These Are The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In The US For 2018


We looked at the most recent Census data and compared it to the 2010 to determine the fastest growing big cities in the US.

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One could argue home prices are the best single metric for determining how great a place is — that whole supply and demand thing.

But, just like happiness, money can’t tell you everything about how great a place is. Instead, look at cities with people kicking down doors to get a chance to live there.

We are, of course, talking about the fastest growing cities in America. These hot pockets of demand that you better snatch up while still possible.

For reference, America’s annual population growth rate during this time period was .75% good for 4.5% overall, so anything over that grew really fast.

Looking at the most recently available Census data, here are the fastest growing big cities in America for 2018:

  1. Frisco, TX (Photos)
  2. Kent, WA (Photos)
  3. McKinney, TX (Photos)
  4. New Orleans, LA (Photos)
  5. Pearland, TX (Photos)
  6. Irvine, CA (Photos)
  7. Surprise, AZ (Photos)
  8. Cary, NC (Photos)
  9. Round Rock, TX (Photos)
  10. Midland, TX (Photos)

Well, I’ll be damned, look at that — Frisco is the fastest growing large city in America. It just so happens to be the richest city in America too.

In fact, it seems like people have been listening to our rankings as many of the best places in each state are in the top ten here.

So maybe that whole price of houses thing might eventually correlate with city growth as it seems to have done in Frisco. Guess I should have moved there instead of Durham 5 years ago.

To see exactly how we calculated these rankings, read on. Or if you’re not looking to move where all the cool kids are going, check out:

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How We Determined The Fastest Growing Cities in The US

Fastest Growing Cities Graph

Click to enlarge

There are a couple of ways to measure how fast a city is growing:

  1. % Change Year Over Year
  2. % Change This Decade
  3. Absolute change in population

We went with open two for this analysis — how much have these cities grown since 2010 through the end of 2016 (The most recently available data from the American Community Survey).

We also limited the analysis to the 295 cities in America over 100,000 people — you know, because cities are big.

We looked at the percentage change in the population from 2010 until 2016 for each city using the classic formula:

((B – A) / A) * 100

We then ranked each city from largest change to smallest change. Frisco, the fastest growing city, had a 41.2% increase in population. Detroit actually had a population loss of 41.187%, good for the worst in America. I guess it just didn’t want to break double digits.

Here’s a look at the top ten fastest growing major cities in America for 2018.

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1. Frisco, TX

Frisco, TX

Population 2016: 145,646
Population 2010: 103,158
Absolute Change: 42,488
Percent Change: 41.2%
More on Frisco: PhotosRankings | Data

Proving the basic concepts of economics, Frisco shows that the fastest growing city in the US costs a bunch to live in also — it’s the richest city in the country according to our data.

In terms of population growth, 41% growth in a 6 year period comes out to a 5.89% compound annual growth rate. That’s about 8x faster than the US as a whole.

2. Kent, WA

Kent, WA

Source: Public domain

Population 2016: 125,492
Population 2010: 89,446
Absolute Change: 36,046
Percent Change: 40.3%
More on Kent: PhotosRankings | Data

Well, I’ve never heard of Kent until now, but apparently it’s a happening place on the west coast. With a popoulation increase of over 40%, it has to be pretty sweet.

That growth puts it at about 8x the US average too.

3. Mckinney, TX

Mckinney, TX

Source: Public domain

Population 2016: 156,821
Population 2010: 118,652
Absolute Change: 38,169
Percent Change: 32.2%
More on Mckinney: PhotosRankings | Data

There’s a pretty big drop between the 2nd and 3rd fastest growing cities as McKinney has ‘only’ had a 32% growth. That’s still good for 6.5x the American average.

4. New Orleans, LA

New Orleans, LA

Population 2016: 382,922
Population 2010: 295,285
Absolute Change: 87,637
Percent Change: 29.7%
More on New Orleans: PhotosRankings | Data

New Orleans is the largest city in the top ten by a wide margin.

Good food, jobs, and awesome things to do make New Orleans a great place to call home as its growth rate will attest.

5. Pearland, TX

Pearland, TX

Population 2016: 106,238
Population 2010: 82,748
Absolute Change: 23,490
Percent Change: 28.4%
More on Pearland: PhotosRankings | Data

It’s at this point that you’ll begin to realize that Texas dominates the top ten. Pearland ranks as the fifth fastest growing large city in America and is the smallest in the top ten.

In fact, Pearland wouldn’t have even had enough people to qualify for the 100,000 person threshold in 2010 — it broke that mark for the first time in 2015.

6. Irvine, CA

Irvine, CA

Source: Public domain

Population 2016: 246,992
Population 2010: 199,117
Absolute Change: 47,875
Percent Change: 24.0%
More on Irvine: PhotosRankings | Data

California makes an appearance for the first time with Irvine coming in at the 6th spot.

I would have expected more California cities on the list, but I guess population growth in earlier in the 2000s set the bar too high. Irvine added almost 48k people in this frame.

7. Surprise, AZ

Surprise, AZ

Population 2016: 127,492
Population 2010: 103,767
Absolute Change: 23,725
Percent Change: 22.9%
More on Surprise: PhotosRankings | Data

In a surprise to no living in Surprise, Surprise, AZ ranks as the 7th fastest growing city in America for 2018.

23% population growth is unsurprsing for one of Arizona’s up and coming cities.

8. Cary, NC

Cary, NC

Population 2016: 155,822
Population 2010: 127,587
Absolute Change: 28,235
Percent Change: 22.1%
More on Cary: PhotosRankings | Data

Apparently, if I had done my homework, I would have moved to Cary instead of Durham 5 years ago — it is showing up in basically every list we do this year.

Known in these parts as the Concentrated Area of Relocated Yankees, it had 22% growth over this stretch of time.

9. Round Rock, TX

Round Rock, TX

Population 2016: 112,767
Population 2010: 93,092
Absolute Change: 19,675
Percent Change: 21.1%
More on Round Rock: PhotosRankings | Data

Heading back to Texas, Round Rock rocks out in the ninth spot.

Along with Pearland, it only recently broke the 100k population threshold — 2012 to be exact.

10. Midland, TX

Midland, TX

Population 2016: 128,051
Population 2010: 107,559
Absolute Change: 20,492
Percent Change: 19.1%
More on Midland: PhotosRankings | Data

And concluding the top ten fastest growing cities in the US is Midland.

The first city with less than 20% growth, 19% is nothing to sneeze out.

There You Have It — The Fastest Growing Big Cities in America

After measuring the populations of every major city in America for both now and 2010, we are left with Frisco as the fastest growing city in the US.

My plan now? Go buy a home in a small city ranked like 20-30. I’m sure they are going to be getting much more popular in the years to come.

And for those playing at home, here’s a look at the slowest growing cities in America:

  1. Detroit
  2. Cleveland
  3. Toledo

For more reading, check out:

Fastest Growing Big Cities In The US For 2018

City Rank % Change Population Population 2010
Frisco, TX 1 41.2% 145,646 103,158
Kent, WA 2 40.3% 125,492 89,446
Mckinney, TX 3 32.2% 156,821 118,652
New Orleans, LA 4 29.7% 382,922 295,285
Pearland, TX 5 28.4% 106,238 82,748
Irvine, CA 6 24.0% 246,992 199,117
Surprise, AZ 7 22.9% 127,492 103,767
Cary, NC 8 22.1% 155,822 127,587
Round Rock, TX 9 21.1% 112,767 93,092
Midland, TX 10 19.1% 128,051 107,559
Murfreesboro, TN 11 18.9% 122,007 102,602
Austin, TX 12 18.8% 907,779 764,129
College Station, TX 13 18.2% 104,684 88,541
Miramar, FL 14 17.6% 133,741 113,707
Denton, TX 15 17.6% 128,421 109,192
Odessa, TX 16 17.0% 114,258 97,666
Gilbert, AZ 17 16.3% 226,832 195,046
Thornton, CO 18 16.1% 130,511 112,374
Clarksville, TN 19 16.0% 146,281 126,148
Elk Grove, CA 20 15.9% 163,634 141,200
Fort Worth, TX 21 15.7% 815,930 705,349
Killeen, TX 22 15.6% 138,745 120,052
Raleigh, NC 23 15.3% 441,326 382,729
Denver, CO 24 14.7% 663,303 578,087
Charlotte, NC 25 14.6% 808,834 705,896
Bellevue, WA 26 14.5% 136,718 119,454
Durham, NC 27 14.3% 251,761 220,324
Hillsboro, OR 28 14.0% 100,462 88,125
Temecula, CA 29 13.7% 108,965 95,829
Cape Coral, FL 30 13.5% 170,063 149,787
Murrieta, CA 31 13.5% 108,583 95,668
Chula Vista, CA 32 13.5% 260,598 229,614
Alexandria, VA 33 13.3% 151,473 133,647
Port St. Lucie, FL 34 13.3% 175,652 155,004
Fargo, ND 35 13.1% 115,950 102,527
North Las Vegas, NV 36 13.0% 230,436 203,951
Sioux Falls, SD 37 12.8% 167,884 148,848
Washington, DC 38 12.8% 659,009 584,400
Roseville, CA 39 12.7% 128,276 113,820
Orlando, FL 40 12.7% 263,306 233,707
Sandy Springs, GA 41 12.5% 102,212 90,826
West Jordan, UT 42 12.5% 110,928 98,622
Seattle, WA 43 12.4% 668,849 595,240
Carlsbad, CA 44 12.3% 112,008 99,753
North Charleston, SC 45 12.3% 106,113 94,524
Fort Collins, CO 46 12.3% 157,251 140,082
Victorville, CA 47 12.2% 121,320 108,088
Clovis, CA 48 12.0% 102,148 91,166
Columbia, MO 49 12.0% 117,165 104,620
Grand Prairie, TX 50 12.0% 185,631 165,776
Aurora, CO 51 11.8% 351,131 314,092
Charleston, SC 52 11.6% 129,888 116,347
San Antonio, TX 53 11.6% 1,439,358 1,290,196
Henderson, NV 54 11.5% 277,872 249,250
Laredo, TX 55 11.2% 251,671 226,229
Richardson, TX 56 11.1% 108,350 97,507
Colorado Springs, CO 57 11.1% 448,759 403,983
Bakersfield, CA 58 10.8% 367,555 331,868
Broken Arrow, OK 59 10.7% 104,869 94,755
Miami, FL 60 10.5% 432,622 391,458
Irving, TX 61 10.5% 232,013 210,025
Atlanta, GA 62 10.4% 456,378 413,462
Mcallen, TX 63 10.3% 138,475 125,590
Lewisville, TX 64 10.1% 102,327 92,939
Oklahoma City, OK 65 10.0% 620,015 563,571
Lubbock, TX 66 10.0% 244,507 222,272
Olathe, KS 67 9.9% 132,787 120,774
Norman, OK 68 9.9% 118,974 108,265
Carrollton, TX 69 9.8% 129,266 117,712
Sunnyvale, CA 70 9.6% 149,596 136,480
Nashville, TN 71 9.5% 643,771 587,790
Portland, OR 72 9.5% 620,589 566,686
Santa Maria, CA 73 9.5% 103,642 94,645
Boston, MA 74 9.2% 658,279 602,609
Las Cruces, NM 75 9.2% 101,459 92,897
Hayward, CA 76 9.2% 154,507 141,498
Santa Clara, CA 77 9.1% 122,725 112,466
San Jose, CA 78 9.1% 1,009,363 925,300
Antioch, CA 79 9.0% 108,675 99,717
Plano, TX 80 9.0% 279,088 256,099
Fremont, CA 81 8.9% 227,934 209,235
Omaha, NE 82 8.8% 443,072 407,334
Columbus, OH 83 8.6% 837,038 770,407
Boulder, CO 84 8.6% 105,420 97,050
Wilmington, NC 85 8.6% 113,724 104,730
Gresham, OR 86 8.5% 110,042 101,450
Tampa, FL 87 8.4% 361,477 333,327
Berkeley, CA 88 8.4% 118,585 109,408
Houston, TX 89 8.3% 2,240,582 2,068,026
Fontana, CA 90 8.3% 205,228 189,466
Arvada, CO 91 8.2% 113,532 104,885
Lexington, KY 92 8.2% 311,529 288,045
Pembroke Pines, FL 93 8.1% 164,753 152,366
High Point, NC 94 8.0% 108,982 100,903
Visalia, CA 95 7.9% 128,738 119,312
Lincoln, NE 96 7.9% 273,018 253,035
San Mateo, CA 97 7.9% 102,224 94,751
Centennial, CO 98 7.9% 107,862 99,999
El Paso, TX 99 7.8% 678,058 628,923
Moreno Valley, CA 100 7.8% 202,061 187,428

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