The fastest growing cities in the United States are not New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. In fact, growth in those cities — America’s three largest — appears to have peaked, according to new census data covering the period up until July 2014.
And they’re not alone. Seven of the 10 largest cities in America saw reduced growth in 2014, as did 53 of the 81 cities with more than 250,000 people.
So where are Americans going? Drawn by the allure of the Sun Belt, they are moving to Texas, the Southeast and the Mountain West.
The Sun Belt region stretches across the southern and southwestern portions of the U.S., from Florida to California, and generally includes the states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California. However, some people define the Sun Belt region as extending as far north as the cities of Denver, Raleigh-Durham, Memphis, Salt Lake City and San Francisco.
The Sun Belt has a high proportion of immigrants and mild winters make the region attractive to retirees. Other draws include plentiful, affordable housing, an overall perceived lower cost of living, and employment.
People move where the jobs are, says William Frey of the Brookings Institute, who adds that jobs are beginning to reemerge in Sun Belt states such as Texas, Florida, Arizona, Nevada and Georgia.
“Over the past several decades, the Sun Belt has shown much greater growth in terms of employment, which help to attract some from other parts of the U.S., as well as immigrants,” Frey said in an email.
Below are the six fastest-growing big cities in the United States, according to Frey.
Durham, North Carolina
Fort Worth, Texas