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Houston Takes #1 Spot on Forbes’ Fastest Growing Cities List

Houston beat out four-year winner Austin for the title of America’s fastest-growing city in Forbes’ new list. They join three other Texas cities– Dallas, Fort Worth and San Antonio– giving Texas five of the top ten spots on the list.

Forbes says Texas’ energy boom– it doubled its oil output in the past three years– contributed to the high ranking. Since Houston is the epicenter of the energy boom, it’s no surprise they took number one.

Houston has grown by half a million people in the past four years and, according to the Greater Houston Partnership, they will add 63,000 jobs in 2015. All of these new residents mean a strong housing economy. Over the past five years realtors in Houston sold more than 425,000 homes.

Another contributing factor to Houston’s success was exports. With more than 3,000 companies doing business internationally the value of Houston’s exports grew 74.5 percent since 2009.

Forbes created this list by starting with America’s 100 most populous Metropolitan Statistical Areas, and then examining data like estimated population growth, year-over-year job growth and gross metro product growth. They then factored in federal unemployment data and the median annual pay for educated workers in the areas.

With Houston’s massive gains from oil and oil’s falling prices it’s hard to guess where they will be ranked next year. Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president of research at the Greater Houston Partnership, doesn’t seem worried. He told Forbes “When oil prices are low, Houston’s economy grows. When oil prices are high, Houston’s economy booms.”

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