Occasionally readers send e-mails asking for my thoughts on which city they should move to during the recession and recovery era. This is a difficult question to answer — it depends on your age, stage in life, job skills, etc.
But, as a general rule, the economy will do better in faster growing cities. More people moving in means a greater demand for housing, household items, groceries and clothes as well as for schools, hospitals and other services.
The CSM has published a list of the fastest growing US cities in percentage terms:
- New Orleans
- Round Rock, TX (part of Austin Metro Area)
- Cary, NC (just west of Raleigh)
- Gilbert, AZ (Phoenix Suburb)
- McKinney, TX (north edge Dallas-FW Metro Area)
- Roseville, CA
- Irvine, CA
- Raleigh, NC
- Killeen, TX (near Austin)
- Fort Worth, TX
These cities grew the most during year one of the recession (2007 to 2008), in percentage terms. Many are smaller cities attached to larger metro areas — perhaps one of their strengths. They can offer some advantages of smaller city living, without the disadvantages of fewer employment opportunities. As the CSM article stressed:
But nearly all the chart-toppers share specific traits. Good public schools, partnerships between businesses and universities, entrepreneurship, low crime rates, and cultural outlets such as museums and minor-league ballparks…
In addition to these, a smaller urban area beside a large one offers infrastructure, educational institutions, and often a wide variety of employers from government to military to education to major corporations — and everything in between.
So, if you’re on the move, give some thought to the metro areas of Dallas-FW, Austin and Raleigh and see whether these cities or their suburbs and satellite cities might provide opportunity now and in the future.