These Are The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In America

By Chris Kolmar
Jul. 18, 2016

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Once upon a time (as in just a couple of weeks ago) we brought you a post about the fastest growing small cities. Yes, it truly was a simpler time then—the streets weren’t clogged with traffic, people still doffed their hats as you passed by, these communities had more familial vibes!

Okay, we may be exaggerating (a bit), but even though these small cities are rapidly growing, they’re still, well, small. Today, that’s not the case. We’re taking a look at the fastest growing cities with populations of 100K or more. Without further ado, here they are: the 10 fastest growing cities in America:

  1. Kent, Washington
  2. Frisco, Texas
  3. Lehigh Acres, Florida
  4. Enterprise, Nevada
  5. New Orleans, Louisiana
  6. McKinney, Texas
  7. Surprise, Arizona
  8. Irvine, California
  9. Round Rock, Texas
  10. Cary, North Carolina

Sure, these cities aren’t quite New Yorks, L.A.s, or Chicagos—but at the rates people are flooding in, who knows how long it’ll be?

Keep reading to find out just how we came up with this list, or hop to the end of the post to see how other cities in the country ranked.

How We Measured the Fastest Growing Cities in America

Coming up with this list was as easy as moving to Kent, Washington (along with everyone else and their dog.) We simply had to look at the growth rates for cities over the last five years, according to the American Community Survey, released by the census every year. Specifically:

  • Population in 2014
  • Population in 2010
  • Growth rate from 2010 to 2014 (The latest available data)

We ranked all 303 cities with populations of 100,000 or more from highest growth rate to lowest.

The city with the highest growth rate during this time was crowned the fastest growing in America. That’s you, Kent. (Congratulations…?)

And for those of you who are a little rusty with their statistics, you can calculate the growth rate with the following formula:

[Population 2014 – Population 2010] / [Population 2010]

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of our 10 winners (or depending on your opinion of traffic growth, perhaps losers.)

First up, Kent, Washington.

1. Kent, Washington

This city, about 20 miles from Seattle, may be a lot smaller than its neighbor (right now!), but in, oh, 20 years, it could rival Seattle’s size. I mean, in four years alone, it went from under 90,000 residents to early 123,000. That’s a 27 percent growth rate!

Maybe it’s all the corporations headquartered there?

2. Frisco, Texas

Frisco is a great option for those looking to live near Dallas, but not, you know, actually have to live in Dallas. And apparently, the word has spread quickly. From 2010 to 2014, the population grew a whopping 21 percent.

So, yes, traffic is getting a little worse. (Ask a resident and they’ll tell you it’s downright bad), but hey, at least it’s still one of the greener cities in the nation—named “Tree City USA.”

3. Lehigh Acres, Florida

Okay, sure, Lehigh Acres fell into some tough times recently with the housing market going belly up (it hit this community especially hard), but these days, the tides seem to be turning once again.

From 2010 to 2014, Lehigh Acres’ population jumped from 84,437 to 106,747. An increase of about 21 percent! Take that housing market!

4. Enterprise, Nevada

What better name for a city progressing so quickly? Not only has Enterprise grown in population (an increase of 20 percent in four years), but is booming in new businesses, restaurants, and housing. Bring on the people.

5. New Orleans, Louisiana

Over the years, New Orleans has gone through so many phases it’s hard to keep up. People want to live here, then they don’t; then they do—no wait, they don’t. (All the while, though, the city holds onto its roots, charm, and Cajun flavor. Don’t ever change, NOLA!)

These days, looks like living in NOLA is on the rise again. From 2010 to 2014, the population grew by 20 percent.

6. McKinney, Texas

Another great option if you want to live near, but not in, Dallas—McKinney. This bedroom community is becoming more of a master suite than a guest bedroom, though. In recent years, the population has gone from 118,652 to 144,066.

7. Surprise, Arizona

Surprise—this city made the list! Okay, no surprise, really, if you live in the community.

What’s with the 15 percent increase in population? Oh I don’t know, could be the giant Aquatics Center, one of the biggest and best libraries around, or maybe the affordable cost of living. Just guesses, though.

8. Irvine, California

This Orange County city is packed with corporations’ headquarters—especially in the technology world. Plus, it’s home to the University of California: Irvine, Concordia University, Irvine Valley College, and oh, about 50 other higher education institutions.

Hence the 13 percent increase in population.

9. Round Rock, Texas

People think Austin’s population is growing—and it is—but it’s nothing compared to that of neighboring little sister, Round Rock. (Though, the two are closely correlated—Austin is becoming so expensive to live, many people who want to live and work in Austin are deciding to move, instead, to nearby Round Rock and commute!)

From 2010 to 2014 alone, the population of Round Rock went from 93,092 to 106,972.

10. Cary, North Carolina

Source: Wikipedia

Last but certainly not least (sadly, the place with the least population growth was… Detroit) is Cary, North Carolina. This is certainly not the first accolade for this (used to be) small city. It is safe, it is friendly, and yes, it has some of the best barbecue your mouth will ever meet.

And whether you like it or not, it’s also changing pretty rapidly, as the population continues to grow. From 2010 to 2014 alone, it increased by about 13 percent.

Don’t Worry – You Can Always Move

If this list just reminds you of the increasing traffic, and all those “newbies” in town (probably from L.A., let’s be real), there’s a solution! Just scroll down to the bottom of the table below, find out which cities are not growing quickly, and pack your bags.

Otherwise, enjoy your quickly growing hometown! At least you’ll have more jobs on the horizon…?

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Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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