We count down the top 5 fastest-growing US cities
In the early twentieth century, Boston had been a popular destination for migrants across Europe to work in its various manual industries. But by the 1950s, industry was also migrating – leaving this city of migrants in search of cheaper labour in America’s southern regions. While it enjoyed world-famous and leading universities such as Harvard, as well as good banks and hospitals, at the time these industries did not play much of role in the American economy. In the 1970s these industries became increasingly import components of the American economy. Boston, with its pre-existing comparative advantage, was able to experience an economic renaissance.
Seattle was home to the William Boeing’s boat company. Boeing also had an interest in aircrafts. Following the Second World War, Boeing took full advantage of the jet liner boom, providing employment for many residents. In the late 1960s Boeing ran into commercial trouble and slashed around three quarters of its workforce, giving Seattle an unemployment rate of 14 percent – well above the American average at the time. Seattle’s turnaround came about due to the growth of technology industries in the 1980s. Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen quietly moved to the city in 1979. The success of Microsoft led to a proliferation of a whole host of other technology firms in the city.
After its 1970s oil and gas boom, a fall in energy prices in the 1980s put the economy of Denver in crisis. Nearly 15,000 people working in the oil industry found themselves unemployed. As a result of overbuilding, 30 percent of office space in Denver became vacant – the highest rate in America at the time. Migration to the suburbs also resulted in Denver’s population reaching its lowest level in thirty years. In the 1990s the Rockies city began to pick up again, with its overabundance of empty and affordable office space attracting business. The initiative of city authorities to construct Denver International Airport, which opened in 1995, also made Denver a key transport hub.
Once plagued by financial crisis and in the grip of spiralling crime, New York is now one of the most successful cities in the world. New York’s status as a global financial hub allowed it to take full advantage of the financial big bang of the 1980s. In the 1990s as a result of a doubling of the police force and more aggressive policing, particularly of public space gatherings, in the 1990s the city saw a decline in its crime rate, attracting young professionals and graduates to work and live in the city. Some would argue New York has been too much of a success, with spiralling rents now forcing native residents out of the city.
The Dot-com boom of the 1990s saw an influx of entrepreneurs and software companies to the Bay Area city. As a result, the city was badly hurt when the bubble burst, leaving behind empty offices and “For Rent” signs. The decline was short-lived, with the new boom of web 2.0 and technology and internet start-ups leading the way. San Francisco is now one of the key destinations of budding internet and technology entrepreneurs and ambitious university graduates.