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The 15 Fastest-Growing Metro Areas in the U.S.


Dayton Ohio
Alex Balanov / Shutterstock.com

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Inspection Support Network.

It’s no secret that America’s most popular cities from a century ago, like New York and Chicago, have actually been shrinking in recent years, but even newer destinations like Los Angeles are also falling from their peak populations.

Instead, U.S. residents are flocking to up-and-coming hotspots in the South and West.

A hundred years ago, U.S. Census figures show that 91.3% of the nation lived outside the Western states, but now the West is more populous than both the Midwest and Northeast. Meanwhile, the South is currently the fastest-growing region of the country after stagnating for much of the last century.

Census figures for 2020 show the composition of the current U.S. population to be 38.1% in the South, 23.7% in the West, 20.8% in the Midwest, and 17.4% in the Northeast.

More plentiful and higher-quality job opportunities have been among the driving forces for the move south and west. Seattle has been a prime example of the renaissance in tech jobs out west, and Austin’s growth as a new high-tech hub in Texas has earned it the nickname of the “new Silicon Valley.” Outdoor recreational opportunities and more favorable weather have also factored in strongly, as well as lower costs of living.

To pinpoint which metropolitan areas across the country are growing the fastest, researchers at Inspection Support Network compiled U.S. Census Bureau statistics from 2015 and 2020, then compared the differences in population. Here are the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the U.S.

15. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, Utah
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in population (2015-2020): 6.4%
  • Total change in population (2015-2020): 74,663
  • Population 2020: 1,240,029
  • Most common origin for recent movers: Provo-Orem, UT

14. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA

Atlanta, Georgia homes
RodClementPhotography / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in population (2015-2020): 7.0%
  • Total change in population (2015-2020): 399,179
  • Population 2020: 6,087,762
  • Most common origin for recent movers: New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

13. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

Houston, Texas skyline
Silvio Ligutti / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in population (2015-2020): 7.3%
  • Total change in population (2015-2020): 483,675
  • Population 2020: 7,154,478
  • Most common origin for recent movers: Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

12. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

Seattle
Albert Pegp / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in population (2015-2020): 7.4%
  • Total change in population (2015-2020): 276,887
  • Population 2020: 4,018,598
  • Most common origin for recent movers: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

11. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN

Nashville, Tennessee
jdross75 / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in population (2015-2020): 8.6%
  • Total change in population (2015-2020): 155,244
  • Population 2020: 1,961,232
  • Most common origin for recent movers: Knoxville, TN

10. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

Tampa, Florida
Ilya Images / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in population (2015-2020): 8.7%
  • Total change in population (2015-2020): 258,488
  • Population 2020: 3,243,963
  • Most common origin for recent movers: New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

9. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

San Antonio at night.
f11 photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in population (2015-2020): 8.9%
  • Total change in population (2015-2020): 211,375
  • Population 2020: 2,590,732
  • Most common origin for recent movers: Austin-Round Rock, TX

8. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

Aneese / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in population (2015-2020): 9.3%
  • Total change in population (2015-2020): 651,816
  • Population 2020: 7,694,138
  • Most common origin for recent movers: Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

7. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC

Charlotte North Carolina
Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in population (2015-2020): 9.6%
  • Total change in population (2015-2020): 234,770
  • Population 2020: 2,684,276
  • Most common origin for recent movers: New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

6. Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville, Florida
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in population (2015-2020): 9.8%
  • Total change in population (2015-2020): 142,273
  • Population 2020: 1,587,892
  • Most common origin for recent movers: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

5. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV

Las Vegas by night, with mountains
egd / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in population (2015-2020): 10.4%
  • Total change in population (2015-2020): 218,131
  • Population 2020: 2,315,963
  • Most common origin for recent movers: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

4. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL

Orlando, Florida
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in population (2015-2020): 10.5%
  • Total change in population (2015-2020): 249,797
  • Population 2020: 2,639,374
  • Most common origin for recent movers: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

3. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

Phoenix, Arizona
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in population (2015-2020): 10.5%
  • Total change in population (2015-2020): 479,564
  • Population 2020: 5,059,909
  • Most common origin for recent movers: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

2. Raleigh, NC

Raleigh, North Carolina
Sharkshock / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in population (2015-2020): 11.7%
  • Total change in population (2015-2020): 148,708
  • Population 2020: 1,420,376
  • Most common origin for recent movers: Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

1. Austin-Round Rock, TX

Austin, Texas
Roschetzky Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage change in population (2015-2020): 14.6%
  • Total change in population (2015-2020): 292,489
  • Population 2020: 2,295,303
  • Most common origin for recent movers: Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

Methodology & Detailed Findings

Man analyzing data on a laptop
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Data on population for 2015 and 2020 as well as migration patterns across metropolitan areas are from the U.S. Census Bureau. To identify which locations are the fastest-growing, researchers calculated the percentage change in population between 2015 and 2020.

The most common origin for recent movers is the metropolitan area or state with the largest absolute number of movers using the most recent migration data available. For metropolitan areas, this covers 2014-2018; for states, this is for 2018-2019.

All metropolitan areas from the U.S. Census with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.