The metro areas on Forbes’ 2016 Fastest Growing Cities in the U.S. are diverse in landscape, climate, cultural experiences, and inhabitants. With a powerful collision of fast-growing populations and economies ablaze, these cities offer plentiful job opportunities for creative and technical talent, varied housing and lifestyle options, low unemployment rates, and better-than-average median annual pay for college-educated workers. Here are the top 5 from Forbes’ 20 fastest growing cities in the U.S.
1. Austin, TX
- Projected 2016 population growth rate 1.56%
- Job growth rate 3.28%
Austin hits the top of Forbes’ 2016 Fastest Growing Cities in America list because of its flourishing technology, pharmaceutical and biotech industries, low cost of living, and distinction of music, outdoor spaces, and cultural amenities.
2. San Francisco, CA
- Projected 2016 population growth rate 0.77%
- Job growth rate 4.49%
With its median income level at $89,1003, San Francisco ranks second in the nation as one of the fastest growing cities. San Francisco’s job count is the second-fastest rate among the 100 largest metros. The metro area’s multifaceted character attracts a diversity of people, from entrepreneurs to students to retirees. With more people moving into San Francisco, metro area housing prices and rental rates have significantly increased the cost of living.
3. Dallas, TX
- Projected 2016 population growth rate 1.58%
- Job growth rate 3.86%
Between 2010 and 2015, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan statistical area (MSA) grew from 528,000 to about 7 million, a staggering population boom according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Corporations are moving in, lowering the unemployment rate, and fueling the demand for housing. The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area offers residents an eclectic mix of city entertainment and culture and quiet, suburban living.
4. Seattle, WA
- Projected 2016 population growth rate 1.34%
- Job growth rate 3.32%
Drawn to the natural beauty of Seattle’s landscape, surrounded by both mountains and water, residents flock to Seattle for tech jobs and outdoor lifestyles. That’s evident in Seattle’s population growth rate. Seattle grew by 2.3% between 2014 and 2015, making it the 4th among the 50 largest cities in the U.S., according to The Seattle Times. This population explosion has increased Seattle home values up 16.7% over the past year. As of August 1, 2016, the median home value in Seattle is $585,400, according to Zillow.
5. Salt Lake City, UT
- Projected 2016 population growth rate 1.40%
- Job growth rate 3.57%
With a competitive, loyal, creative, and technical work force, Salt Lake City is home to a sliver of Utah’s 4,300 tech companies, but those companies are part of an impressive economic growth rate for the city. In 2015 the economy in the Salt Lake City MSA grew 6.93%, the fourth-fastest rate among America’s 100 largest metro areas. Seattle has a median annual pay rate for college-educated workers in greater Salt Lake of $63,600, 36th in the nation.
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