The 13 Fastest-Growing Cities for Business in the US

By Mariliana Fotopoulou Monday, July 27, 2020

When starting a business, there is a lot to take into consideration. Flexible taxes, external costs, state compliance laws, and the ideal business location are all key factors in finding a place for your company to take flight.

In October 2019, WalletHub performed a study of the fastest-growing cities in the US, generally based on sociodemographics as well as jobs and economic growth. With this, entrepreneurs can help determine what US cities may prove to be the most beneficial place to start their business.

The Rankings

515 different population sizes were measured over a duration of seven years based on 17 metrics, including median household income, population growth, and $75,000+ annual income. Each city’s performance was scored between 0 to 100.

Here are the top 13 cities based on the overall results of these criteria:

1. Lehigh Acres, Florida

This residential area on Florida’s Gulf Coast came in first place with a total score of 82.11. and was ranked third for jobs and economic growth.

The total population for this residential area in 2017 was about 117,000 which, according to Data USA, was a 4.07% increase from the previous year. There was also a 6.98% increase in median household income and a 6.77% growth for employees. The majority of businesses in Lehigh Acres focus on retail, health care, and construction.

2. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Mount Pleasant is located close to Charleston and has a population of 89,000 residents. The city’s total score was 79.47, ranking 2nd for sociodemographics and 37th for jobs and economic opportunities.

The US Census Bureau recorded 10,053 businesses in Mount Pleasant in 2012, and in 2018, the town’s median household income was $97,176.

3. Bend, Oregon

Bend was ranked 4th for economic growth and jobs, with a total score of 78.1. Its 2017 population was 87,167.

Due to its geography and low population density surroundings, Bend is considered a large city in the region known for its outdoor recreation opportunities. Furthermore, Data USA reports that Bend has an “unusually high” number of nature-related businesses.

4. Enterprise, Nevada

For WalletHub’s “jobs and economy” ranking, Enterprise came 65th and had a total overall score of 76.62. The city is close to Las Vegas, making it an attractive location for holiday homes. The 2017 population was 155,773 people, and the median property value was $255,200.

Perhaps also owing to its proximity to Las Vegas, Enterprise’s most common employment sectors are accommodation, food service, and entertainment.

5. Frisco, Texas

Frisco was ranked 155th for jobs and economic growth and received a total score of 74.25. It is part of the Dallas metro area, with a total population of 188,000. The median home value in Frisco is $396,800.

Home to many Texas sporting venues and Dallas-based teams, two of Frisco’s top 10 industries include retail and accommodation/food service. A significant portion of Frisco businesses are also geared toward science and technology.

6. Fort Myers, Florida

Fort Myers has a total population of 82,000, and it was given a total score of 73.88. Its jobs and economy ranking is 13th, and its sociodemographics ranking is 11th.

Close by to top-ranking Lehigh Acres, Fort Mayers is home to the clinical laboratory Neogenomics and the women’s retailer Chico’s. Its location near the Gulf Coast also makes it a popular destination for holiday homes and tourists.

7. Meridian, Idaho

The third-largest city in Idaho was ranked 125th for jobs and economic growth and was given a total score of 73.76. Its 2017 population was 91,917 and is a 4.16% increase from the previous year.

Meridian’s city motto is “Built for Business, Designed for Living.” Indeed, the city is home to a variety of health care, retail, and manufacturing businesses, including Blue Cross of Idaho.

8. St. George, Utah

This southwest Utah town ranked 2nd for jobs and economy but ended up with a total score of 72.42. The unemployment rate is 2.8%, signaling healthy job opportunities and the lowest unemployment rate since 2007. St. George’s population was 155,577 in 2017.

Due to its closeness to Zion National Park and Grand Canyon National Park, St. George is a popular spot for tourism. It is also home to a handful of large distribution centers, making retail one of its largest industries.

9. Cape Coral, Florida

Cape Coral ranks 11th in for jobs and economic opportunities, with an overall score of 71.56. Its 2017 population was 173,679, and there were about 18,000 businesses reported in 2012.

Cape Coral is the third city on this list from the Gulf Coast. Its location makes it popular for holiday homes, and a decent amount of people work in the real estate and rental sector. The median price for homes in 2017 was $196,800, which is lower than the national average.

10. Round Rock, Texas

With a total score of 70.99 and a ranking of 28th for jobs and economic growth, Round Rock comes in 10th on the list. Its 2017 population was 116,269, and it is located in the greater Austin metropolitan area.

The computer technology company Dell is based in Round Rock, and similar industries employ many of the city’s workers. Health care, manufacturing, and construction are also large industries in Round Rock.

11. College Station, Texas

College Station is best known for Texas A&M University and had a 2017 population of 107,445. The town ranked 50th for jobs and economic growth, but had a better sociodemographics ranking at 13th. Its total score was 70.54.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of industry in College Station revolves around education and information technology. However, the town’s businesses also focus on retail, accommodation, and food service.

12. Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Recognized for its Civil War history, Murfreesboro had a 2017 population of 126,188 people. It ranked 122th for economy and jobs and 9th for sociodemographics, for an overall score of 69.96.

Like College Station, Murfreesboro is also home to postsecondary education — Middle Tennessee State University. The city also hosts a variety of art festivals and museums and has large retail and manufacturing industries.

13. McKinney, Texas

With a population of 164,760 in 2017, McKinney is a consistently ranked fast-growing city near Dallas. It ranks 129th for jobs and economy and 10th for sociodemographics, resulting in a total score of 69.23.

The most prolific industries in McKinney include health care, retail, and finance. The median household income in 2017 was $87,608 — a roughly $2,000 rise from 2016.

About the Author


Mariliana Fotopoulou

Mariliana has an MSC in consumer analytics and business strategy. She has a special interest in fast-moving industries and big data.

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