Some cities have the best of everything: the jobs, the schools, the museums, the nightlife, you name it. They know the recipe for attractiveness. But other cities like Detroit are still mired in recession. Chances of their economies turning upward are slim. And their most productive citizens — an economy’s best chance of recovery — are compelled to search for greener pastures.
In 2014, the U.S. recorded its lowest population gain since the Great Depression. Growth stood at .73 percent, largely in contrast with the 5 percent of the 1990s, a period of prosperity. Demographer William H. Frey of the Brookings Institution attributed the decline to the economic downturn. Not only did the crisis deter job-seeking migrants from flocking to the U.S., but it also discouraged couples from having children. Meanwhile, population numbers shifted across states, creating short- and long-term effects on local economies.
In order to identify the cities that have expanded most rapidly in socioeconomic terms between 2008 and 2014, WalletHub compared 515 U.S. cities of varying sizes across 10 key metrics, ranging from population growth to unemployment rate decrease. The results of our study, as well as additional insight from experts and a detailed methodology, can be found below.