Growth spurt

Fort Worth neighbor zooms onto list of America’s biggest boomtowns

Fort Worth neighbor zooms onto list of America’s biggest boomtowns

Denton Main Street Association presents Arts & Autos Extravaganza
Denton's got it going on. Photo by Jason Bodor

North Texas is booming, and a new study from personal finance website SmartAsset ranks a fast-growing city just north of Fort Worth — Denton — among the nation’s top 50 boomtowns. 

If you live in or have driven through Denton recently, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. You’ve seen thousands of new residential rooftops pop up.

To come up with its list of boomtowns, SmartAsset evaluated data for 500 of the largest U.S. cities. It looked at growth factors for each city such as five-year population change, average yearly growth in economic output (GDP), five-year change in number of businesses, five-year growth in housing, and August 2021 unemployment rate.

Denton zooms onto the list, ranking No. 36 in the U.S.

The Dallas suburb of McKinney also made the top 50, coming in at No. 39.

Both areas have seen astounding growth in five years, according to SmartAsset data, with Denton's population skyrocketing 12.41 percent, the housing rate jumping 5.13 percent, and a 23.15 percent change in businesses.

McKinney has seen its population rise an astounding 27.24 percent, the housing rate jumping 30.85 percent, and a 24.01 percent change in businesses the last five years.

On SmartAsset's 100-point boomtown scale, Denton earns a score of 83.87 and McKinney, 83.59.

In another measure of its growth, Denton also claims the top spot on the Census Bureau's new list of the 10 “outlying” metro counties with the most growth in housing units from 2010 to 2020. The bureau defines outlying counties as those outside a region’s “urban center.”

No. 1-ranked Denton County saw the number of housing units go up 36 percent from 2010 to 2020 with the addition of 92,136 units, the bureau reports. 

“The number of occupied housing units grows when new housing is built or previously vacant homes become occupied," the Census Bureau explains. "It decreases when housing units become vacant, are demolished, or are converted into other uses.” 

Booming around Texas
Elsewhere in Texas, the Houston suburb of Conroe is Texas' top boomtown, and No. 3 nationally, tied with Meridian, Idaho. And three Central Texas cities, New Braunfels (No. 14), Austin (No. 17), and Round Rock (No. 25) cracked the top 50. 

Here's how the Texas boomtowns stack up:

  • New Braunfels (San Antonio metro area), tied for No. 14 with Concord, North Carolina. Boomtown score: 89.83. New Braunfels appeared at No. 6 in SmartAsset’s 2019 boomtown study.
  • Austin, No. 17. Boomtown score: 89.52. Austin appeared at No. 12 in SmartAsset’s 2019 boomtown study.
  • Round Rock (Austin metro area), tied for No. 25 with Charleston, South Carolina. Boomtown score: 86.98. Round Rock appeared at No. 10 in SmartAsset’s 2019 study.
  • Denton (Dallas-Fort Worth metro area), No. 36. Boomtown score: 83.87. Denton appeared at No. 2 in SmartAsset’s 2019 boomtown study.
  • McKinney (Dallas-Fort Worth metro area), No. 39. Boomtown score: 83.59. McKinney appeared at No. 14 in SmartAsset’s 2019 boomtown study.

Four Texas cities dropped out of the boomtown ranking from 2019 to 2021: Frisco, which ranked 13th two years ago; College Station, ranked 16th; Flower Mound, ranked 24th; and Allen, ranked 37th.

The No. 1 U.S. "boomtown" overall is Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville.