The Top 12 American Boomtowns

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

Photograph by Gerald Herbert/AP Photo

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New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, Louisiana   

2007 Population: 1,030,363
2011 Population: 1,191,089
Percent Change: 15.60
GDP Compound Annual Growth: 2%

Reporter Geraldo Rivera sparked controversy recently by referring to everything outside New Orleans’s French Quarter as a “vast urban wasteland.” The area is growing as it rebuilds from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Tourism is booming, and the New Orleans area gained more residents than any other in the U.S. from 2007 to 2011. The population rose to 1.2 million in 2012, and there’s plenty of job growth in heavy construction and even the television and motion picture industry, according to New Orleans demographer Allison Plyer. The unemployment rate, at 5.9 percent, is below the national average. One worry: Governor Bobby Jindal’s tax plan could change the state’s motion picture investor tax credit, reducing a key incentive to film in Louisiana.

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