The Switch Blog

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By Switchplace • March 7, 2018

The Four Fastest Growing Cities You Didn't Know About

If you had to rattle them off, you probably know at least a few of the nation’s hot spots and fastest-growing metropolitan areas. These cities share a thriving economy with a culture or natural environment that’s attracting Millennials in droves - places like Austin, TX, Seattle, WA, Denver, CO, and Nashville, TN, among others.

You know them. You might have visited or lived in a few of them, too.

Likewise, there are plenty of cities that don’t get as much love but are still in the running for some of the fastest growing areas in the country. Some of them make sense, and some might make you wonder. For one reason or another, they’re booming.

In any case, here are four of the fastest growing cities (based on population, income growth, job growth and GDP growth) that might not pop into your mind right away according to WalletHub.

Midland, TX

Midland - yes, Midland - is among the nation’s fastest-growing places. With major cities like Austin and Seattle on the major city list, you wouldn’t expect West Texas to be such a hotbed for prosperity.

However, when you consider how many people flock to Midland and Odessa as a result of its stalwart energy-based economy (specifically oil and gas), a spike in both GDP and population starts to make sense. Many people will even book temporary housing as they work on on-site projects. It’s not uncommon for droves of oil workers to enter the city just to work for a few months.

Clearly, energy keeps the heart of West Texas going strong. Even while the industry faces harder times than usual, that hasn’t stopped the growth in Midland.

Fort Myers, FL

Miami and Orlando get their fair share of press about their popularity and growth, but Southwest Florida is seeing a massive population influx in its own right. In fact, the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area has a 3.1 percent growth rate and added 22,051 people between July 2015 and June 2016 and now boasts a population of 722,336.

That’s a remarkable change.

The beautiful weather and beaches might have something to do with the increased interest in the area. Residents also say the lack of a state income tax and a generally business-friendly mentality has helped bring more people to the area.

There’s still that small-town charm that hasn’t left just yet, which makes it all the more attractive.

Bend, OR

Located right along the Deschutes River, Bend is a gorgeous town with plenty of outdoor activities, like hiking and skiing, right at hand. The city is also the home of the famous Deschutes brewery, an institution with a national footprint.

People are getting the memo, too.

Though not as famous as its peer Portland, Bend grew an incredible 4.9 percent from 2015 to 2016. The growth has since slowed but remains high and has dramatically driven up the prices of housing in the area. That shouldn’t discourage more people from moving, though. Bend is still very much on people’s radar.

Meridian, ID

While the South (Texas, especially) holds most of the fastest growing cities with populations greater than 50,000, Meridian, Idaho joins the list of the U.S.’s fastest-growing list. The town grew by 4.5 percent in 2016 alone.

No, people aren’t moving for the potatoes.

Like other towns, local residents are concerned that the crazy amounts of growth might take away the endearing small-town feel. Cost of living, combined with a gorgeous natural landscape, is making Idaho, in general, a magnet for retirees. Though other cities in the state are seeing growth, none are experiencing it to the degree of Meridian.

Major City or Not, Temporary Housing Is Available

While temporary housing is readily available in large metropolitan areas, it can just as easily be booked for smaller cities and suburbs. Whether employees want to move to a specific area for their families or for a special project, the option is readily available through a temporary housing partner.

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