Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Ten Fastest Growing Cities Might Surprise You

Lists are always interesting and two of my favorite areas are the growth or decline of cities. I love to know which ones are going which direction and why. CNNMoney has recently listed the ten fastest growing cities. Not surprisingly, the Sun Belt dominated the list. People are going to the places that create jobs and economic opportunity, most of those places are in the South.

That doesn't mean there wasn't surprises. I was shocked by how few of the names I was familiar. Most of these cities are smaller, but they usually are very near large cities and they are all growing very rapidly.

1) New Orleans. One of the few cities I am familiar with is also the fastest growing. This is no mystery. Short of Hollywood, there is no other city more loved by the celebrity set and it has gotten enormous attention since it became a ghost town after Katrina. It is some what easy to be one of the fastest growing when you start with almost zero. It had a 13.8 percent increase in population in the last year.

2) Victorville, CA. Less than two hours from Los Angeles, this heavily Republican area has grown over 80 percent in the last decade. A favorite for movie production and growing in popularity because of the high cost of living in LA. It has experienced a 9.5 percent increase in the last year.

3) McKinney, TX. This Dallas suburb has enjoyed an 8 percent increase in the last year and is one of three Texas cities on the list. This is no surprise since Texas has been a bastion of economic growth and is a beacon to the rest of the country.

4) N. Las Vegas, NV. In spite stories that the West's city that never sleeps recent decline, North Las Vegas has exploded with a 7.4 percent increase in the last year.

5) Cary, NC. This Raleigh suburb that is in the heart of the deep South has seen a 7.3 percent annual increase.

6) Killeen, TX. The second of three Texas cities is little more than an hour from Austin, but otherwise is in the middle of no where. It has grown 6.5 percent.

7) Port St. Lucie, FL. In beautiful Southern Florida and off the Atlantic coast, Port St. Lucie has enjoyed a 6.3 percent growth.

8) Gilbert, AZ. I have a friend who lives in this growing suburb of Phoenix and he loves it. It has enjoyed a 5.8 percent increase.

9) Clarksville, TN. Just an hour Northwest of Nashville, Clarksville has been another beneficiary of southern prosperity. It has seen a 4.8 percent increase in growth.

10) Denton, TX. This Dallas suburb is the third and final Texas city and rounds off the list with a 4.7 percent increase in population growth.

The common characteristics of these cities is that they are all in the South and West and they are all in states with generally pro-growth economic policies. Also, with very rare exception, they are all heavily Republican (by the way, the cities that have lost the most residents are dominated by Democrats, but we will cover that on a future post).

People continually vote with their feet. Bad policies and bad politics simply drive people to places that are better.

According to recent surveys on marketing, most advertising attracts sellers (others who want you to buy more ads) and not buyers. Do you want to know why? Email info@HoustonBusinessShow.com and put "marketing audio" in the subject line and we will get it to you.

Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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