10 Fastest Growing Cities

April 01, 2013 |

Raleigh skyline

When you retire or separate from the military, it may be time to settle down and buy a house if you haven’t already done so. Although the housing market crash of 2007 sent chaotic ripples into the world economy, there are plenty of cities that are rapidly expanding. Yahoo! Homes reports that despite predictions of a declining Sun Belt and a move towards crowded northern cities, the fastest growing cities are southern, low density, and boast some of the best housing prices to income ratios. If you’re trying to settle on a new place to live, these cities provide an excellent starting point.

1.Raleigh, North Carolina: Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina and has plenty to love. The climate is humid and the areas renowned oak trees are beautiful, but if the indoors are more your thing there are plenty of theaters, museums, and restaurants. Sports fans can scope out the Carolina Hurricanes as well as the Carolina RailHawks.

2012 population: 1,188,564
Growth since 2000: 47.8%
Growth since 2011: 2.2%
Average Home Selling Price 2012: $229,863

2. Austin, Texas: Hot and humid, Austin is not a place for lovers of cold weather. Its the capital of the Lone Star State and its citizens vow to “Keep Austin Weird” in resolve of their liberal and somewhat eclectic lifestyle. With a thriving music culture, the annual Austin Film Festival, and all the major attractions of a big city, the city of the Violet Crown may be just right for you.

2012 population: 1,834,303
Growth since 2000: 44.9%
Growth since 2011: 3.0%
Average Home Selling Price 2012:$215,000.

3. Las Vegas, Nevada: Despite its self-styled moniker “Entertainment Capital of the World” and party-hard reputation, Las Vegas has experienced an influx or retirees and new families. Aside from the glittering casinos, there are museums, universities, and annual events such as Helldorado Days.

2012 population: 2,000,759
Growth since 2000: 43.6%
Growth since 2011: 1.7%
Average Home Selling Price 2012: $108,204

4. Orlando, Florida: If you’re looking for family-friendly fun, Orlando is known as the “Theme Park Capital of the World.” Check out the Orlando Magic basketball team, or visit one of the many malls or conventions to suit your entertainment needs.

2012 population: 2,223,674
Growth since 2000: 34.2%
Growth since 2011: 2.2%
Average Home Selling Price 2012: $105,500

5. Charlotte, North Carolina: It’s the largest city in North Carolina and the locals are called Charlotteans, but that doesn’t mean they’re showy or pretentious. There are many corporations that place their headquarters in Charlotte including Coca-Cola Bottling, Extended Stay America, and Lending Tree.

2012 population: 2,296,569
Growth since 2000: 32.8%
Growth since 2011: 1.7%
Average Home Selling Price 2012: $169,483

 6. Riverside-San Berndardino, California: Living in Riverside is a great way to be near Los Angeles without being in Los Angeles, and there’a an excellent university in the area as well. It hosts many museums and annual festivities, and is situated next to the largest river in Southern California.

2012 population: 4,350,096
Growth since 2000: 32.7%
Growth since 2011: 1.1%
Average Home Selling Price 2012: $216,200

7. Phoenix, Arizona: Phoenix is not only the largest city in Arizona, but the largest capital city in the United Sates. The summers are hot and the winters are warm, and the surrounding land is mostly arid. Phoenix hosts museums, fine art centers, as well as several universities.

2012 population: 4.329,534
Growth since 2000: 32.1%
Growth since 2011: 1.8%
Average Home Selling Price 2012: $136,500

8. Houston, Texas: It’s the most populated city in the United States and is second only to New York in hosting Fortune 500 companies. Houston was ranked by Forbes as number one in paycheck worth in 2012, and there is a broad base of industry including energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and transportation.

2012 population: 6,177,035
Growth since 2000: 31.0%
Growth since 2011: 2.1%
Average Home Selling Price 2012: $80,000

9. San Antonio, Texas: With five military bases, San Antonio is a very military-friendly city. It’s home to multiple big league sports teams, five Fortune 500 companies, and multiple universities. There are plenty of attractions including the San Antonio river and, of course the Alamo.

2012 population: 2,234,003
Growth since 2000: 29.9%
Growth since 2011: 1.9%
Average Home Selling Price 2012: $76,000

10. Dallas-Fort Woth, Texas: The largest metropolitan area in the South, Dallas-Ft Worth is commonly considered the cultural and economic hub of northern Texas. It holds the tenth largest GMP in the world, and its economy is drive by a diversity of industries such as farming and defense manufacturing.

2012 population: 6,700,991
Growth since 2000: 27.9%
Growth since 2011: 2.0%
Average Home Selling Price 2012: $133,100

About Stephen Bajza


  1. Burner Vet says:

    Hmmm, San Antonio only has one big league team vice five. Go SPURS Go!!! :) But it is a great city for vets to live and it is indeed growing!!!

  2. Uncle Dodge says:

    How come this story does NOT reflect current US census data? http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/census-ch

    • You don't really believe any of this sweet sh*t put out by Yahew, do you?

      I'm more inclined to believe it's a deliberate misdirection; they're trying to keep the masses from stampeding their way to Wyoming and the Dakotas where big oil/gas = good paying jobs across a broad spectrum of occupations.

  3. ILiveLA says:

    Are you sure about San Bernardino? Didn't they declare bankruptcy recently?

    • laura says:

      I live here and there are NO JOBS. I have a BS in IT and cant get work. I think they need to do more research….. fastest way to loose everything maybe but not growth. I have family in Vegas and it is the same.

  4. taz says:

    What about Colorado Springs?

  5. Jim says:

    This writer failed to do his homework, gave us a misleading headline, and provides reams of support for Benjamin Disraelt's, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

    We don't get the timeframe covered, the size of the MSA to be part of this; really, too many flaws to list — but if you're looking for areas that have cratered and fallen on hard times, look no further than Las Vegas, Orlando, Riverside-San Bernardino to a great extent (among the hardest hit areas by the financial meltdown) and both Phoenix and Charlotte were also not spared. To quote Yahoo Homes is insanely unprofessional

  6. Joe Domingo says:

    Don’t even think about settling here!!! Visit for a weekend then GIT!! We got way too many northerners, Californies, and everyone between! Scat! You just don’t fit in! We like it green, you’d just pollute and overpopulate us, I’m speaking for all us Austinites…now GIT !

    • Rusty says:

      With a name like Domingo, no wonder you don’t want us there. Get over it. Knock this crap off and be a true American following a dream.

      • Joe Domingo says:

        Hey, with a name like “rusty” you sound like an ancient redneck old fart! I’m just saying growth should have it’s limits, more crime, more homeless, heavier traffic on ih35. Btw, I am a true American, I served military 7 years woosy!

    • Jim Caruso says:

      You sound like a huge tool. stay weird Austin dude

  7. Virginia says:

    Who wants to live w/ millions of people when you retire?
    I would like to find a small quiet place to relax and have fun!!
    A MN, living in MD, travel w/Mil time to settle

  8. sfc_greg says:

    Not convinced this information is accurate either. Also, quality of life in a couple of those cities is not good.

    Houston traffic is horrendous which in of itself is not a dis-qualifier but certainly a reason for hesitation Austin, grew faster than city planners had thought and the highways are way too close to major buildings and expansion will be a nightmare if it is not already.

    San Antonio, one of my favorite cities, and indeed a military friendly area is really suffering from Democratic anti-military mindsets. Ft.Sam Houston is growing but Brooke is gone. Lackland is smaller and Kelly lost much of its mission a few years ago. All that leads to a depressed financial situation there.

    So – no – I do not think this is a good article either.

    • Rusty says:

      Thanks for your service. Great points. Concur with your comments. I can speak for AZ in that housing prices are rising 17% The housing bubble is no longer a bubble.

  9. Lynn says:

    I moved to SA a few months ago from No. VA and regretting it. Although I was sick of the traffic around the DC Metro area where the jobs are, high cost of living, and cold winters; there was a lot to do and miss all the activities, events and friends I met over the few years I lived there. Although I prefer the weather, cost of living and less traffic in SA; the lack of jobs has been a major issue where everyone I spoke to when visiting last July told me the opposite and that was a factor in my decision. Although it was primarily to be closer to family (sister moved here early last year and both sons are stationed on the west coast); I should have kept my job in VA and waited until I scored a job in SA prior to relocating. Like they say—Lesson learned.

    • Jesse says:

      Let's give SA Texas credit people are much nicer then in many other large location. It just happen that you came at a wrong time and yes maybe you should have found a job before moving here. re

  10. top dog says:

    All these places are large metro areas, I like living in medium metro areas. We have every thing we need, shopping, eating, sight seeing among other things. A population of about two or mabe three hundred thousands is not to big, but just big enough…..we have six institutions of higher learning, and the traffic is not that bad.

  11. Neal says:

    An often overlooked resource is the Census Bureau website. Census is under the Commerce Dept., and largely designed to support business, but it has a wealth of information for all of us. E.g., you can find out things like demographics to an amazing level of details like race, education, veteran status and age, median housing prices, no. of unoccuppied houses, veteran percentages of the population, percentages of college degrees, no. of businesses, pct. of women and race owned businesses, so on and so forth. It is an endless list of stats and a true wealth of info for conducting your own research before making a move or conducting a business startup, etc. You can use that with your own online searches, and other article reading to get a better lay of the land and economic conditions, so to speak. I plan to use it before making any retirement decisions, but closeness to family is always a key for me. Here's a good place to start, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/faq.html, and the HP is http://www.census.gov/

    • Neal says:

      PS Don't forget also, "a picture is worth a thousand words". You should go on a trip to any area to scope it out before moving there of your own free volition, since moving and associated logistics are expensive and you want to make the best possible decisions. Look before you leap!

  12. Coho1938 says:

    I live in a small town in Oklahoma. The people here are friendly, no crime! You just can't beat living in a small town!. Three cars ahead of you is a traffic jam. Oklahoma City is just 1 hour north on I35, if you want crime which I don't just drive up to OKC.You can keep your big cities.

  13. Mike says:

    This is good information because, the "fastest growing cities" are exactly where I want to stay away from. Big cities equals big crime. It's not the ideal place for my family.

  14. F. H. Black says:

    It's important to understand the tax status of retired military pay in North Carolina. Everyone is not tax exempt, so research is required.

  15. Joe Camel says:

    Used to have a donkey named Domingo. He bit my Grandpa and he shot him in the face with a twelve Gauge. He never bit anyone again.

    • Joe Domingo says:

      Joe, Domingo is my nickname. Cuz I was born 12:01 am Sunday, Brenda, my 3rd leg is size of donkeys

  16. bamachild says:

    Raleigh NC is not the place to go to find a job. I lived there for two years and never did find good employment. Many of the public schools are a joke and housing prices are through the roof (pun intended). I would not suggest anyone move there if they want a job. The weather is beautiful and it is a pretty city with lots of parks and recreational areas for families. There is not much work that pays a living wage though.

  17. Phoenix Az. ? Blistering summer temperatures and a looming water crisis? And what's all this I hear about buildings siinking into ground?

  18. Larry Rand says:

    There are big quality of life issues with some of these areas, and some are tremendously risky in terms of employment and real estate value. Places like Vegas and Riverside get bombed when the economy goes south and are slow to recover.