2017’s Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities All Have This 1 Thing in Common

Finding the perfect place to spend life isn’t always easy, and moving is the worst. The preparation that goes into the whole ordeal is exhausting enough, let alone the actual movement of your belongings from point A to point B. Then, there’s the unpacking.

Typically, the purpose of moving is to find a better place to live. Whether the cost of living, quality of life, or career opportunity ignite your purpose, making the ultimate decision to transport yourself and your family is a big deal. And when it comes to pulling up roots, many Americans are heading in the same direction.

When WalletHub released its data of the fastest-growing cities in the country, there was one common denominator for the top 15: All of the cities were either in the South or West. Here are the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. for 2017.

15. Cape Coral, Florida

boat on water

Cape Coral is on the Gulf of Mexico and known for its fishing and boating. | Nadezda Murmakova/Shutterstock

While escaping the cold of winter for the city’s balmy coastal lifestyle sounds great, the vast majority of the Cape Coral’s growth stems from increased job opportunities. Since 1990, the resident average age has decreased as the job market grows, making Cape Coral more than just a sunny place for retirees.

Next: You’ll be just far enough from that weird city here.

14. Round Rock, Texas

water in Texas

It’s one of the best affordable places to live. | SWCargill/iStock/Getty Images

This city near Austin, Texas, is on the rise for good reason. City life isn’t for everyone, which is why Round Rock is just far away enough from Austin to entice some growth. In 2016, Round Rock ranked fourth on Livability’s Best Affordable Places to Live. The median income of Round Rock is $72,412. And with a resident median age of 33 the city is on a great trajectory for continued growth.

Next: New housing has grown this city.

13. Irvine, California

Irvine, California

Irvine is an eco-friendly city. | David McNew/Getty Images

This Orange County city has been experiencing rapid growth, and it’s practically all due to the new housing development projects, along with increased job and business opportunities. Irvine serves as the command post for more than a third of Fortune 500 companies. Beyond that, the city has a lot going for it. It’s safe, has surprisingly manageable traffic, and prides itself on being one of the most eco-friendly cities in the country.

Next: This city near Nashville is an affordable place to live.

12. Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

It was voted the most affordable city in 2016. | Swarmcatcher/iStock/Getty Images

Perhaps the word got out that Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was voted the most affordable city in 2016, according to Livability, or maybe it’s just the perfect distance away from Nashville. Besides being a little less than an hour car ride from Music City, Murfreesboro is home to Middle Tennessee State University. A population of 117,983, a median household income of $51,094, and the average home cost of $181,900 prime this city for substantial growth in the coming years.

Next: Here’s a gateway to some of the nation’s most beautiful land.

11. Saint George, Utah

St. George, Utah

It’s perfect for kids or thrill-seekers. | George Frey/Getty Images

A base camp for outdoor enthusiasts visiting Zion National Park and surrounding areas, Saint George, Utah, is becoming increasingly popular. Located in the far southwest corner of Utah, the city ranked 10th for Livability’s Best Cities for Families. That makes sense when you consider the available space for kids to roam freely, in addition to all the museums and overall safe environment.

Next: This city is what the Bay Area is all about.

10. Pleasanton, California

Pleasanton, CA Alameda Fair

It’s comparatively affordable for the area. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Bay Area has been a popular place to live for quite some time, and Pleasanton, California, is only about an hour from San Francisco. It has become home to a plethora of corporate offices, including AT&T, Clorox, and Symantec. The median home price is $772,500, but with a bright economy and one of the best school districts in the state, Pleasanton is a nice place to live.

Next: This city takes pride in being weird.

9. Austin, Texas

Austin reflections on Lady Bird Lake

Enjoy everything Austin has to offer. | RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/iStock/Getty Images

If live music is your priority, then Austin, Texas, should be, too. The capital city of Texas is one of the best when it comes to growth. The city saw 6.1% economic growth from 2011 to 2016. Besides the live music, all things weird do actually happen in Austin. From topless public pools to beer and coffee bars, Austin is ahead of the cool curve. The city has a population just shy of 1 million. The median household income is $57,689, and the median home price is $240,800.

Next: This Pacific Northwest city showcases its natural beauty.

8. Bend, Oregon

skiing

The growth is happening almost too quickly. | Mount Bachelor via Facebook

Who doesn’t want to spend some time on a river or in the mountains? Situated on the Deschutes River and near the Mount Bachelor ski area, Bend, Oregon, is an outdoor mecca. Although some experts question the sustainability of Bend’s rapid growth, the city’s median home price hovers around $271,300. Many find that reasonable for the high quality of life gained from this city.

Next: The Sunshine State continues to lure residents. 

7. Fort Myers, Florida

Boat dock in Fort Myers

The affordable city is right on the water. | Ludibarrs/iStock/Getty Images

Cape Coral’s neighbor Fort Myers is surprisingly affordable for its location. The city ranks high for its job market and economy, according to WalletHub. And with a median home price of just $146,800, it’s a reasonable place to live for many families.

Next: The Lone Star State appears again.

6. McKinney, Texas

McKinney, Texas fountain

McKinney benefits from its proximity to Dallas. | Michael Barera/Wikimedia Commons

Places near Dallas are reaping the benefits of the city’s growth. It’s not uncommon for families to grow and migrate out of the city center. McKinney, Texas, is expected to see job growth as companies are attracted to the city. For now, the median home price rests around $205,400.

Next: This Texas city is big on job growth.

5. Midland, Texas

pumping oil

The oil town is booming. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Midland, Texas, ranked No. 1 in job growth in 2016, according to Forbes. The city’s median age is 32, and the median household income is about $70,000, according to Livability. The median home price is $171,700, making Midland an affordable place to live for young families.

Next: This gem of a city is on the rise.

4. Meridian, Idaho

Meridian, Idaho

The small city is growing quickly. | Village at Meridian/Wikimedia Commons

Located in Treasure Valley, Meridian, Idaho, topped WalletHub’s list of small cities with the highest growth. And it ranked No. 3 for highest job growth. Its resident median age is about 35, and median home prices are $191,000.

Next: If you want to golf, go here.

3. Lehigh Acres, Florida

Lehigh Acres, Florida

Home prices are fairly affordable. | Glenkoz/iStock/Getty Images

Just a 30-minute drive east of Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Florida, is surrounded by canals and lakes and boasts several golf courses. With a median home price of around $88,300 and median household income of around $40,226, purchasing a home is in reach in Lehigh Acres.

Next: This Pacific Northwest suburb is booming.

2. Kent, Washington

Kent, Washington

Get the views without the steep price tag. | gmc3101/iStock/Getty Images

Situated south of Seattle by a 30-minute drive and north of Tacoma by about the same distance, Kent, Washington, is a beautiful city. Seattle’s cost of living is high, so it’s no surprise people are sprawling. The median home price in Kent is around $250,900, and median income is $60,191. If cruising the coast is your thing, Kent is your place.

Next: This Lone Star city is the fastest growing of all. 

1. Frisco, Texas

Frisco, Texas

There is plenty of room for growth. | Jaynir/iStock/Getty Images

Frisco, Texas, has taken the cake as the fastest-growing city in the nation. It saw a 6.2% increase in its population from July 2015 to July 2016. And with ample room for continued growth, buying a home isn’t out of reach. The median home price is around $277,600. In addition, Frisco has the highest job growth rate, according to WalletHub. This city is an ideal locale for escaping the hustle and bustle of the Dallas-Fort Worth madness.

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