By Arden Ward
01.27.13 | 08:23 am
Texas played big on Forbes’ recently released list of “America’s 20 Fastest Growing Cities.” Forbes took the 100 most populous Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and ranked the “20 fastest growing metro areas in America in terms of population and economy.” Dallas ranked No. 3.
Rankings were based on the following metrics: population growth for 2012, projected population growth for 2013, job growth in 2012, rate of gross metro product growth for 2012, federal unemployment, and median salaries for college-educated workers.
Dallas trailed Houston (No. 2) and Austin (No. 1). Forbes had this to say about Texas’ high rankings:
Perhaps not surprisingly, cities in Texas — which welcomed more than 427,000 newcomers from August 2011 to July 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau — dominated our list. Houston ranked second, behind Austin, followed by Dallas in third place and San Antonio in ninth. Robust labor markets, unemployment rates under 6% (well below the national average), no state income tax, a business-friendly regulatory environment, and strong population inflows all contributed to Texas towns’ high rankings.
Austin landed at No. 1 on the list for the third time in a row. Forbes’ attributes this to Austin’s diverse economic landscape, from the University of Texas to a growing startup culture:
Thanks to the 51,000-student University of Texas at Austin, a bevy of Silicon Hills startups like Sparefoot.com, and the presence of mega corporations like Whole Foods and Dell (in nearby Round Rock), the Lone Star State’s capital is an economic powerhouse. With an estimated annual population growth rate of 3% for 2012 and 2013, a 3% rate of job growth in 2012, 4.9% unemployment, and an economy that expanded 6.3% last year, Austin takes the top spot on Forbes’ annual list of America’s Fastest Growing Cities for the third year in a row.