Economic growth can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, and not all of it is good — although many folks regard it as a means of long-term prosperity. And if that’s what you’re looking for in a place to live, work or retire, WalletHub can offer you some suggestions.
The cities that have a good handle on economic growth can thrive even in a tough economy, which is a good thing whether you’re just entering the workforce, just leaving, or hoping to hang on for the duration.
To find the fastest local economic growth in the U.S., WalletHub compared 515 cities of differing population size and rated them in two categories — “Sociodemographics” and “Jobs & Economy” — based on how they fared in 15 key measures of both growth and decline over a period of seven years. Datasets, says WalletHub, range from population growth to unemployment rate decrease to growth in regional GDP per capita.
Each was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the fastest economic growth. For each metric, data spanning from 2011 to 2017 was used, with the exception of “Increase in Number of Startups” (2010 to 2014), “Increase in Number of Businesses” (2011 to 2016) and “Increase in Venture Capital Investment Amount” (2011 to 2016).
Only the “city proper” was used in each case; cities in the surrounding metro area were excluded. They were size-ranked, with large cities being those with more than 300,000 people; midsize cities, those with 100,000 to 300,000 people; and small cities, those with fewer than 100,000 people.
Data came from numerous sources: the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Venture Capital Association and Renwood RealtyTrac.
Check out the gallery above to see the 10 fastest growing cities overall.