Texas dominates cities with most growth
Magnify Money, a consumer finance website, released a new study this week that found Texas dominated the list of U.S. “boomtowns” and Austin scored the top spot.Austin has not managed its growth very well. It needs to build more houses to keep prices in line with other Texas cities and it desperately needs to do something about its traffic situation and downtown parking. The Houston and Dallas metros have been much better at managing their growth.
“Americans are flocking to and prospering in Texas,” wrote Kali McFadden, a Magnify Money senior analyst. She said Lone Star State metros represented one-third of the top 15 spots on their rankings. Five of the six Texas cities on the list placed in the top 11.
“We wanted to find out where Americans are gathering now to take advantage of growing prosperity and improved lifestyles to achieve the American dream,” said McFadden.
Magnify Money researchers examined the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) over the five year period from 2011 to 2016 using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and County Business Patterns. Researchers focused on business growth, population and housing, and workforce and earnings. Boomtowns saw the biggest influx of people, work opportunities, and business growth.
“Austin jumps way out ahead of all the metros we reviewed, showing the greatest five year growth in population and housing,” said McFadden. The Texas capital earned a perfect population and housing score of 100. It added people and had jobs for them. The Austin metro area experienced a 23 percent drop in unemployment. The median wage increased by nearly nine percent. The number of businesses operating in Austin rose by 21 percent and new hires soared by 24 percent. Analysts identified one shortcoming — 10 percent housing unit growth lagged next to the almost 16 percent population boom.