The last few years have been some of the least dramatic in terms of population growth in the United States. We are talking mathematically least dramatic. In fact, the extremely low population growth (lowest in decades) that we are seeing in the last two years is definitely cause for concern. To be precise, over the last 12 months, we saw a population growth of 0.79 percent, which is somewhat better than the year before, but still quite alarming.
Quite simply put, there are not enough babies being born in the United States and the natural growth (born vs. deceased) has slowed down dramatically. With stricter immigration laws and policies, another avenue of population growth has started to stagnate. The long term result of this will be a population that is growing older and older, much like in Japan and certain parts of Europe where this is becoming a big issue.
Some parts of the United States, however, are seeing a much more pronounced growth which has less to do with natural population growth and much more with migration.
For examples, states like Texas and North Dakota have been seeing a significant influx of people, mostly due to the growing oil industry which opened new jobs for young people who moved to these states with their families. The recent drops in oil prices and the dire consequences this has had on the oil industry in the U.S. will probably slow down this trend or even reverse it.
Another, even more widespread trend that the demographers are seeing in the United States, according to William Frey from the Brookings Institution think tank, is the migration from Central and Northern U.S. to Southwest, South and Southeast. Recession may have hit some of the newly popular areas hard, but as the economy is once again getting better, we can expect to see the continuation of this migratory trend.
Before we finally get to the fastest growing cities in the U.S. according to the website 24/7 Wall St., we should also say a thing or two about the age of the migrants. Namely, when we think about people who change states and cities, we usually think about young people searching for new places to make their dreams come true. However, as the 24/7 Wall St. research found out, many of the fastest growing cities in the country boast a relatively large senior population, meaning that a lot of these cities are seeing elderly people moving in.
But, without further ado; what are the fastest growing cities in the U.S.?
In the first spot, we find The Villages, Florida; a city that has grown by more than 26 percent in the period between 2010 and 2015. Simply put, The Villages seems to be the most popular retirement city in all of the United States, with more than half of its population being 65 and older. Who says that moving is a young people’s game?
Midland, Texas is the second fastest growing city in the United States and it is the complete opposite of The Villages. Namely, it is the metro area with the second smallest senior population in the country, with less than 10 percent. Midland grew by nearly 18 percent over the last 5 years and everyone agrees that this had everything to do with the economic boom that this city has experienced, with their GDP per capita growing 12 times faster than the national median.
Odessa, Texas, the only city with a smaller senior population than Midland is the third fastest growing city in the country, growing by more than 16 percent. The city saw a significant natural growth, but it also saw 14,000 people more moving into the area than leaving it.
Another Texan city is in the 4th spot and it is Austin which also happens to be one of the largest cities on the 24/7 Wall St. list. More precisely, we are talking about Austin-Round Rock metro area which grew by almost 16 percent between 2010 and 2015. In Austin’s case, the main reason for such a large population boom has been the high-tech economy, with a number of high quality jobs available for the taking.
In fifth place, we find Myrtle Beach, South Carolina which is another retirement destination. The city grew by 14 percent in population while its senior population now stands at 22.3 percent, significantly more than the national average of 14.5.
Other cities that made it to Top 10 include Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida; St. George, Utah; Bismarck, ND; Greeley, Colorado and Raleigh, North Carolina.