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07/11/2011

Forbes: The Next Big Boom Towns in the U.S.

The Next Big Boom Towns in the U.S.

by Joel Kotkin
Monday, July 11, 2011

What cities are best positioned to grow and prosper in the coming decade?

To determine the next boom towns in the U.S., Forbes, with the help of Mark Schill at the Praxis Strategy Group, took the 52 largest metro areas in the country (those with populations exceeding 1 million) and ranked them based on various data indicating past, present and future vitality.

We started with job growth, not only looking at performance over the past decade but also focusing on growth in the past two years, to account for the possible long-term effects of the Great Recession. That accounted for roughly one-third of the score. The other two-thirds were made up of a broad range of demographic factors, all weighted equally. These included rates of family formation (percentage growth in children 5-17), growth in educated migration, population growth and, finally, a broad measurement of attractiveness to immigrants -- as places to settle, make money and start businesses.

We focused on these demographic factors because college-educated migrants (who also tend to be under 30), new families and immigrants will be critical in shaping the future. Areas that are rapidly losing young families and low rates of migration among educated migrants are the American equivalents of rapidly aging countries like Japan; those with more sprightly demographics are akin to up and coming countries such as Vietnam.

Many of our top performers are not surprising. No. 1 Austin, Texas, and No. 2 Raleigh, N.C., have it all demographically: high rates of immigration and migration of educated workers and healthy increases in population and number of children. They are also economic superstars, with job-creation records among the best in the nation.

What is clear is that well-established patterns of job creation and vital demographics will drive future regional growth, not only in the next year, but over the coming decade. People create economies and they tend to vote with their feet when they choose to locate their families as well as their businesses. This will prove more decisive in shaping future growth than the hip imagery and big city-oriented PR flackery that dominate media coverage of America's changing regions.

Raleigh, N.C.

Raleigh has experienced the second-highest overall population increase and the third-highest job growth over the past two decades in the U.S. It also ranked among those regions seeing the biggest jump in new immigrants and is the No. 1 city for families with young children. The area is a magnet for technology companies fleeing the more expensive, congested and highly regulated northeast corridor. Affordable housing and short commute times are no doubt highly attractive to recent college graduates and millennials looking to start families.

http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/113083/next-big-boom-towns-forbes

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Bromhal