NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Boomtown USA

July 13, 2011

To determine the next boomtowns in the United States, researchers started with job growth, not only looking at performance over the past decade but also focusing on growth in the past two years, to account for the possible long-term effects of the Great Recession.  Other considerations include rates of family formation (percentage growth in children age 5-17), growth in educated migration, population growth and, finally, a broad measurement of attractiveness to immigrants -- as places to settle, make money and start businesses, says Joel Kotkin, executive editor of

Many of the top performers are not surprising.  No. 1 Austin, Texas, and No. 2 Raleigh, N.C., have it all demographically: high rates of immigration and migration of educated workers and healthy increases in population and number of children.  They are also economic superstars, with job-creation records among the best in the nation.  Perhaps less expected is the No. 3 ranking for Nashville, Tenn.

  • Texas metropolitan areas feature prominently on the list of future boomtowns, including No. 4 San Antonio, No. 5 Houston and No. 7 Dallas, which over the past years boasted the biggest jump in new jobs, over 83,000.
  • Aided by relatively low housing prices and buoyant economies, these Lone Star cities have become major hubs for jobs and families.
  • With its strategically located airport, Dallas is emerging as the ideal place for corporate relocations.
  • And Houston, with its burgeoning port and dominance of the world energy business, seems destined to become ever more influential in the coming decade.
  • Both cities have emerged as major immigrant hubs, attracting on newcomers at a rate far higher than old immigrant hubs like Chicago, Boston and Seattle.

Source: Joel Kotkin, "The Next Boom Towns In The U.S.," New Geography, July 6, 2011.

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