These 25 safest fastest growing cities in America with high paying jobs attract thousands of newcomers every year. Abundance of employment opportunities, fat paychecks and relatively low crime rates have turned these places into attractive destination for domestic and international migrants.
As the title of our article suggests we took into account a few criteria while creating this ranking. First comes the safety. According to FBI, violent crime rates in America have continued to rise for the second consecutive year. Latest Federal Bureau’s report shows that there were 386.3 violent offenses per 100,000 inhabitants in 2016 which represents 3.4% increase compared to 2015. While violent crime rate’s growth raises concerns, property crime offenses have recorded the decline of 2% compared to a year ago, so overall picture is not as bleak as it might appear at first sight. Majority of places ranked here have crime rates below national average. Note though that there are few cities whose crime rates exceed America’s average. The reason why we included such places in this ranking are excellent wages and significant growth rates.
Next criteria we considered was a city’s growth. There are many ways in which a city’s growth can be measured. For instance, Forbes fastest growing cities 2017 focuses on population increase, employment, economic output, home prices, wages. To determine cities’ growth, we looked at two things – population growth and gross domestic product increase.
According to U.S. Census Bureau, America recorded 0.7% population increase between 2015 and 2016, which was one of the slowest growth rates in recent years. Like in the past, metro areas saw the greatest increase mainly due to the international and domestic migration of young people looking for employment opportunities. While people under 30 usually account for the greatest share of newcomers in the majority of fastest-growing metropolitan areas in US, there are a few exceptions. For instance, The Villages, FL, which saw 25.8% population increase between 2010 and 2016 and which was also one of the fastest growing cities in Florida in 2017, is a popular retirement destination and retirees make up the greatest share of new residents. It is also interesting to note that latest reports show that majority of fastest growing major cities in the US are located in the South and Southwest and if you want to find out which cities added the most residents in 2015 check our article 15 Fastest Growing US Cities Ranked by Population Growth. As for the list of cities with highest salaries and lowest cost of living in America, check out Investopedia’s article. In case you are wondering which are the highest paying cities in the world, some of them are NYC, Luxembourg, Geneva, and of course Zurich that is apparently the best city to make money in the world.
Besides population growth, we also looked at GDP increase across metro areas as well as average wages. Bureau of Economic Analysis’s report shows that GDP rose in 267 out of 382 metropolitan areas in 2016. The greatest rise of 8.1% was seen in Bend-Redmond, OR, and Lake Charles, LA. Lake Charles is not included in this ranking despite the growth because its average wage of $22.07 places the area among the lowest paying ones in the US.
To create this list, we first discovered 50 fastest growing metropolitan areas using as a criteria population growth, GDP growth, and hourly earnings. Then we looked at violent and property crime rates in these 50 places to come up with our final ranking 25 safest fastest growing cities in America with high paying jobs.
25. Jacksonville, FL
Population growth: 2.1%
GDP growth: 3.1%
Hourly earnings: $26.65
Violent crime rate: 478.9
Property crime rate: 2894.3
Jacksonville gained around 30,000 new residents which accounted for 2.1% population growth. Along with population rise, GDP also increased. The 3.1% change was driven by performance in trade and finance sector. Jacksonville’s crime rates are among the highest ones here, and it is a reason why this metro area did not rank higher.