Top 10 fastest-growing US cities

Nell Walker
- Top 10 - Mar 31, 2017

Here are the top ten fastest-growing cities in America, as ranked by Forbes’s 2015 growth rate measurements.

10. Cape Coral, Florida (growth rate: 2.84 percent)

Cape Coral, located in Lee County, Florida, was founded in 1957 and developed to be an entirely pre-planned community. At 120 square miles in size, the beautiful city sits on the Gulf of Mexico and is known as a ‘Waterfront Wonderland’, boasting more canals than any other city. It is dotted with numerous parks and golf courses, making it a desirable location both for children and the elderly.

9. Raleigh, North Carolina (growth rate: 2.28 percent)

Raleigh is the capital city of North Carolina, founded in 1792 and spanning 142.8 square miles. It is an early example of a ‘planned city’, once laid out in a grid which featured an entire section dedicated to further education and science. Now, it is known for its diverse culture, safety, and a rich seam of academic options.

8. San Jose, California (growth rate: 1.27 percent)

Founded in 1777, San Jose spent 150 years as a quiet farming community run by Spanish settlers, until a rapid surge in population began to fill its 179.9 square miles. It moved swiftly away from its agricultural beginnings and became the ‘Capital of Silicon Valley’, with a heavy focus on technological innovation and R&D. It is known for its high cost of living and booming industry.

7. Orlando, Florida (growth rate: 2.31 percent)

Orlando was incorporated as a town in 1875, and is one of America’s most popular tourist destinations. It covers 110.7 square miles of land, and maintains a worldwide reputation as the theme park capital of the world, containing Universal Orlando Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld, and Busch Gardens Tampa. It also ranks as the fourth most popular American city based on where people want to live, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center survey.

6. Ogden, Utah (growth rate: 1.64 percent)

A major railway hub throughout its lifetime, this small city – just 26.6 square miles – came into being in 1851. In 2010, Forbes named the Ogden-Clearfield MSA the sixth best place to raise a family, and Ogden itself boasts both a high number of well-preserved historical buildings and close proximity to the Great Salt Lake.

5. Salt Lake City, Utah (growth rate: 1.05 percent)

The capital of Utah, Salt Lake City covers 110.4 square miles of land around 19 miles away from the Great Salt Lake. Founded in 1847, it was historically viewed as a holy city, with one of its Mormon founders, Brigham Young, calling it a ‘Kingdom of Heaven on Earth’. Now, it has a reputation for being popular destination for outdoor recreation activities such as skiing. It is also the industrial banking capital of America.

4. Seattle, Washington (growth rate: 1.68 percent)

As the largest city in the Pacific Northwest area of the US, Seattle stretches 142.5 square miles of seaside land. Incorporate in 1869, it was a hub of logging and commercial shipbuilding, before technology companies moved to the city causing Seattle develop and expand at an astonishing rate. Seattle is also well-known for launching the careers of many musicians via the jazz scene, and is considered the home of grunge.

3. Dallas, Texas (growth rate: 2.16 percent)

One of the highest-ranked cities in Texas, Dallas began as an important player in the oil and cotton industries in 1856. Covering 385.8 square miles of land, the city Dallas also houses the third-highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in America, and is popular for its architecture, culture, Arts District, and distinctive Tex-Mex cuisine. The city has hosted the Texas State Fair since 1996 which injects $350 million into the Dallas economy every year.

2. San Francisco, California (growth rate: 1.24 percent)

San Francisco, the only consolidated city-county in California, is the state’s capital for finance, culture, and commercialism. Having first been discovered in 1776, over 80 percent of the city was destroyed in 1906, but was quickly rebuilt to become a liberal haven for the Sexual Revolution, gay rights, and the Peace Movement, and as such became synonymous with activism. Many big business HQs are based in San Francisco, and it consistently ranks highly on global livability ratings.

1. Austin, Texas (growth rate: 3.15 percent)

The capital of Texas, Austin is the fastest-growing city in the entire United States. Settlers established the city in 1835, and it now covers 271.8 square miles. Austin boasts many lakes and rivers alongside a great deal of technological companies which provide good jobs for graduates of the University of Texas. Austin also has a booming nightlife and is well-known for its diverse levels of culture and eccentricity; ‘Keep Austin Weird’ has been a motto of locals for many years. The city focusses heavily on music, hosting the SXSW festival each year, plus film festivals (the local area has also acted as a filming location for numerous movies), and a rich seam of theaters, parks, and locally-cherished events

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