There is a badge of merit for those metro areas having the greatest growth rates (both demographically as in population and economically) across the country. When It comes to population growth rates, bigger is better. Ditto the economy. What was hot last year, however, may not necessarily be so this year, and there may be an entire new slate in the coming year.
Each year, Forbes complies their annual list ranking the 100 largest MSAs (including suburbs surrounding these cities) and rank each based on six metrics — each weighted equally. Factors include:
- Estimated population growth for 2015
- Estimated population growth for 2016
- Year-over-year job growth for 2015
- Gross metro product growth for 2015 (like a local GDP)
- Unemployment rate per the Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Median annual pay for college-educated workers (data from Payscale.com)
So who topped Forbes’ list for 2016? These are listed in the following table. In additional to the 2015 population growth rates and 2016 economic growth rates detailed by the National Association of Realtors® in their summary of this article, also added are the latest 12-month job growth rates for each of these MSAs as of February 2016.
To read the entire report from Forbes click http://www.forbes.com/sites/erincarlyle/2016/03/08/americas-fastest-growing-cities-2016/
The National Association of Realtors had an article on this list with added details at http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2016/03/21/cities-watch-2016s-fastest-growing-places
What I like about this study is that it is not just population-growth based. Just because a population is growing does not necessarily also equate to a growing economy. Thus effective demand and not just potential economic activity are included in the selection process.
Also note that all but one of these markets, Salt Lake City, had a minimum 3 percent jobs growth rate in the latest 12 months, with Ogden-Clearfield, Utah greater than 5 percent. Impressive.