Cities are constantly evolving, and not always in the same ways. While one city may have solid finances and a growing population, another may see its people and prosperity trickle away. How do Arizona cities fare among the fastest-growing and declining cities across the U.S.?

LEARN MORE: Here’s where Arizona cities rank among most future-ready cities

The team at FinanceBuzz collected the most up-to-date growth data on 117 U.S. cities with a population in excess of 200,000 people. 

Here’s what we found:

  • Gilbert (#2), Chandler (#3), Glendale (#5), and Mesa (#13) are among the fastest-growing cities in the nation 
  • From 2019 to 2022, per capita income in Scottsdale increased by 22%
  • Arizona has six cities that rank in the top 30 fastest-growing metropolitan areas

Key findings

  • San Francisco, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; and New York, New York, are the fastest-declining cities in the United States.
  • Frisco, Texas; Gilbert, Arizona; and Chandler, Arizona, are among the fastest-rising cities nationwide.
  • Texas has four cities that rank in the top 25 fastest-declining metropolitan areas.

How we chose metrics and cities

For this analysis, we wanted to see how things have changed in each city when comparing the recent past to the present. Specifically, we tracked growth and decline by looking at a three-year period starting with the last full pre-pandemic year (2019) and ending with the most recent full calendar year (2022). Every U.S. city with a population in excess of 200,000 people in 2019 was included, for a total of 117 cities.

  • Population change (2019 to 2022): A steadily increasing population is a trademark of healthy, growing cities, while a shrinking population can be a sign of decline.
  • Unemployment rate change (2019 to 2022): If a city has a booming economy, it tends to be easier to find work, while struggling cities will have higher unemployment rates.
  • Per capita income increase compared to peer cities (2019 to 2022): Income has increased in every city in the country since 2019, but it’s risen at a faster rate in booming cities compared to declining ones.
  • New home construction: Cities on the rise tend to lead to population increases, which means there is more demand for new housing. We looked at the number of homes constructed per capita.
  • New businesses: Thriving cities tend to be attractive locations for business owners looking to open up or expand shop. For this metric, we looked at the number of new businesses opened relative to the population.
  • Percentage of homes that are vacant: If a high percentage of available homes are empty in a city, then a lack of demand from people moving to the city and/or an exodus of previous residents may be to blame.
  • Home value increase compared to peer cities (2019 to 2022): Cities in decline tend to trail behind their peers when it comes to how much more valuable their homes become over time.
  • Percentage of residents with debt in collections: Having a high percentage of the population with delinquent loans and bills can be reflective of a poor financial environment in a given city. Plus, it can hamper future financial growth.

Our team took these factors together and used the results to create an indexed score that dynamically compares each city relative to all others. Scores were weighted to a 100-point scale, with higher scores indicating cities that are in greater decline.

The top 10 fastest-growing cities

While all of the cities mentioned above have struggled in the last few years, there are other places that have been thriving since 2019. The following cities have the lowest decline scores in the country, marking them as cities on the rise.

1. Frisco, Texas

Housing tells the story in this city near Dallas, Texas, as more than 2,200 new homes per 100,000 people were built in the city in 2022. That’s while just 3.5% of existing homes in Frisco sit vacant. This high demand for housing makes sense given Houston, Texas’, 9.5% population increase since 2019.

2. Gilbert, Arizona

Gilbert is the first of three different cities located near Phoenix, Arizona, that land in the top five. Gilbert has an even lower vacant housing rate than Frisco, Texas, at just 2.9%. That’s even more impressive given that home values in Gilbert have risen at one of the five fastest comparative rates in the country, increasing a whopping 77% faster than average since 2019.

3. Chandler, Arizona

As the second city in the Phoenix, Arizona, area on this list, Chandler has a housing market very similar to Gilbert, Arizona. Chandler has also enjoyed strong improvements in business and jobs in recent years. Unemployment has fallen by 0.6% in the last three years, while nearly 30,000 new businesses per 100,000 people opened in 2022.

4. North Las Vegas, Nevada

North Las Vegas has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the country over the last three years, as the population has grown by more than 11%, and per capita income has risen 49% faster than average.

5. Glendale, Arizona

Glendale is the final city in the Phoenix, Arizona, cluster to land in our top five, thanks in large part to the biggest increase in home values in the country. Between 2019 and 2022, home values in Glendale have risen 82% faster than in peer cities.

6. Orlando, Florida

The East Coast home of Mickey Mouse is one of America’s top tourist destinations, and it’s also a popular place to move to. Over the last three years, Orlando’s population has risen by nearly 10%, while home values have risen at a rate of 24% faster than average.

7. Port St. Lucie, Florida

Located on Florida’s Atlantic coast, no city in our entire analysis has experienced a bigger three-year population boom than Port St. Lucie. The city has grown by nearly 15%, with its population increase also fueling the nation’s highest rate of new home construction (2,385 new homes per 100,000 people in 2022).

8. Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville is another city that has enjoyed a significant population increase in recent years, growing by nearly 11% since 2019. That is the third-highest rate in the country, behind only Port St. Lucie, Florida, and North Las Vegas, Nevada.

9. Miami, Florida

Miami boasts a booming business scene, as there were more than 28,000 new businesses opened per 100,000 people in 2022. Even more crucial to the city’s top-10 ranking is the fact that per capita income in the city has risen 135.6% faster than in other cities since 2019. That’s the fastest rate of any city we studied.

10. Boise, Idaho

Boise’s unemployment rate has fallen by 2.6% since 2019, while home values have increased 79% faster than other cities (the second-highest rate in the country). Additionally, just 17% of Boise’s residents have debt in collections. That’s one of the 15-lowest rates in the country.

A city-by-city breakdown of America’s fastest-declining and growing cities

CityPopulation change
Unemploy-ment rate change
Per capita income
change compared to other cities(2019-2022)
New homes per 100K
New businesses per 100K
Home value change
compared to other cities(2019-2022)
Vacant housing %
% with debt in collections
Overall decline score
(higher means worse)
San Francisco, CA-8.29%0.00%-3.0%448.91,754.4-72.8%12.7%11.0%73.9
New Orleans, LA-5.23%-1.00%-47.4%256.42,544.4-28.6%22.9%40.0%72.2
New York, NY-0.01%1.20%-37.6%222.51,934.6-71.4%8.3%20.0%72.0
Boston, MA-6.05%0.80%-7.2%577.81,771.5-61.9%7.7%20.0%70.6
Detroit, MI-7.41%1.20%-75.1%87.56,339.461.0%21.9%36.0%67.6
Chicago, IL-1.07%0.10%-36.2%344.33,515.5-58.4%8.2%27.0%67.2
Anchorage, AK-0.30%-1.30%-12.7%108.01,342.9-72.3%9.1%18.0%67.1
Portland, OR-3.00%0.70%-25.8%495.51,811.1-30.6%6.7%17.0%66.4
Honolulu, HI-0.48%-0.10%-4.9%135.73,419.1-50.7%12.6%15.0%65.8
Baton Rouge, LA0.55%-1.80%-51.1%354.54,421.7-56.6%16.0%39.0%65.4
St. Louis, MO-4.66%-0.80%11.3%202.02,240.9-27.5%14.8%42.0%65.4
Corpus Christi, TX-3.17%-0.60%16.0%237.81,032.1-32.4%12.2%46.0%64.9
Baltimore, MD-3.97%-1.80%-33.6%237.02,457.8-21.2%13.3%41.0%64.9
Pittsburgh, PA0.87%0.00%-40.4%291.84,718.8-25.7%15.8%21.0%64.4
Washington, D.C.-4.81%-1.20%-1.2%1,299.52,126.5-67.1%9.4%22.0%63.3
Wichita, KS1.60%0.50%-37.4%465.91,581.6-6.2%11.5%31.0%63.1
Virginia Beach, VA1.25%-0.70%-36.5%133.21,841.9-25.1%6.0%28.0%62.3
Laredo, TX-2.40%-0.80%-3.5%494.61,217.9-35.7%5.8%51.0%62.2
Los Angeles, CA-3.95%1.40%-1.4%479.34,210.2-7.3%7.1%22.0%62.2
St. Paul, MN-1.60%0.40%32.5%226.92,106.0-37.3%6.2%16.0%61.9
Rochester, NY1.78%1.20%-19.8%187.24,023.8-6.3%10.5%21.0%61.6
San Antonio, TX-4.80%0.20%-26.5%1,036.51,747.67.6%9.0%38.0%61.3
Lubbock, TX1.96%3.00%14.5%981.71,350.4-12.9%8.2%41.0%61.2
San Jose, CA-4.95%0.00%8.9%426.11,886.8-6.6%4.7%11.0%60.9
Minneapolis, MN-1.05%0.20%25.5%675.14,486.8-58.5%8.0%13.0%60.5
Richmond, VA-0.45%1.00%-24.5%731.92,324.8-0.3%6.4%34.0%60.3
Norfolk, VA-4.02%-0.80%22.1%454.91,655.4-16.4%8.7%45.0%60.2
Milwaukee, WI-4.55%-0.30%11.4%163.93,198.88.9%10.5%33.0%60.2
Louisville, KY1.10%0.30%4.8%523.81,934.8-29.7%6.8%33.0%60.2
Des Moines, IA-1.50%-1.50%-14.1%351.63,046.4-31.8%7.1%20.0%60.1
Philadelphia, PA-1.06%-1.20%5.4%427.21,861.0-30.3%8.2%35.0%59.9
Lincoln, NE1.22%-0.90%-36.3%549.21,028.6-14.7%5.3%17.0%59.5
Fort Wayne, IN-0.92%-0.30%-12.6%135.91,865.811.0%7.2%27.0%59.4
Yonkers, NY3.87%-0.70%-75.4%175.97,243.9-41.0%3.0%16.0%59.0
Lexington, KY-0.87%0.10%-1.7%757.91,377.3-8.9%5.5%28.0%58.5
Tulsa, OK2.66%-0.70%-59.0%347.02,530.920.5%9.6%33.0%57.9
Cincinnati, OH1.83%-1.60%-48.4%330.54,186.9-7.8%9.8%29.0%57.7
Houston, TX-0.75%0.50%-8.5%836.34,037.1-1.8%9.2%37.0%57.5
Oakland, CA-0.57%-0.10%48.4%596.94,406.2-48.6%8.4%15.0%57.4
El Paso, TX-0.63%0.30%24.3%542.81,227.74.3%7.5%37.0%57.2
Memphis, TN-4.61%-1.40%-19.7%365.03,136.943.8%12.4%39.0%56.7
Oxnard, CA-4.05%-1.80%4.9%194.63,804.6-6.6%5.4%18.0%56.7
Birmingham, AL-5.97%-1.00%-23.4%536.36,157.152.7%18.8%36.0%56.6
San Diego, CA-3.00%-0.20%8.6%299.22,920.420.3%6.5%20.0%56.6
Columbus, OH1.05%-0.20%-28.3%569.62,684.018.5%8.7%31.0%56.5
Fayetteville, NC-1.32%0.50%17.5%343.72,921.921.5%8.0%37.0%56.2
Madison, WI5.09%0.00%-27.0%710.12,300.1-22.8%3.6%12.0%56.2
Winston-Salem, NC1.37%1.00%20.4%553.82,226.023.2%12.2%34.0%56.1
Seattle, WA-0.59%-0.30%33.5%765.34,102.1-33.8%7.7%13.0%55.9
Bakersfield, CA6.90%1.60%-34.7%453.21,848.121.4%5.0%31.0%55.9
Stockton, CA2.92%0.40%-4.2%294.62,483.415.0%6.5%25.0%55.5
Omaha, NE1.46%-1.40%-14.4%432.41,652.7-2.3%5.3%20.0%55.4
Denver, CO-1.92%0.70%19.3%1,417.62,926.5-10.6%7.3%25.0%55.4
Albuquerque, NM0.09%-0.90%-8.4%273.11,852.022.9%5.7%30.0%54.9
Cleveland, OH-5.09%-2.20%14.2%462.16,163.98.9%15.4%31.0%54.6
Kansas City, MO2.82%-0.30%-5.8%756.32,541.03.5%8.9%34.0%54.4
Fremont, CA-7.15%0.80%25.8%1,041.78,474.1-8.4%4.4%15.0%54.2
Dallas, TX-3.28%-0.60%15.6%712.84,363.010.6%8.2%41.0%54.1
Chesapeake, VA3.13%-0.90%4.8%579.01,608.0-19.3%2.3%29.0%53.9
Oklahoma City, OK6.07%0.10%-21.7%1,062.52,152.4-1.2%9.2%36.0%53.7
Anaheim, CA-1.69%0.10%-58.9%258.413,099.30.6%3.3%18.0%53.2
Tacoma, WA1.81%1.40%-3.7%634.44,636.727.9%6.1%21.0%53.2
Santa Ana, CA-7.26%-0.10%-2.5%123.914,641.0-3.5%4.8%18.0%52.8
Modesto, CA1.34%-1.50%-2.7%222.91,967.714.3%3.5%25.0%52.7
Atlanta, GA-1.52%-0.20%-34.2%1,510.210,041.1-23.5%9.2%31.0%52.7
Greensboro, NC1.48%-2.50%-46.0%543.33,075.919.4%7.8%35.0%52.6
Jersey City, NJ9.38%0.30%-1.2%1,037.44,565.9-55.5%4.2%23.0%52.0
Tucson, AZ-0.27%-0.50%13.2%506.42,297.842.5%8.6%25.0%51.8
Indianapolis, IN0.48%-0.70%17.3%437.32,523.933.0%8.6%36.0%51.7
Riverside, CA-3.20%0.20%30.4%151.28,632.214.7%5.6%26.0%51.6
Sacramento, CA2.80%-0.60%-16.2%588.34,488.413.7%5.7%22.0%51.4
Toledo, OH-2.37%-3.60%24.2%299.72,119.09.8%8.3%34.0%51.1
Aurora, CO3.76%0.10%-8.1%901.33,766.44.2%3.6%24.0%51.0
Plano, TX0.65%-0.90%-38.9%430.38,126.120.0%5.0%23.0%50.5
Reno, NV6.98%1.20%-51.5%1,910.13,085.020.9%7.5%27.0%49.9
Fresno, CA2.63%-0.30%42.3%762.71,723.211.0%4.3%28.0%49.2
Colorado Springs, CO1.68%-1.30%-17.0%984.72,996.418.7%3.1%23.0%49.1
Las Vegas, NV0.76%-0.50%-9.9%757.57,522.620.1%7.4%33.0%49.0
Arlington, TX-1.07%-1.30%-35.5%488.19,339.330.6%6.7%39.0%48.9
Raleigh, NC0.53%-1.20%10.3%1,054.84,650.831.7%13.3%23.0%48.5
Buffalo, NY8.31%-1.30%10.3%276.03,324.622.0%11.9%23.0%47.9
Long Beach, CA-2.45%-0.10%22.8%193.735,657.5-6.4%5.7%22.0%47.5
Nashville, TN1.91%-0.50%5.0%1,873.02,238.425.9%8.6%29.0%46.8
Hialeah, FL-5.59%1.00%49.3%547.558,057.06.9%3.0%27.0%45.9
Charlotte, NC1.36%-0.30%16.9%1,187.63,297.248.0%6.9%31.0%45.8
Fort Worth, TX5.18%-0.80%-19.8%1,270.63,852.134.9%7.6%39.0%45.7
Newark, NJ8.27%-0.30%34.7%65.55,932.38.8%4.7%32.0%45.4
Fontana, CA-0.97%1.40%5.5%1,096.112,393.515.3%1.6%30.0%45.3
St. Petersburg, FL-1.54%0.40%54.6%512.19,950.063.3%17.0%28.0%45.2
Jacksonville, FL6.56%-0.60%-0.2%1,168.72,626.941.5%8.0%38.0%44.6
San Bernardino, CA2.11%-1.00%-20.5%103.011,951.733.0%4.3%30.0%44.3
Phoenix, AZ-2.18%-0.10%36.1%703.45,066.079.3%6.6%26.0%44.3
Spokane, WA3.64%-2.10%1.6%186.02,987.960.7%3.7%18.0%44.1
Grand Rapids, MI-2.04%-1.70%129.0%135.64,401.512.0%4.9%23.0%43.8
Santa Clarita, CA3.93%1.00%-15.0%841.772,703.24.4%2.7%22.0%42.9
Durham, NC4.64%-0.40%38.4%1,307.51,967.348.0%7.4%27.0%42.5
Henderson, NV3.51%-1.40%-81.8%1,403.114,896.414.2%7.2%33.0%41.9
Scottsdale, AZ-5.82%-0.30%22.2%906.034,274.869.5%14.0%26.0%41.4
Irving, TX6.22%-0.10%-17.5%623.822,259.810.0%5.7%41.0%40.8
Chula Vista, CA1.70%-3.70%-53.7%457.414,448.215.4%4.7%20.0%40.3
Salt Lake City, UT2.04%0.00%26.1%1,285.111,328.229.2%8.2%21.0%40.0
Garland, TX0.39%-0.10%16.0%975.323,540.819.7%5.7%41.0%39.9
Austin, TX-0.46%-0.40%49.5%1,531.93,181.375.0%5.0%28.0%39.5
Irvine, CA9.15%0.70%-23.2%1,435.514,384.51.6%5.2%18.0%38.5
Mesa, AZ-1.06%-1.20%-1.6%637.516,254.770.9%11.4%26.0%38.3
Tampa, FL-0.38%0.30%72.6%954.910,197.161.3%9.4%31.0%38.3
Moreno Valley, CA-0.53%-0.80%64.0%148.613,065.535.4%2.2%26.0%38.1
Boise City, ID3.35%-2.60%13.2%829.63,791.179.3%5.4%17.0%37.7
Miami, FL-3.94%0.60%135.6%1,344.128,451.814.3%12.5%27.0%36.7
Huntsville, AL10.65%0.30%67.4%1,555.92,745.945.9%8.4%28.0%36.3
Port St. Lucie, FL14.84%1.40%-28.4%2,384.53,682.266.9%8.8%30.0%36.0
Orlando, FL9.96%0.60%-3.4%1,315.815,410.624.0%7.5%33.0%34.6
Glendale, AZ-0.10%-0.90%13.8%667.933,039.782.3%5.7%26.0%33.7
North Las Vegas, NV11.34%2.80%49.1%1,552.717,597.727.1%8.0%33.0%32.7
Chandler, AZ7.48%-0.60%11.7%843.629,676.463.4%5.6%26.0%30.3
Gilbert, AZ8.36%-0.40%28.0%964.230,254.777.3%2.9%26.0%25.9
Frisco, TX9.53%-1.20%60.1%2,241.910,715.157.2%3.5%25.0%21.8