Whether you’re in search of fertile ground for jobs or the perfect place to retire, or are set on a particular location for other reasons, you might want to consider the economic growth in the area to determine how well things will play out money-wise.
WalletHub has run the numbers on large, midsize and small cities to see which of them have the fastest local economic growth in the U.S., reviewing a total of 515 cities across the three categories. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, the top 10 were small and midsize cities — after all, many have plenty of room to grow.
We looked at the overall top 10 results, but some folks just aren’t ready to settle down to even a midsize, much less a small, city. Maybe they want the hustle and bustle of a big city so that retirement feels more like a cultural expedition or an experience in nightlife, or crave the activity that reminds them they’re still a part of it all. Maybe they’re at the beginning of a career, seeking the broader opportunities that only a big city can provide. Or maybe they’re mid-career and considering a bigger move than just geography.
So we went back and took another look just at big cities, since they might offer opportunities among those other intangibles that can make or break a location for an individual or a family. While big cities weren’t growing as fast as their smaller counterparts, that doesn’t mean they’re going to crash and burn at the first sign of trouble.
To find the cities with the strongest local economic growth, WalletHub 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 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. Cities were considered large if they held more than 300,000 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 to see the 10 fastest-growing large cities, and do bear in mind that they don’t rank as highly as smaller cities in numerous categories.
— Related on ThinkAdvisor:
- 10 States With the Fastest Job Growth
- 25 Best Countries for Retirement Security: 2018
- 20 Worst US Cities for Retirement: 2018