For decades, the vast majority of Americans have favored living in more populated cities rather than rural areas. According to the most recent U.S. Census, the appeal of moving to these densely inhabited areas is still on the rise.
New data released from the 2020 U.S. Census shows the population in metro areas has grown by 9% over the last decade. 312 out of 384 metros grew their population over the last decade. 86% of the total U.S. population lives in metropolitan areas, up from 85% in 2010.
All the fastest-growing metros are in the western or southern United States, with states like Utah, Florida, and North Carolina holding many of the cities on the list.
Here are the top 10 fastest growing metropolitans in the U.S. according to the 2020 census.
The Villages, FL
Coming in at number one on the list is The Villages metro area, located in central Florida. The Villages is an area dominated by a master-planned retirement community with the same name. It provides several recreational facilities like golf courses, pools, and fitness trails and boasts a very low crime rate.
The Villages has grown by 38.9% over the last decade, starting with 93,420 residents in 2010 to 129,752 in 2020.
The population isn’t the only value that’s skyrocketed at The Villages, however. In July of 2010, the average cost of a home was just over $200,000. Fast-forward to July 2021 and the median home value has jumped to over $308,000, with most of that jump coming in the last year.
Also in the last year, The Villages have seen 3% fewer new listings in the area. More people and fewer homes for sale means it will likely become even more expensive to move to The Villages in the future.
Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX
Known for its exciting music scene, growing technology industry, and lively cultural life, it’s no surprise that Austin is one of the fastest-growing metros in the nation. The state capital of Texas has seen its population increase from 1.7 million to almost 2.3 million residents over the past decade, a 33% increase.
Home values in Austin have risen dramatically as well.
In 2010, the average home in the Austin metro area cost around $210,000. But, that figure has rocketed to nearly $500,000 as of July 2021, according to Zillow.
The housing market has grown a lot over the last year, with a 12.7% increase in new listings throughout the area. Housing prices have also increased by over 36% in the last year, thanks to the area’s bull market.
St. George, UT
The St. George metro area is located in the southwest corner of Utah, along the Arizona border. This area is known for its outdoor recreation and proximity to beautiful state and national parks, such as Zion National Park and The Grand Canyon.
Population in the St. George area increased from 138,115 in 2010 to 180,279 in 2020 — a 30.5% change. Home values rose over the past decade as well, from just over an average of $200,000 to over $452,000 by July 2021. But new listings have decreased by nearly 20% in the last year, making demand even greater in the area.
Greeley sits less than an hour’s drive north of Denver in Northern Colorado. From the city, residents can view the spectacular Rocky Mountains along the horizon.
The Greeley metro area has grown by 30% over the last decade, going from 252,825 to 328,981 residents. Like many other suburban-esque areas in Colorado, housing costs have risen as well. The median home value in Greeley is currently around $455,000, up from $205,000 in 2010.
Even with the high prices, Greeley homes are being scooped off the market in less than a month, according to data from Realtor.com.
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC
The Myrtle Beach metropolitan area is located on the Atlantic coast and follows a beautiful, 60-mile continuous strand of beach. Myrtle Beach attracts millions of visitors each year, but it’s resident population has expanded as well. The area saw a 29.5% increase in population over the past decade, with a current population of over 487,000 people according to the 2020 census.
While home values have not changed in South Carolina as drastically as other areas on this list, the average home value did increase from $182,272 in 2010 to just over $252,000 in July 2021, with a 21% listing price increase just in the last year. All signs show that the housing boom affecting other cities hasn’t quite hit Myrtle Beach. More people are trying to sell their homes, with 30% more new listings in July 2021 than the previous year.
The second metropolitan area in Utah to make this list, Provo is home to Brigham Young University and is a short drive from Salt Lake City, the most populous city in Utah. Nestled in the Utah Valley, this metropolitan area is known for its natural beauty and its Church of Latter-Day Saints temples.
The Provo-Orem metro area experienced a 27.4% growth in population in the last decade according to the 2020 census, with its current population around 670,000 people. Median home values have more than doubled since 2010, going from around $225,000 to just over $500,000 by July 2021.
In the last year, listing prices have increased by 36% while changes in new listings have decreased by almost 3%, more evidence of the current booming seller’s market.
A suburb of Mobile, the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley metropolitan area is located near the top of Mobile Bay and contains all of Baldwin County, Alabama. This metro region has seen its population jump from about 182,000 to over 231,000 people in 2020, a 27.2% increase over ten years.
The median home value in Baldwin County increased by over $100,000 since 2010, with a 21.8% listing price increase in the last year alone. Currently, the average cost of a home here is almost $275,000. New listings have also gone up by nearly 15% in the last year, so it’s likely this metro area will continue to grow.
Rounding out the list is the Bend metropolitan area, a moderately sized city located in central Oregon. Originally a logging town, Bend is now popular for its many outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, camping, mountain biking, rock climbing, and more.
The population in Bend increased by over 25% in the previous decade, and is currently around 200,000 residents according to the 2020 census. Housing values skyrocketed during that time — in 2010, the average home cost $224,000, but in 2021, that home would be worth over $600,000. Again, most of that change has occurred in the last year due to the current housing market boom. New listings have also increased in the last year by nearly 17%.
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