The U.S. cities on this hottest-places-to-move list are hardly household names. In fact, unless you live nearby, you may never have heard of several.
On Thursday, the Census Bureau released its list of the most rapidly growing cities in America from 2014 to 2015 — and Texas cities dominated the list. Of the 11 fastest-growing cities in America with populations of at least 50,000, five were in the Lone Star State. (Incidentally, five of the eight cities that added the most people in sheer numbers were also in Texas: Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin.)
Topping the list of fastest-growing cities is Georgetown, Texas, a city of roughly 63,000 residents — up 7.8% from a year prior — that’s about 35 minutes from Austin and is known for its Victorian architecture. No. 2 on the list is historic New Braunfels, Texas, near San Antonio, which saw its population jump 6.6% to more than 70,500 residents.
It’s not just that people are moving from one Texas city to another; rather, they’re moving from other states to Texas. Last year, nearly half a million people moved to Texas, according to Census Bureau data released in March. What’s more, the four largest metro areas in the state — Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio — “together added more people last year than any state in the country except for Texas as a whole,” the Census Bureau notes.
Among the reasons that Texas is such a popular relocation destination is that it has myriad affordable housing and living options and good jobs, says Joel Kotkin, author of “The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us” and the executive director of the Houston-based think tank Center for Opportunity Urbanism. “Middle-wage employees can live a middle-class life here,” he says. (Of course, Texas has its downsides, too, including hot weather — temperatures frequently hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit in summer — and in many of the larger cities, including Houston and Dallas, tons of automobile traffic.)
Some non-Texas cities that were among the fastest-growing include Ankeny, Iowa (its population jumped 6.5%), near Des Moines, and South Jordan, Utah (up 6%), near Salt Lake City. Ankeny was the only city among the 15 fastest-growing cities that was not in the South or West — both regions that tend to attract people for climate and cost-of-living reasons.