The Top 12 American Boomtowns

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

Photograph by Steve Dunwell/Getty Images

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Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina

2007 Population: 1,047,629
2011 Population: 1,163,515
Percent Change: 11.06
GDP Compound Annual Growth: 1.49%

Southern accents are disappearing fast in the Raleigh-Cary metro area, says Robin Dodsworth, a linguistics professor at North Carolina State University. The culprit: the famous Research Triangle Park, which attracts techies -- some 40,000 of them now -- from all over the world. While many locals lament the demise of the Southern drawl, the economy here is growing, though unemployment stands at 7.5 percent. The population reached about 1.2 million in 2012, as big companies such as International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), Cisco Systems Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corp. employed not just locals but also transplants from around the globe.