Fort Myers, Florida
Located near the southern end of Florida’s Gulf Coast, Fort Myers is attracting new residents in huge numbers. It was ranked as the fastest-growing city in America in a detailed study done by WalletHub that broke down trends including population and economic growth from 2010-2019. Since it has fewer than 100,000 residents, Fort Myers is classified as a “small” city but its population jumped nearly 32% in the past decade, according to Stacker, going from about 62,000 to about 82,000 residents in that time.
Not only do the temperatures of this idyllic town rarely get below the mid-50s, WalletHub also ranked it No. 1 for jobs, income growth and poverty rate decrease.
On the opposite end of the U.S. is Bend, Oregon, which is similar in size to Fort Myers and has seen a similar boom in population in the past decade. This city of just under 100,000 residents is located on the banks of the Deschutes River, more inland than Oregon’s biggest cities, surrounded by the kind of natural beauty anyone would expect from that state. The population of Bend grew by 31% from 2010-2020, according to Yahoo, and it was ranked second overall in WalletHub’s study of fast-growing cities. Bend is the perfect kind of landing spot for someone who wants the convenience of city life but the beauty and pace of a rural town.
In its 2020 ranking of the best places to live in America, Money magazine ranked Meridian at No. 3. This once-tiny Boise suburb (population of less than 10,000 in 1990) is now home to more than 106,000 people, giving it a 10-fold expansion in 30 years. Beautiful parks, family-friendly attractions and an explosion of available housing have made it a desirable place for relocators to consider.
If you travel just south of Las Vegas, you’ll hit the neighboring city of Enterprise, which has become a major population center in the past decade. This desert town saw its number of residents grow by nearly 60% from 2010-2019, according to Stacker, making it America’s second fastest-growing city of that period. Like Meridian, Idaho, Enterprise was a small town of fewer than 15,000 residents at the turn of the millennium, showing its growth has been fast and steady. Great weather, affordable homes and the proximity to one of the world’s most exciting entertainment destinations have made this city a magnet.
Look at any list of booming American cities and you’ll see Frisco near the top. While the entire state of Texas is seeing its population explode, this city, located just north of Dallas, has seen the most dramatic growth. From 2010-2020, its population grew by an insane 71.1%, which made it the fastest-growing city in America during that span, according to the financial news site Insider Monkey. WalletHub also scored it at the top of the nation for population growth and job growth for the last decade. It’s not tough to see why the Dallas Cowboys make their headquarters in this exciting midsize town.
Round Rock, Texas
Located about three hours south of Frisco, near the boomtown of Austin, Round Rock is another Texas suburb that is attracting tons of new residents. Sweltering temperatures, which float around the 100s in the summer and rarely dip below the 60s in the winter, haven’t impeded the city’s growth, which saw an increase of more than 33% in the past decade, according to Yahoo. Round Rock is home to Dell’s international headquarters, making this a go-to destination for college graduates looking for a job in the tech sector.
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Not many of America’s fastest-growing cities are located along the Atlantic Coast but Mount Pleasant is an exception. This affluent Charleston suburb has a median household income of $97,176, which is nearly twice the median household income for the state of South Carolina. People are practically fighting to move there, as the population has ballooned from less than 47,000 in 2000 to about 90,000 in 2019. WalletHub dubbed it one of the 10 fastest-growing cities in the nation for the past decade and one of the top five in the class of small cities.
South Jordan, Utah
No state saw its population grow by a higher percentage in the past decade than Utah and South Jordan has been expanding right along with it. This suburb of Salt Lake City is loaded with the kind of awe-inspiring natural beauty that has brought so many new residents flocking to the Western state. Between the various mountain ranges and the Jordan River, South Jordan is a dream for city dwellers who would rather see sky than skyscrapers when they look out their window. Insider Monkey named it the fifth fastest-growing city in America for 2010-2019 and the U.S. Census Bureau named it one of the nation’s 15 fastest growers from 2017-18.
Sugar Land, Texas
Named for its rich history in the production of sugar, this Houston suburb has proven too sweet for movers to ignore in recent years. Sugar Land was tied as the top city in America for population growth and job growth in WalletHub’s study of the nation’s cities from 2010-2019. Stacker reported that its size grew by more than 49% in that span, as it crossed the threshold from small to midsize city. However, if you want to settle in this booming town it’ll cost you, as the median household income is more than twice the state’s average, at $122,000.
Drive around the outskirts of the West Texas town of Midland and you’ll see iconic oil drilling rigs dotting the plains. The site of former President George W. Bush’s modest childhood home, Midland is a great example of a big city that feels small. It went from less than 100,000 residents in 2000 to more than 142,000 in 2019, making it one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities of this millennium. That’s all impressive considering it’s a couple of hours in any direction from a major metro area.
Located in California’s idyllic Orange County, Irvine is one of only two cities in that state to crack our list. It ranked inside the top 20 fastest-growing cities for the past decade in lists at WalletHub, Stacker and Yahoo, cracking the top 10 at the latter site. Yahoo’s list reported that Irvine’s population had grown by more than 35% from 2010-2019, as it now closes in on 300,000 residents. People who want to be in their own big city but still just a short drive from Los Angeles are flocking to Irvine in droves.
Given the coast-centric locations featured on this list, it might surprise you that a city located smack in the center of Tennessee would be attracting so many new residents. Murfreesboro has seen its population grow by more than 34% since 2010, ballooning to about 150,000 people today. WalletHub had the city tied atop its list of top American cities for job growth in the past decade, which has been a major reason for its explosion in popularity. Murfreesboro has its own burgeoning arts scene but is also less than an hour from Nashville and a stone’s throw from the grounds of the annual Bonnaroo Music Festival.
College Station, Texas
Best known as the home of Texas A&M University, College Station is quickly becoming one of the most attractive cities to the many people who are migrating to the Lone Star State. According to Stacker, the city in east Texas saw its population grow by more than 23% in the past decade, crossing from a small city to a midsize one of more than 110,000 residents in that span. College Station’s gross domestic product growth, low unemployment and housing growth have contributed to its new reputation as a boomtown.
Lehigh Acres, Florida
We already talked about the impressive growth of Fort Myers in the past decade but the neighboring city of Lehigh Acres has also been booming. This once-small town of about 33,000 residents in 2000 now has about 120,000 residents and is adding more all the time. Stacker called this Gulf Coast town the third fastest-growing city in America in the past decade in its recent study, estimating that its population had grown by more than 53% in that time alone. With a median household income of less than $47,000, Lehigh Acres is also one of the more affordable landing spots on this list.