By Anthony Clark | The Gainesville Sun
Gainesville was ranked No. 1 among Cities on the Rise in data analyzed to measure business growth by the consumer advocacy website NerdWallet.
The company measured growth from 2007 to 2012 in three categories, with Gainesville showing an 18.7 percent increase in median income, a 6.6 percent increase in working age-population and 7.4 percent growth in airport passengers.
Each category was given an equal score of 0-100 for 233 cities. Gainesville was assigned 53.9 points, followed by Fargo, N.D. (48.9), Brownsville, Texas (48.2), Bloomington, Ill. (47.6), Fayetteville, N.C. (46.8), Alexandria, Va. (46.3), Shreveport, La. (45.9), El Paso, Texas (45.8), Huntsville, Ala. (45.7) and Mobile, Ala. (45.6).
“The cities on the list are ones that people tend to underestimate,” said Divya Raghavan, senior analyst for NerdWallet who conducted the study. “They can be really great for job seekers. Though initially they might think of cities like New York or San Francisco or Austin, there are plenty of smaller cities that have this growth trajectory that can make them maybe a better option.”
She noted that Gainesville also has a much lower cost of living than nearby bigger cities such as Orlando.
In another list put out by online self-storage site SpareFoot on Tuesday, Gainesville was ranked the fourth fastest growing college town with overall population growth of 30.29 percent between 2000 and 2010.
The fastest growing were Raleigh, N.C. (46.29 percent), College Station, Texas (38.25 percent) and Las Cruces, N.M. (31.44 percent).