Yet again, the Sunshine State takes the lion’s share of the fastest-growing cities in the US. In the latest Forbes listing, Florida metros make up 8 of the top 25 in 2018 and consistently show the highest figures for population growth, job creation and output. Orlando and Cape Coral feature in the top 10 with North Port-Sarasota, Jacksonville and Tampa also in the top rankings.
In association with Moody’s Analytics, Forbes produces an annual list of the fastest-growing cities in the US. Taking metrics for population growth, job creation, increases in wages and output, along with the changes in house prices, Forbes ranks the largest 100 metro areas in terms of their growth. And in 2018, it’s Florida yet again that dominates the list.
According to Forbes, the reason for the Florida domination is just one word: demographics. “As the US population ages, more people are moving to the state’s longstanding retiree havens,” says the Forbes report. Texas too ranks well – in second place with 5 cities in the top 25 – again, because of demographics.
Movers and shakers
Top of the list of the fastest-growing cities in the US this year comes a bit of an outsider: Boise City in Idaho ticks all the boxes for big growth in 2018. Just behind is Seattle, top of the listing for wage growth in 2017 and wealth based on house prices. And in third place sits Dallas, the first of the Texan quintet in the listing.
When it comes to jobs, however, it’s a Florida metro that posts the highest figures. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton in Southwest Florida registered 3.99% employment growth in 2017, the highest in the country and well over double the national rate of 1.58%. Forecast job creation in Sarasota for this year is slightly lower (2.64%), but still within the top ten nationwide.
Top cities in Florida
Orlando, the top Florida city for growth this year, lies in fourth place in the national ranking. Highlights for the theme park city included the fifth highest population growth in 2017 (2.41%, over triple the national rate) and the third highest employment growth in the country. This year, Orlando is expected to be second fastest-growing city for population and for output when the city is forecast to rank 2nd in the country with a 6.4% growth rate. Wage growth is predicted to be the third highest in the country.
Slightly further down the list of the fastest-growing cities in the US sits North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, a metro area showing impressive growth statistics all round in 2017 with a similar performance expected in 2018. As well as earning the accolade as the biggest employment creator in the country last year, Sarasota also ranked high for population growth (10th position) and is expected to move up to ninth position with a 2.29% increase in inhabitants this year.
Jacksonville, a metro area hard-hit by the economic crisis, shows every sign of having bounced back. In terms of the fastest-growing cities in the US, it ranks in 16th place overall with strong population and job growth in 2017. This year looks promising on the economic front: Jacksonville is forecast to register the highest wage growth in the country with an expected rise of 7.81% in salaries. This should lead to the metro area registering the third highest growth overall this year.