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The 30 Best Up-and-Coming Small Cities in America

Whether you’re looking for the next up-and-coming small city or you’re eager for a change of pace, these fast-growing small cities in the US should be on your radar.

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Top Growth Cities Across the United States

Whether you’re looking for the next big city or you’re just eager for a change of pace, we’ve got you covered. The US Census Bureau shared that the top growth cities and towns continue to be dominated by the South. All across the region are towns that are tops for healthcare, jobs, incomes, outdoor recreation and affordable housing.

We examined this list, but also checked in with the Milken Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, which put out their own annual report on the Best Performing Cities. They looked at US cities driving economic growth, tracking qualities like jobs, wages, housing affordability and access to broadband. Selecting great towns from both lists, as well as from a survey on the best small hometowns, here are the top up-and-coming cities in America.

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Georgetown, Texas

Georgetown is the fastest-growing city in the nation, growing by more than 14% in one year, according to the US Census Bureau. This town of 86,500 is just 30 miles north of Austin, but it stands on its own as a must-visit destination thanks to historic architecture, a hot winery scene, farm-to-table dining and one of the most beautiful town squares in all of Texas. A scenic lagoon at Blue Hole Park and a massive underground cave system at Inner Space Cavern add to the allure of this Central Texas town.


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Queen Creek, Arizona

Some consider Queen Creek to be among the most closely held secrets in Arizona. However, given the population growth it’s seen — up nearly 7% year-over-year — it looks like the secret may be out. With more than 330 days of annual sunshine and plentiful outdoor recreation opportunities, this suburb to the southeast of Phoenix is easily winning over visitors, converting many to residents. Manicured green spaces, like Desert Mountain Park and Founder’s Park, are among the draws, as are unexpected finds, like olive and peach groves.

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Buckeye, Arizona

A second Phoenix suburb that’s an up-and-comer is Buckeye, a town of 105,000 that’s just 35 miles west of the state’s capital city. This town’s population grew more than 15% in two years, luring in outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. Skyline Regional Park and Estrella Mountain Regional Park offer miles and miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails. The nearby Desert Botanical Garden is wildly popular, too, with more than 50,000 desert plants on display in the red rocks. Newcomers will also find affordable housing and very good schools.

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