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The Fastest Growing Cities in the American South

Updated on May 10, 2018
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

In many ways, music saved my life, and I have the most famous director of the USMC bands to thank for it!

Downtown Charlotte, North Carolina
Downtown Charlotte, North Carolina | Source

Top 10 Fastest Growing Cities in the US

The Research Triangle of the US has grown and developed to such an extent that during the five years 2007 - 2012, its home state, North Carolina, supports to of America's ten fastest growing cities: Charlotte and Raleigh.

Raleigh is located within the 13 counties of the Research Triangle within the innermost three counties of this region. Parts of Raleigh were linked to one of the ten worst places to find a job or start a business in 2007, but the economic landscape changed as the Research Triangle became increasingly successful.

To the west of the Triangle is a second quickly developing area called The Triad, with anchor cities Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point.

To the southwest of The Triad is the state's largest city, Charlotte, America's fastest growing city in 2012 and remaining on the list of the top 10 currently. It is located outside both the Triangle and Triad.

A number of industries are expanding in NC, but tourism received a boost for the 2012 film The Hunger Games and sequels filmed on location.

Charlotte NC - Number One:
Charlotte, NC, USA

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Raleigh NC - Number Two:
Raleigh, NC, USA

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Durham NC:
Durham, NC, USA

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Chapel Hill NC:
Chapel Hill, NC, USA

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Fastest Growing Cities, by Region


The CNN Money Top 10 List

Fastest growing cities often change ranking from year to year, but in 2012 no northern or northeastern state made the list at all:

  1. Charlotte NC
  2. Raleigh NC
  3. Cape Coral FL - Job openings increased from June 1, 2012 throughout the summer, continuing to increase at the end of August 2012. Highest demand job titles out of 6,500+ openings were Truck Driver, Sales Associate, Occupational Therapist, Engineer (all fields), Physical Therapist, and Physician.
  4. Provo, Utah
  5. Austin TX (TEXAS makes its own region with three cities listed: Austin, McAllen, and San Antonio.)
  6. Las Vegas, Nevada - Las Vegas and Paradise.
  7. McAllen TX
  8. Knoxville TN - I remember Knoxville in 1982 during the World's Fair of that year and today's Knoxville is incredibly different after 30 years. The overall development and improvements are good to see. The world's Fair of 1982 was not a success and the controversies arising from it and its management spurred the city leadership to begin better improvement programs going forward.
  9. Greenville SC -- America's Number One Micro-City.
  10. San Antonio TX

Comparison: Where Are the Most Job Openings in NC?

At the end of August 2012, over 142,980 job opening were advertised for North Carolina across all Internet options. The cities containing the most jobs include many within the triangle and Triad, along with others:

  1. Charlotte - Number One Growth City and largest city in the state. Charlotte is also a "Smart City."
  2. Raleigh - Number Two Growth City, Anchor of the Research Triangle and another "Smart City."
  3. Greensboro - Triad anchor city. Home to Vicks VapoRub and the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.
  4. Durham - Triangle anchor city. This is an anchor city in the Research Triangle. This city is known for tobacco and mustard as well as Duke Energy and Duke University - and Civil Rights Demonstrations.
  5. Winston-Salem - Triad anchor city. This city is one of the 2008 Dozen Distinctive Destinations recognized by the National Trust, along with Wilmington, below.
  6. Fayetteville - An award-winning city in different categories, this city is home to Fort Bragg and the US Army. The Downtown Are was revitalized in the 2000s, with good results in adding new businesses as well as new tourists.
  7. Asheville - Modern Maturity and AARP Magazine recommend this city to Seniors for ts liveliness. Rolling Stone even likes it. Forbes and Frommer's report that it is great for living, work, and business.
  8. Cary - Triangle city.
  9. Wilmington - Important port city in the south of the state, Wilmington was named by The National Trust for Historic Preservation among its Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2008. Travel and Tourism play a big part in its economy, but so does shipping and transport..
  10. Greenville - Health and Education center of the US Tidewater Region, with many entertainment venues as well.
  11. Chapel Hill - Triangle anchor city.

What Are the Highest Demand Jobs in NC?

In 2011 and 2012, job listings peaked significantly in December 2011 and July 2012. This is likely because of two major tourist seasons yearly.

  1. Occupational Therapists
  2. Physical Therapists
  3. Trucking: Company Drivers
  4. Engineers - Various fields.
  5. Registered Nurses - RN License and above
  6. Trucking: Owner Operators
  7. Assistant Managers
  8. Physicians - Several specialties, plus Family Practice. Highest-paid jobs advertized in the state.
  9. Pharmacy Technicians
  10. Shift Supervisors - various businesses
  11. Pizza Hut Jobs - All positions
  12. Retail Managers

Dallas at night.
Dallas at night. | Source

Comparison: Where Are the Most Jobs in Texas?

Texas cities with the most open jobs:

  1. Dallas - over 94,000 jobs
  2. Houston - over 79,000 jobs.
  3. Fort Worth - 45,500 jobs.
  4. San Antonio - over 29,000 jobs; one of the Top 10 Fast Growing Cities.
  5. Austin - 29,000 jobs; also a Top 10 Fast Growing City.
  • McAllen TX - Far down the list of "most Jobs", McAllen offered approximately 3,500 openings, but is a "Fastest Growing City."

The highest demand job titles in Texas

  1. Truck Drivers - nearly 84,000 jobs.
  2. Engineers - Various fields.
  3. Sales Representatives
  4. Physical Therapists
  5. Occupational Therapists
  6. Cashiers
  7. Project Managers
  8. Warehouse jobs
  9. Fast Food Jobs: Includes management and delivery positions.
  10. Physicians

© 2012 Patty Inglish MS


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