15. Raleigh, North Carolina
Those who are looking for exploding growth in population and business should look no farther than Raleigh. This capital city of North Carolina was born back in 1788, according to the city’s website. Raleigh was created as one of the first planned cities in the United States. And despite its population of over 400,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, it maintains a great deal of its historic charm.
Home values have recovered from the worst of the housing crisis, and have increased by 5.3 percent in the past year alone, according to Zillow. The average value of homes in Raleigh and their average final sale price hover around $185,000, while listings are higher at $209,900.
These numbers are higher than the national average of $169,200. Raleigh’s increase in home values is on par with national growth in housing, as well. Growth, among other things, led 91.4 percent of Raleigh residents to say that they are content with the area, according to the city’s website.
In the Raleigh metropolitan area is the “Research Triangle,” three universities that provide a seat of study and technological innovation. The schools are North Carolina State University, Duke University in Durham and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill.
And according to Forbes, Research Triangle Park has attracted over 170 global corporations in its 50-year history, providing plenty of potential job opportunities for recent college graduates. Forbes named Raleigh one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., with a consistent population increase over three percent since 2012.
The city is also called the “city of oaks,” for its dedication to keeping the city beautiful and green, even as it grows. Couple it with a moderate unemployment rate, per the U.S. Census Bureau, and a median household salary 20 percent above the national average, and Raleigh is very appealing, indeed.