America keeps getting bigger. The U.S. population grew 9.7 percent over the past decade, yet some cities grew much faster. These areas became denser and some sprawled into neighboring territory as people had children and newcomers moved in for jobs, life style advantages, affordable housing, and good schools. In a ranking compiled for Businessweek.com, Little Rock-based location-analysis firm Gadberry Group identified the fastest-growing place per state. (See note below.) The number one boom town? Olive Branch, Miss. Others include by Keller, Tex. and Ellicott City, Md. The ranking was based on growth in households year-on-year and from 2000 to 2010, as well as such other factors as the 2010 average length of residence and the change in average household income from 2000 to 2010. Household growth from 2000 to 2010 was given the most weight in order to account for areas that have been growing for a long time, compared to new-growth areas. Only places with 10,000 or more households in 2010 were considered.

Note: The area used in Gadberry's analysis is not intended to correspond to city or municipal boundaries. As a result, the data does not correspond with results from the 2000 and 2010 Census. In most cases the area discussed includes the city or town and surrounding areas contained within Census block groups associated with the city or place by the U.S. Census Bureau, in order to account for sprawl. Trends for a greater area may thus differ from those of a city, as growth often occurs beyond city boundaries.
City of Olive Branch
America keeps getting bigger. The U.S. population grew 9.7 percent over the past decade, yet some cities grew much faster. These areas became denser and some sprawled into neighboring territory as people had children and newcomers moved in for jobs, life style advantages, affordable housing, and good schools. In a ranking compiled for Businessweek.com, Little Rock-based location-analysis firm Gadberry Group identified the fastest-growing place per state. (See note below.) The number one boom town? Olive Branch, Miss. Others include by Keller, Tex. and Ellicott City, Md. The ranking was based on growth in households year-on-year and from 2000 to 2010, as well as such other factors as the 2010 average length of residence and the change in average household income from 2000 to 2010. Household growth from 2000 to 2010 was given the most weight in order to account for areas that have been growing for a long time, compared to new-growth areas. Only places with 10,000 or more households in 2010 were considered.

Note: The area used in Gadberry's analysis is not intended to correspond to city or municipal boundaries. As a result, the data does not correspond with results from the 2000 and 2010 Census. In most cases the area discussed includes the city or town and surrounding areas contained within Census block groups associated with the city or place by the U.S. Census Bureau, in order to account for sprawl. Trends for a greater area may thus differ from those of a city, as growth often occurs beyond city boundaries.
City of Olive Branch

America's Fastest Growing Cities 2011

Olive Branch, Miss., is No. 1
Olive Branch, Miss., is No. 1
America keeps getting bigger. The U.S. population grew 9.7 percent over the past decade, yet some cities grew much faster. These areas became denser and some sprawled into neighboring territory as people had children and newcomers moved in for jobs, life style advantages, affordable housing, and good schools. In a ranking compiled for Businessweek.com, Little Rock-based location-analysis firm Gadberry Group identified the fastest-growing place per state. (See note below.) The number one boom town? Olive Branch, Miss. Others include by Keller, Tex. and Ellicott City, Md. The ranking was based on growth in households year-on-year and from 2000 to 2010, as well as such other factors as the 2010 average length of residence and the change in average household income from 2000 to 2010. Household growth from 2000 to 2010 was given the most weight in order to account for areas that have been growing for a long time, compared to new-growth areas. Only places with 10,000 or more households in 2010 were considered.

Note: The area used in Gadberry's analysis is not intended to correspond to city or municipal boundaries. As a result, the data does not correspond with results from the 2000 and 2010 Census. In most cases the area discussed includes the city or town and surrounding areas contained within Census block groups associated with the city or place by the U.S. Census Bureau, in order to account for sprawl. Trends for a greater area may thus differ from those of a city, as growth often occurs beyond city boundaries.
City of Olive Branch
Fastest-growing city in Alabama: Madison*
Fastest-growing city in Alabama: Madison*
Number of households: 18,042
Change YOY: 2.76 percent
Change since 2000: 50.45 percent
Average household income: $97,616

Why: The Madison City School system is a top system in the state, making it an attractive place for families, according to the city's website. Unemployment in the city was 5.6 percent in March, compared to the statewide rate of 9.2 percent, according to estimates from the Alabama Industrial Relations Dept. Major employers include software developer Intergraph, public schools, and the city.

*On all slides: Data are 2010 figures from Gadberry Group. The area used in Gadberry's analysis is not intended to correspond to city or municipal boundaries and may include surrounding areas. As a result, data do not correspond with results from the 2000 and 2010 Census.
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Fastest-growing city in Alaska: Anchorage
Fastest-growing city in Alaska: Anchorage
Number of households: 107,511
Change YOY: 1.44 percent
Change since 2000: 13.38 percent
Average household income: $82,673

Why: Thanks in large part to a strong energy market, Anchorage had a low unemployment rate of 6.5 percent in February, compared to a statewide rate of 8.5 percent, according to the Alaska Labor and Workforce Development Dept. The Anchorage Economic Development Corp. expects the municipality to add 1,100 new jobs this year, reported the Alaska Journal of Commerce.
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Fastest-growing city in Arizona: Queen Creek
Fastest-growing city in Arizona: Queen Creek
Number of households: 31,382
Change YOY: 5.72 percent
Change since 2000: 733.3 percent
Average household income: $69,827

Why: Queen Creek, a suburb of Phoenix incorporated in 1989, had a population of only 2,667 in 1990, based on data from the town website. The town has experienced rapid growth as affordable real estate attracts first-time homebuyers, retirees, families, and investors, according to lifeinqueencreek.com. The median home value in February was $103,200, compared to $104,200 in Phoenix, according to Zillow.com.
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Fastest-growing city in Arkansas: Bentonville
Fastest-growing city in Arkansas: Bentonville
Number of households: 11,577
Change YOY: 3.09 percent
Change since 2000: 55.27 percent
Average household income: $75,052

Why: This city in northwest Arkansas—where Wal-Mart (WMT) headquarters is located—grew rapidly from 2000 to 2005, reported 5NEWS. According to the city's website, an average of more than 1,000 people move into the area each month. The unemployment rate in February was 7.9 percent, according to preliminary data from the state Workforce Services Dept.
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Fastest-growing city in California: Danville
Fastest-growing city in California: Danville
Number of households: 25,244
Change YOY: 1.45 percent
Change since 2000: 44.24 percent
Average household income: $182,146

Why: Danville, a suburb of Oakland, Calif., offers "good weather, outstanding schools, and reasonable access to San Francisco," according to the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce. In addition to being near a major business hub, the Danville area has a diverse employment base in transportation, communication, and finance, the Chamber adds. Ratings on greatschools.org show that the area's schools are excellent.
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Fastest-growing city in Colorado: Black Forest
Fastest-growing city in Colorado: Black Forest
Number of households: 13,407
Change YOY: 2.42 percent
Change since 2000: 110.77 percent
Average household income: $116,867

Why: Black Forest, about 18 miles from Colorado Springs, Colo., includes 200,000 acres of woodland and open grassland. Many residents of this rural community work in Colorado Springs or Denver. Residents can enjoy views of the Rocky Mountains to the west and sagebrush hills to the east, according to the website of real estate agent Chuck Birger.
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Fastest-growing city in Connecticut: Stamford
Fastest-growing city in Connecticut: Stamford
Number of households: 47,474
Change YOY: 0.63 percent
Change since 2000: 4.57 percent
Average household income: $98,484

Why: Cities and towns with active train stations produced about one-third of Connecticut's overall population growth and one-third of the state's new housing, according to the Regional Plan Assn., a nonprofit that focuses on the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut area. Stamford added the most new homes of any city or town in Connecticut over the last decade, but New Haven gained the most residents, according to the organization.
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Fastest-growing city in Delaware: Dover
Fastest-growing city in Delaware: Dover
Number of households: 17,404
Change YOY: 0.26 percent
Change since 2000: 15.98 percent
Average household income: $64,737

Why: Delaware's capital grew quickly as a high quality of life and relatively low cost of living attracted newcomers, according to go-delaware.com. The city is home to Delaware State University, Dover Air Force Base, and one location of the Delaware Chancery Court, which— along with the state government—are among the area's largest employers, according to the city. Delaware's total population grew by 14.6 percent from 2000 to 2010.
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Fastest-growing city in Florida: Fruit Cove
Fastest-growing city in Florida: Fruit Cove
Number of households: 12,269
Change YOY: 1.91 percent
Change since 2000: 105.99 percent
Average household income: $116,686

Why: Fruit Cove, a small town along the St. Johns River, is home to many commuters who work in Jacksonville and other parts of St. Johns County. According to weichert.com, the lack of commercial development, country atmosphere, preservation of the scenic Bartram Trail, and easy access to shopping and schools have attracted many newcomers. Residents can also enjoy such recreational activities as boating, fishing, golf, and tennis.
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Fastest-growing city in Georgia: Calhoun
Fastest-growing city in Georgia: Calhoun
Number of households: 11,364
Change YOY: 4.55 percent
Change since 2000: 36.31 percent
Average household income: $68,905

Why: Calhoun, 70 miles north of Atlanta and 50 miles south of Chattanooga, is also 20 minutes from Dalton, a major carpet distribution, shipping, and retail center. An increase in population and manufacturing jobs in the area have driven the Calhoun real estate market over the past 20 years and continues to do so in 2011, according to the website of real estate agent Mike Ramirez.
Gordon County Chamber of Commerce
Fastest-growing city in Hawaii: Kailua
Fastest-growing city in Hawaii: Kailua
Number of households: 12,456
Change YOY: 3.45 percent
Change since 2000: 1.66 percent
Average household income: $122,679

Why: Kailua, a suburb 12 miles from Honolulu, offers recreational activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing, kayaking, sailing, and windsurfing. Schools in the area perform above average, according to greatschools.org. The home value is higher than average in Hawaii: The median home value in Kailua in February was $712,400, compared to $510,400 in Honolulu, according to Zillow.com.
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Fastest-growing city in Idaho: Meridian
Fastest-growing city in Idaho: Meridian
Number of households: 27,874
Change YOY: 2.89 percent
Change since 2000: 83.93 percent
Average household income: $80,238

Why: Meridian, about 12 miles from Boise, offers excellent schools, affordable real estate, and many recreational opportunities, according to real estate website karengeselle.com. The median list price for a home here is $167,400, compared to $148,900 in Boise, according to Zillow.com. The region's top employers include Micron Technology (MU), J.R. Simplot, Blue Cross of Idaho, and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), according to the city.
City of Meridian
Fastest-growing city in Illinois: Batavia
Fastest-growing city in Illinois: Batavia
Number of households: 11,807
Change YOY: 1.37 percent
Change since 2000: 14.75 percent
Average household income: $111,520

Why: Batavia, located near the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (above) and home to the U.S. Energy Dept.'s research arm for high energy physics, experienced the fastest growth in Illinois and is expected to continue expanding. The city anticipates that Batavia's population will reach 30,640 by 2015, up from 27,154 in 2009, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Major employers include Universities Research Assn., garden and yard accessory manufacturer Suncast, and the city.
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Fastest-growing city in Indiana: West Lafayette
Fastest-growing city in Indiana: West Lafayette
Number of households: 16,876
Change YOY: 4.67 percent
Change since 2000: 28.61 percent
Average household income: $89,704

Why: This suburban city is home to Purdue University's main campus and Purdue Research Park, which is home to more than 160 companies. It is across the Wabash River from Lafayette, Ind., a larger city, and 65 miles from Indianapolis. Unemployment in West Lafayette was 4.4 percent in March, half the state's 8.8 percent rate, according to the Indiana Workforce Development Dept.
Purdue University
Fastest-growing city in Iowa: Ankeny
Fastest-growing city in Iowa: Ankeny
Number of households: 16,791
Change YOY: 2.92 percent
Change since 2000: 47.06 percent
Average household income: $84,078

Why: Ankeny, 12 miles north of the state capitol, Des Moines, provides easy access to railroad services, Interstates 35 and 80, and the Ankeny Regional Airport. A large concentration of workers are employed in the health-care and social-services industries, according to the city, which plans to develop wind energy, biosciences, logistics, and IT industries.
City of Ankeny
Fastest-growing city in Kansas: Leawood
Fastest-growing city in Kansas: Leawood
Number of households: 13,038
Change YOY: 0.59 percent
Change since 2000: 32.26 percent
Average household income: $188,156

Why: Leawood—home to one of the state's wealthiest zip codes, 66211—has attracted many upper-middle to high-income families from surrounding cities, according to leawood.org. New developments in the area include single-family subdivisions, shopping centers, and office buildings. The city has a population of nearly 32,000 and expects to reach about 40,000 within the next 10 to 15 years, according to the Leawood Chamber of Commerce.
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Fastest-growing city in Kentucky: Elizabethtown
Fastest-growing city in Kentucky: Elizabethtown
Number of households: 16,976
Change YOY: 1.1 percent
Change since 2000: 19.95 percent
Average household income: $72,832

Why: The Elizabethtown area is a major regional center for education, health care, retail, and transportation. The unemployment rate in the metro area was 10.1 percent in February, according to the state Workforce Investment Dept.
Etown.com
Fastest-growing city in Louisiana: Mandeville
Fastest-growing city in Louisiana: Mandeville
Number of households: 14,576
Change YOY: 1.7 percent
Change since 2000: 29.28 percent
Average household income: $130,846

Why: Mandeville, located across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, is accessible to the city by the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway—parallel bridges that are among the world's longest. The area is quieter and more rural than the South Shore and has spacious lot sizes, low-density residential development, and a construction height limitation of 35 feet, according to the city website. The median list price of homes in Mandeville was $239,900 in March, higher than the $168,000 figure for New Orleans. Louisiana's total population has increased by only 1.4 percent since 2000, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
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Fastest-growing city in Maine: Lewiston
Fastest-growing city in Maine: Lewiston
Number of households: 15,841
Change YOY: 2.63 percent
Change since 2000: 3.6 percent
Average household income: $44,621

Why: The population of Lewiston, home to Bates College, grew for the first time in three decades from 2000 to 2010, due to an influx of Somali immigrants, reported the Sun Journal. The Wal-Mart Distribution Center and the health-care industry added jobs and the city worked to keep existing businesses from leaving. The area had an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent in February, according to the Maine Labor Dept.
Bates College
Fastest-growing city in Maryland: Ellicott City
Fastest-growing city in Maryland: Ellicott City
Number of households: 25,831
Change YOY: 2.17 percent
Change since 2000: 20.46 percent
Average household income: $121,583

Why: Ellicott City, located between job hubs in Washington and Baltimore, is part of the highly ranked Howard County school system and, according to weichert.com, offers many outdoor recreational activities such as camping, biking, hiking, boating, tennis, and golfing. The median home value in this wealthy suburb was $443,000 in February, compared to $229,300 for the state, according to Zillow.com.
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Fastest-growing city in Massachusetts: Lexington
Fastest-growing city in Massachusetts: Lexington
Number of households: 11,743
Change YOY: 0.62 percent
Change since 2000: 5.7 percent
Average household income: $154,343

Why: A wealthy town in Middlesex County, about 14 miles from Boston, Lexington is home to companies in the biotechnology, defense research, and software industries. The unemployment rate in Lexington in March was 4.5 percent, lower than Massachusetts's 8.2 percent, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Division of Unemployment Assistance. Ratings on greatschools.org show that the area's schools perform well above average.
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Fastest-growing city in Michigan: East Lansing
Fastest-growing city in Michigan: East Lansing
Number of households: 19,099
Change YOY: 4.61 percent
Change since 2000: 20.57 percent
Average household income: $70,169

Why: While Michigan's population shrank over the last decade by 0.6 percent, East Lansing grew. In a press release by the city, City Manager Theodore Staton credited the population increase to "the city's continued efforts to attract and retain residents through quality services, livable neighborhoods, and continued economic development growth." The jobless rate in East Lansing, home to Michigan State University, was 9.9 percent in February, lower than the state rate of 11 percent.
Michigan State University
Fastest-growing city in Minnesota: Lakeville
Fastest-growing city in Minnesota: Lakeville
Number of households: 18,933
Change YOY: 1.32 percent
Change since 2000: 39.12 percent
Average household income: $108,956

Why: Lakeville, a wealthy city in the southeast corner of the Twin Cities metro area, is experiencing a mixture of planned development and managed growth. Its proximity to the metro area has stimulated both residential and commercial growth, according to the city. Once a rural community, Lakeville is expected to grow to a population of over 78,000 by the year 2020, according to data from the Metropolitan Council, a regional planning agency.
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Fastest-growing city in Mississippi: Olive Branch
Fastest-growing city in Mississippi: Olive Branch
Number of households: 14,724
Change YOY: 4.56 percent
Change since 2000: 63.47 percent
Average household income: $102,803

Why: Olive Branch offers comfortable, uncongested living and employment less than 30 minutes from Memphis—"the cultural, financial, and distribution center of the Mid-South," according to the Olive Branch Chamber of Commerce. Growth in the area has been attributed to migration from Memphis and growth of the casino resort complex in nearby Tunica County, according to desotocountyonline.
City of Olive Branch
Fastest-growing city in Missouri: Ballwin
Fastest-growing city in Missouri: Ballwin
Number of households: 14,840
Change YOY: 2.46 percent
Change since 2000: 7.19 percent
Average household income: $101,937

Why: Census data shows that Ballwin, a suburb of St. Louis, lost population over the last decade. When accounting for sprawl into surrounding areas, however, Gadberry Group found that the greater Ballwin area actually grew. The area is served by the highly rated Rockwood and Parkway School districts. The city states that it promotes commercial development and as of March, the unemployment rate in Ballwin had fallen to 6.4 percent, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.
Goballwin.com
Fastest-growing city in Montana: Bozeman
Fastest-growing city in Montana: Bozeman
Number of households: 18,590
Change YOY: 3.19 percent
Change since 2000: 32.49 percent
Average household income: $75,538

Why: Bozeman, home to Montana State University, has attracted new residents with a high quality of living, natural scenery, and outdoor recreation. The city's economy is largely supported by agriculture, but tourism and the high tech industry are expanding in the area, according to the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce.
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Fastest-growing city in Nebraska: Kearney
Fastest-growing city in Nebraska: Kearney
Number of households: 12,977
Change YOY: 1.69 percent
Change since 2000: 13.56 percent
Average household income: $69,836

Why: Home to the University of Nebraska at Kearney, the city had a low unemployment rate of about 3.5 percent in March, according to the Nebraska Labor Dept. Major employers include Good Samaritan Hospital, the university, and the public school system. Kearney also recently opened TECH oNE Crossing, a 116-acre technology park. The area has shopping, cultural, and recreational attractions, as well as excellent public and private schools, according to the Economic Development Council of Buffalo County.
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Fastest-growing city in Nevada: Summerlin South
Fastest-growing city in Nevada: Summerlin South
Number of households: 12,733
Change YOY: 3.05 percent
Change since 2000: 688.42 percent
Average household income: $96,085

Why: Nevada was the fastest-growing state from 2000 to 2010, growing by 35.1 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Summerlin South, near Las Vegas and the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area—and one of the state's most expensive suburbs—continues to attract new residents with high-end villas and such recreational amenities as the Summerlin Center shopping mall and Red Rock Hotel & Casino.
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Fastest-growing city in New Hampshire: Dover
Fastest-growing city in New Hampshire: Dover
Number of households: 13,421
Change YOY: 0.33 percent
Change since 2000: 15.97 percent
Average household income: $77,976

Why: Dover, about an hour from Boston and Portland, Me., and less than an hour from New Hampshire's capital of Concord, has an exceptional school system and outstanding parks and recreation services, according to the city. It has become the fifth largest city in the state, up from seventh in 2000.
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Fastest-growing city in New Jersey: Englewood
Fastest-growing city in New Jersey: Englewood
Number of households: 10,128
Change YOY: 1.59 percent
Change since 2000: 9.22 percent
Average household income: $105,007

Why: Englewood is located across the Hudson River from Manhattan, but homes here are far less expensive than in New York. The median home value in Englewood was $313,300 in February, compared to $445,900 in New York, according to Zillow.com—although many homes in this affluent suburb soar into the seven-figure range. The city says it has a vibrant downtown area, shopping and dining amenities, and a trolley service to commuter bus lines.
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Fastest-growing city in New Mexico: Albuquerque
Fastest-growing city in New Mexico: Albuquerque
Number of households: 229,090
Change YOY: 0.9 percent
Change since 2000: 19.95 percent
Average household income: $66,041

Why: From 1990 to 2010, the Albuquerque metro area grew by nearly 45 percent, according to Albuquerque Economic Development, a nonprofit. The city is near many golf courses and major skiing areas. Major employers include Kirtland Air Force Base, University of New Mexico, Sandia National Laboratory, and Intel (INTC), according to information from Albuquerque Public Schools. The unemployment rate in Bernalillo County was 8.8 percent in February, according to the New Mexico Workforce Solutions Dept.
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Fastest-growing city in New York: Coram
Fastest-growing city in New York: Coram
Number of households: 14,690
Change YOY: 0.94 percent
Change since 2000: 17.24 percent
Average household income: $81,910

Why: This town in Long Island, about 60 miles from Manhattan, is near the Rocky Point State Pine Barrens Preserve and Suffolk County Park. Many residents of Coram are employed in the health-care industry, with three major hospitals nearby, according to weichert.com. The median home value in Coram was $256,800 in February, according to Zillow.com.
Noel Hendrickson
Fastest-growing city in North Carolina: Cary
Fastest-growing city in North Carolina: Cary
Number of households: 66,596
Change YOY: 4.09 percent
Change since 2000: 60.15 percent
Average household income: $103,500

Why: The Raleigh-Cary metro area was the fourth-fastest-growing place in the country from 2000 to 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The town of Cary, located in the heart of the Triangle area between Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park, offers access to one of the country's strongest job markets. Major employers include SAS Institute, Verizon (VZ), IBM (IBM), American Airlines Reservation Center (AMR), Lucent Technologies (ALU), and Siemens (SI), according to the city.
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Fastest-growing city in North Dakota: Fargo
Fastest-growing city in North Dakota: Fargo
Number of households: 49,592
Change YOY: 1.7 percent
Change since 2000: 23.57 percent
Average household income: $68,051

Why: While some areas in North Dakota lost population over the past decade, Fargo absorbed new residents from rural areas. The population of Cass County, which includes both Fargo and West Fargo, grew by almost 22 percent, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The area is a growing tech center whose major employers include Sandford Health Medical Center, North Dakota State University, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of N.D., according to the Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corp.
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Fastest-growing city in Ohio: Dublin
Fastest-growing city in Ohio: Dublin
Number of households: 19,286
Change YOY: 0.63 percent
Change since 2000: 51.6 percent
Average household income: $153,667

Why: This wealthy suburb, located about 15 miles from Columbus, Ohio, offers excellent schools, parks and recreation centers, golf facilities, and weekend festival events, according to realestatedublin.com. The historic downtown district has restaurant and shopping amenities. The state of Ohio has grown slowly over the last decade, with merely a 1.6 percent population increase since 2000, according to U.S. Census data.
Bloomberg
Fastest-growing city in Oklahoma: Bixby
Fastest-growing city in Oklahoma: Bixby
Number of households: 10,122
Change YOY: 2.06 percent
Change since 2000: 44.68 percent
Average household income: $85,654

Why: Bixby is about 23 miles from downtown Tulsa. The area has attracted newcomers from the city who are looking for more diverse quality-of-life amenities. Residents have access to parks, trails, Lake Bixhoma, golf, shopping, and dining. Major employers include Regal Plaza, the public school system, and health-care products giant Kimberly-Clark (KMB), according to information on the city website.
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Fastest-growing city in Oregon: West Linn
Fastest-growing city in Oregon: West Linn
Number of households: 10,784
Change YOY: 1.11 percent
Change since 2000: 22.6 percent
Average household income: $142,127

Why: This wealthy suburb, about 15 miles from Portland, offers proximity to the city as well as such outdoor recreation as kayaking, canoeing, boating, and hiking. Major employers include West Linn-Wilsonville School District and West Linn Paper, according to the city.
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Fastest-growing city in Pennsylvania: Back Mountain
Fastest-growing city in Pennsylvania: Back Mountain
Number of households: 10,791
Change YOY: 2.47 percent
Change since 2000: 4.52 percent
Average household income: $86,975

Why: Mountains, streams, lakes, and valleys surround this city—located behind the Endless Mountains near Scranton, Pa., and Wilkes-Barre, Pa.—providing residents with outdoor recreational opportunities year-round. Transportation in the area is also convenient because Back Mountain has access to several highways and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The median home value in February was $149,100, according to Zillow.com.
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Fastest-growing city in Rhode Island: Newport
Fastest-growing city in Rhode Island: Newport
Number of households: 12,093
Change YOY: 0.71 percent
Change since 2000: 4.56 percent
Average household income: $61,742

Why: The state of Rhode Island barely saw its population number change in the last decade, growing by only 0.4 percent, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The resort community of Newport is home to waterfront properties and summer homes, as well as the U.S. Naval War College. Since it first achieved popularity in the 19th century, it has remained one of the most popular harbors for recreational sailors and has been a frequent site for the defense of the America's Cup, one of the premier prizes in the yachting world.
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Fastest-growing city in South Carolina: Fort Mill
Fastest-growing city in South Carolina: Fort Mill
Number of households: 10,843
Change YOY: 3.51 percent
Change since 2000: 97.22 percent
Average household income: $76,644

Why: Fort Mill, south of the border with North Carolina, is between Charlotte, N.C., and Rock Hill, S.C. The area offers a low-cost suburban lifestyle, according to fortmillscrealestate.net, and has attracted many professionals who commute to Charlotte.
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Fastest-growing city in South Dakota: Sioux Falls
Fastest-growing city in South Dakota: Sioux Falls
Number of households: 67,974
Change YOY: 1.13 percent
Change since 2000: 26.37 percent
Average household income: $82,871

Why: In the past decade, companies have opened new facilities in Sioux Falls, creating jobs and infusing new capital, according to the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. Since 2000, $3.9 billion worth of construction has occurred and over 16,000 new housing units have been built. South Dakota's largest city grew by an average 2.2 percent, or 3,000 people annually, over the past 10 years, reported city officials. The city planning department projects significant population growth through 2040.
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Fastest-growing city in Tennessee: Spring Hill
Fastest-growing city in Tennessee: Spring Hill
Number of households: 12,032
Change YOY: 1.97 percent
Change since 2000: 188.61 percent
Average household income: $95,921

Why: Spring Hill, 30 miles south of Nashville, once again ranks as the fastest-growing city in Tennessee. The area's affordable homes, proximity to Nashville, and such recreational offerings as golf, biking, and fishing have attracted new residents.
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Fastest-growing city in Texas: Keller
Fastest-growing city in Texas: Keller
Number of households: 20,429
Change YOY: 4.91 percent
Change since 2000: 108.61 percent
Average household income: $120,348

Why: Texas continues to grow rapidly. Keller, an affluent suburb of Fort Worth, has a low crime rate, an excellent school district, and a variety of housing. It also offers easy access to Fort Worth, major highways, business centers, and the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
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Fastest-growing city in Utah: South Jordan
Fastest-growing city in Utah: South Jordan
Number of households: 14,186
Change YOY: 4.08 percent
Change since 2000: 89.4 percent
Average household income: $107,908

Why: The population of South Jordan grew from 1,345 in 1960 to 57,067 in 2011, according to data from the city. Growth has been fueled by the availability of land, large lots, a strong community lifestyle, and a rural atmosphere, the city states on its website. The area has also grown due to a general population increase in the Salt Lake Valley.
Noel Hendrickson
Fastest-growing city in Vermont: Burlington
Fastest-growing city in Vermont: Burlington
Number of households: 16,494
Change YOY: 1.85 percent
Change since 2000: 3.83 percent
Average household income: $48,574

Why: Vermont's population grew by only 2.8 percent in the last decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Burlington, home to the University of Vermont, added about 600 households since 2000, according to data from Gadberry Group.
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Fastest-growing city in Virginia: Linton Hall
Fastest-growing city in Virginia: Linton Hall
Number of households: 10,462
Change YOY: 2.89 percent
Change since 2000: 239.45 percent
Average household income: $119,312

Why: Many residents of Linton Hall commute to the Washington area, about 35 miles away. According to lintonhall-realestate.com, the community has grown in recent years as "families and individuals seek out well-located, quiet neighborhoods that are not isolated from nearby urban activity."
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Fastest-growing city in Washington: North Creek
Fastest-growing city in Washington: North Creek
Number of households: 12,669
Change YOY: 4.25 percent
Change since 2000: 35.5 percent
Average household income: $103,930

Why: This suburb about 23 miles northwest of Seattle is growing quickly. North Creek is just south of Seattle Hill-Silver Firs, Washington's fastest growing area in Businessweek.com's 2010 ranking.
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Fastest-growing city in West Virginia: Morgantown
Fastest-growing city in West Virginia: Morgantown
Number of households: 20,581
Change YOY: 4.57 percent
Change since 2000: 19.25 percent
Average household income: $53,397

Why: Employment and income growth have surged in the Morgantown metro area in the last 20 years and unemployment has remained relatively low, according to the Morgantown Area Economic Partnership. Morgantown, home of West Virginia University, grew to become the state's fourth largest city, according to data from the 2010 Census. Major employers include the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Mylan (MYL), and West Virginia University, according to the city website.
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Fastest-growing city in Wisconsin: Madison
Fastest-growing city in Wisconsin: Madison
Number of households: 107,652
Change YOY: 1.3 percent
Change since 2000: 14.83 percent
Average household income: $70,100

Why: While Wisconsin's rural areas lost population over the past decade, urban areas such as Madison grew, U.S. Census data show. Madison's job market, supported by government and education sectors, has been strong in the recession: The city had a jobless rate of 6 percent in February, lower than the state's 7.4 percent, according to data from the Wisconsin Workforce Development Dept.
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Fastest-growing city in Wyoming: Gillette
Fastest-growing city in Wyoming: Gillette
Number of households: 11,839
Change YOY: 0.72 percent
Change since 2000: 32.43 percent
Average household income: $78,620

Why: A strong energy sector has helped boost the population of Gillette. New residents have steadily moved to Gillette and surrounding Campbell County over the past decade to drill for coal-bed methane, reported the Billings Gazette.
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