10. Irvine, California (midsize).
With a total score of 70.3, 10th-place Irvine achieved a sociodemographic rank of 5 and a jobs & economy rank of 144. Among midsize cities alone, it finished in seventh place.
9. Enterprise, Nevada (midsize).
With a total score of 70.87, Enterprise — which finished in sixth place among midsize cities — came up with a rank of 3 for sociodemographic rank, but a far lower 298 for jobs & economy. It’s also tied for highest growth rate among midsize cities with five other cities.
8. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (small).
While in eighth place overall among all cities, Mount Pleasant actually finished third among small cities, with a total score of 70.87, a sociodemographics rank of 6 and a jobs & economy rank of 106.
7. Lehigh Acres, Florida (midsize).
Lehigh Acres is seventh overall, but among midsize cities it comes in at fifth place. Its total score is 71, while its socioeconomic rank is 8 and jobs & economy rank a considerably lower 126.
6. College Station, Texas (midsize).
College Station has a total score of 71.17, a sociodemographics rank of 10 and a jobs & economy rank of 33. It’s also ranked fourth among midsize cities.
5. McKinney, Texas (midsize).
McKinney, which actually finished in third place among midsize cities, brings a total score of 71.4, a socioeconomics rank of 4 and a jobs & economy rank of 112. It also has the third highest growth rate among midsize cities and is tied for highest population growth and for highest job growth, in each case with five other cities.
4. Bend, Oregon (small).
Bend holds its own not only overall, with a score of 72.45, but also among small cities, where it finished in second place. It has a sociodemographics rank of 17 and a jobs & economy rank of 2.
3. Pearland, Texas (midsize).
Pearland took second place among midsize cities, with a total score of 72.68, a sociodemographics rank right at the top and a jobs & economy rank of 240. It is tied with five other cities for the highest population growth.
2. Midland, Texas (midsize).
Midland’s second-place finish overall comes with a first-place finish among midsize cities. It has an overall score of 73.55, an 11th-place position for sociodemographics rank and a jobs & economy rank of seventh place.
1. Fort Myers, Florida (small).
At the top of the heap overall is little Fort Myers, with an overall score of 76.57, a sociodemographics rank of 2 and a jobs & economy rank of 18. It has the highest growth rate among small cities and is tied for first place, with five other cities, for highest job growth and for biggest drop in poverty rate.
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.