These Are the Fastest Growing Cities in the U.S. Right Now

San Antonio | Shutterstock
San Antonio | Shutterstock

It's impossible to gauge whether your city's population is actually growing when you're just going about your day-to-day business. Maybe the line at Whole Foods seems longer than normal or traffic jams are worse, but significant population booms take time to happen, and you can't exactly spot them like a weather pattern.

Fortunately, it's not on you to detect surges of new people moving in. That's what the US Census Bureau is for, and its just-released batch of number-crunching reveals which US cities are growing the fastest right now. 

Using data collected between 2016 and 2017, the Census Bureau looked at the numbers of people moving in and out of the largest cities, and determined which ones have seen the biggest bumps in population.

The city that's seen the biggest gain is San Antonio, which saw an increase of 24,208 people over the course of a year. Phoenix took the number two spot with 24,036 new people, and Dallas rounded out the top three, with 18,935 fresh residents. If you're curious whether where you live made the cut, these are the 15 fastest-growing large cities (population 50,000 or more), along with their respective increase in population between 2016-2017.

15. Henderson, Nevada -- 10,534
14. Irvine, California -- 11,068
13. Jacksonville, Florida -- 11,169
12. Austin, Texas -- 12,515
11. San Diego, California -- 12,834
10. Atlanta, Georgia -- 13.323
9. Frisco, Texas -- 13.470
8. Columbus, Ohio -- 15,429
7. Charlotte, North Carolina -- 15,551
6. Seattle, Washington -- 17,490
5. Los Angeles, California -- 18,643
4. Fort Worth, Texas -- 18,664
3. Dallas, Texas -- 18,935
2. Phoenix, Arizona -- 24,036
1. San Antonio, Texas -- 24,208

If you hadn't noticed, a whole bunch of those cities are in the South. In fact, 10 of the top 15 fastest-growing large cities and towns are there, and seven are in Texas alone. What's more, the fastest-growing large city in the country was Frisco, Texas, which had a growth rate of 8.2%, or roughly 11 times higher than that of the national growth rate of 0.7%. Also, Fort Worth actually grew fast enough to overtake Indianapolis as the 15th largest city in the country.

There are a few other noteworthy takeaways from this latest bit of intel. For instance, the South and West in general (from small towns to large cities) have seen a significant boost in population compared to the Northeast and Midwest since the year 2010, and they've been growing much faster than their counterparts. Another interesting detail is that the growth in new housing units (a.k.a. new homes/living quarters) has actually slowed or remained at the same rate as it was in 2007 in nearly every single state, with the exception being Utah, Idaho, and Colorado, which have all seen a boost.

As for what's compelling everyone to flock to the South and West, there's obviously no one reason, but it certainly might have something to do with all the good jobs up for grabs there right now. Or who knows, maybe it's all the great gas station food and seriously cool road trip possibilities

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.