Apartment Tips

The 10 Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities This Year

February 11, 2020

While New York City and Los Angeles may be the most populated cities in America, many others are surpassing them in growth rate. Many of these growing areas offer unique opportunities, jobs and housing for those who choose to live there. In fact, the fastest growing U.S. cities are located in the South and Southwest.

Below, we’ve shared 10 of these metro areas based on 2019 data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. While some of these metropolises are managing the influx of residents well, others are struggling to develop quickly enough to provide adequate housing and services. How well they handle expansion now will determine future developments through 2020 and the decade to come.

Jump to see the fastest-growing cities:

  1. Phoenix, Arizona
  2. San Antonio, Texas
  3. Fort Worth, Texas
  4. Seattle, Washington
  5. Charlotte, North Carolina
  6. Austin, Texas
  7. Jacksonville, Florida
  8. San Diego, California
  9. Denver, Colorado
  10. Frisco, Texas

1. Phoenix, AZ

At the top of the list is Pheonix, a bustling city of more than 4 million residents that’s part of the fastest growing metro area in the country. Experts predict that, by 2030, the population will skyrocket to 6.3 million.

The number of goods and services produced in Phoenix continues to grow larger than that of many countries, reaching $187.4 billion in 2008. Many local sectors also thrive, including manufacturing, financial, information technology, healthcare and more.

2. San Antonio, TX

Texas has also undergone a fair amount of growth. In 2018, San Antonio closed out the year with a 20,824 person increase in population. This influx has presented the city with a few challenges regarding providing adequate infrastructure and schools to the growing community.

As house prices remain a large part of residents’ expenses, you may see a plateau in growth or a decrease in the coming years if the area cannot provide adequate, affordable housing.

3. Fort Worth, TX

Coming in at a close third place for fastest growing U.S. cities is Fort Worth, Texas. At a growth rate of 12%, this city is growing even faster than Dallas, adding roughly 20,000 people to the area in 2018. Many of these people moved into walkable neighborhoods in the warehouse district and downtown area.

This growth has led the city to focus on developing colleges, turning the city into a hub for healthcare, energy and more. They also seek to provide housing and services to new residents.

4. Seattle, WA

While the majority of U.S. population growth is occurring in the southern and western areas of the country, Seattle is the odd one out. This booming city nestled in the northwest corner of America added more than 15,000 people to its population in 2018, thereby creating a community of nearly 745,000 people.

This increase may be due in part to the thousands of new jobs and growing office space in the metro area. However, housing prices are on the rise so that growth may slow in the coming years.

5. Charlotte, NC

Moving back down to the southern region of the U.S., North Carolina has also seen some significant growth in the city of Charlotte. In 2018, more than 13,000 people sought to call this city their home, resulting in a total population of roughly 873,000 people.

Nevertheless, this increase is the smallest number of residents the city has added in at least a decade, possibly signaling a plateau.

6. Austin, TX

Once again, Texas makes the top eight with another booming city — Austin, which added 12,504 to their total population in 2018. The primary reasons for this growth are the city’s affordability and the tech boom of the early 2000s. This era provided many jobs, cheap housing and a laid back lifestyle that many still find incredibly appealing.

However, just like elsewhere in the U.S., housing prices are beginning to increase, making some think twice about moving to Austin.

7. Jacksonville, FL

Warm and balmy, Jacksonville saw the largest population increase in the entire state of Florida in 2018. This growth included more than 12,000 people, which is driving housing development in and around the city.

Last month, Jacksonville was ranked one of the top 10 cities to watch for homebuilding, and most of this development will take place in neighborhoods and suburbs.

8. San Diego, CA

In the southwesternmost part of America, San Diego takes eighth place among the fastest growing U.S. cities, adding 11,549 people to the population in 2018. This growth has made it one of the most populous cities in the U.S., with a total of nearly 1,500,000 people.

While warm weather and beaches may be part of the attraction, many people come for the growing economy. In 2018, the city had nearly 4,000 businesses and 120 tech and innovation startups downtown.

9. Denver, CO

Unsurprisingly, Denver, Colorado is booming with activity. The city grew by 11,053 residents in just one year between 2017 and 2018, which inches its total population closer to 1 million.

Fortunately for Colorado enthusiasts, Denver’s status as one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. hasn’t made it completely inaccessible. The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Denver sits at $1,654, a steep price compared to smaller markets across the country. However, this is still more affordable than a similar apartment in major metro areas such as Chicago, LA and Washington, D.C.

williamedia [CC BY]

10. Frisco, TX

Frisco rounds out the top 10 with Texas’ fourth entry. This Dallas suburb may not have the name recognition of its neighbor, but it’s not shocking that MONEY listed the city as the number one best place to live in 2018. The high standards for education, industry growth and sense of community help make this city an attractive destination.

Frisco added 10,884 residents between 2017 and 2018, bringing its total population up to 188,170. That’s impressive growth for a city that’s dwarfed by many of the bigger players on this list.


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Southern Regions Lead in Growth Rates

Overwhelmingly, the south is leading the nation in population growth rates. Between 2018 and 2019, this region’s population increased by more than one million residents. We’re likely to see a similar trend going forward as more people migrate south for warm weather, job opportunities and, in some places, affordable housing.

In the same period, the west has also shown a population increase of more than 500,000 people. Although a far cry from the south’s massive influx, this region is still ahead of others in terms of growth. As long as the south and west remain affordable and ripe with opportunity, people will continue migrating to those areas.

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