Forbes has named Austin the fastest growing city in the country. After analyzing 100 of the largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas for its list of “America’s 20 Fastest Growing Cities,” Forbes placed Austin at the top of the list for the third year in a row.
In creating its list, Forbes used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other resources to examine six metrics. These included 2012 population growth, 2013 estimated population growth, job growth, unemployment, Gross Metro Product and the median salary of college-educated workers living in the area. According to Forbes, Austin’s low unemployment, healthy job market and business-friendly regulations all contributed to its number one spot on the list.
In general, Texas has enjoyed a significant amount of growth, with more than 427,000 people moving to the state between August 2011 and July 2012. As such, Houston took the number two spot and Dallas took the third spot. Still, Austin had the overall best figures when examining all six statistical areas. These include
• Population growth rate for 2012: 2.8 percent
• Estimated population growth rate for 2013: 2.7 percent
• Job growth rate: 3.1 percent
• Unemployment rate: 4.9 percent
• Gross Metro Product: 6.3 percent
• Median salary of college-educated workers who are living locally: $63,200
According to the report, Austin’s economy and employment rates get a boost thanks to the number of Silicon Hills startups and corporations, such as Dell Inc. and Whole Foods Market Inc. The city’s economy is further fueled by the University of Texas at Austin, which has an enrollment of approximately 51,000 students.