The Top 12 American Boomtowns

By Bloomberg Rankings and Nikhil Hutheesing - 2013-04-24T14:48:01Z

Photograph by Don Klumpp/Getty Images

Company Symbol % Change
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Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, North Carolina    

2007 Population: 1,651,568
2011 Population: 1,795,472
Percent Change: 8.71
GDP Compound Annual Growth: 0.14%

The big draw to Charlotte has long been the banking industry, which explains the steady rise in the region’s population (2.3 million in 2012). The influx of people has led the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the largest hub to US Airways, to become the sixth-busiest airport in the nation, according to Bob Morgan, president of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. Friedhoff says the financial crisis and layoffs in the banking center explain another trend -- high unemployment. Morgan says things could be improving, however, because the area is getting a boost from international companies increasingly doing business here. Among them is German company Siemens AG, which is building turbines in the area.