population growth, as did many of America’s most populous cities. Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, and San Antonio, for example, each reported more than 10% population increase.
Large cities and major metropolitan areas were not the only places to report significant population growth, however. Over the last decade, small towns across the country have seen population booms — some have more than doubled in size.
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population and Housing Unit Estimates Program, 24/7 Wall St. identified America’s fastest growing towns. Places are ranked by the percent change in population from 2010 to 2020. We only considered incorporated places with populations between 1,000 and 25,000 on July 1, 2010.
Population change is the end result of two factors: migration and natural change. Migration is the net change of people moving to and from an area, while natural change is the number of births less the number of deaths.
The majority of towns on this list are in the South – including 21 in Texas alone. Positive net migration in many of these places may be explained, at least in part, by favorable job markets. Economic opportunity is one of the most common reasons people move within the United States, and in the majority of the 50 fastest growing towns, the five-year average unemployment rate is below the 5.3% national average. (Here is a look at the states with the most job openings right now.)
These places also tend to be relatively wealthy. In all but four of these towns, the typical household earns more per year than the national median household income of $64,994. High incomes, in addition to job security, can offer stability for new families and may contribute to higher than average birth rates. In most of the towns on this list, the share of the population under age 10 exceeds the 12.1% national share. (Here is a look at the best states to raise a family.)
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