City of McAllen News

McAllen Earns Top 10 Spot on U.S. Boomtowns List: Population, construction and new business growth, coupled with rising wages and lower unemployment over past five years keys to ranking

by Office of Communications | Aug 10, 2018


The United States of America has always been the land of opportunity and each part of the country has seen its share of prosperity: a boom thanks to an agricultural, industrial or some other commercial opportunity that drives people to move and more importantly, build homes and businesses in different locations around the country, shaping the landscape, population and economy for these communities.  The latest ranking of the Biggest Boomtowns in America by Magnify Money show that people are flocking to and prospering in Texas.  Texas metros take up one-third of the top 15 spots, with McAllen, Texas earning the #10 spot, just beating out Houston.  Austin came in as the #1 boomtown in the United States, with Dallas earning the #7 spot and San Antonio coming in at #9. 


“This is an incredible testament to the opportunity available here in McAllen,” said City of McAllen Mayor Jim Darling.  “This represents the dynamic partnership that exists between the business community and local government to do the type of things that attract people and industry to our city.”


The methodology used to calculate the ranking of growing metros, researchers looked at

how much each U.S. metro has changed between 2011 and 2016 – the most recent year for which all data is available at the metro level – in three different categories.  Business Growth; Population and Housing; and Workforce and Earnings were scored independently before combining the results to reach a metro’s final score.


The first thing that was reviewed was how much business and industry has grown locally. Researchers not only wanted to know how many new businesses there are, but also how businesses in general are doing, as measured by their increase in hiring and — for businesses that don’t have employees, known as non-employers — how much revenue has increased.


While McAllen had a modest 6.5% increase in the number of new businesses that opened shop in the area in the past five years, the number of employees and revenues shot up by 14.7% and 19.1%, respectively.  According to Steve Alenius, president of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, business is always good in McAllen.  As the population grows, the economy will continue to diversify, creating more job opportunities for the community.



The most essential component to a boomtown is this: Are people coming, and is the metro growing to keep up? To figure that out, researchers used the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) to measure changes in total population and the number of housing units.  The population for McAllen’s metro area had a steady growth rate of 9.4% and housing availability slowly rose with it, at 6.2%. 


“We look pretty good when you compare our numbers,” said Keith Patridge, Executive Director of the McAllen Economic Development Corporation.   “It also goes to show how important the census data is.” 


McAllen’s growing workforce and rising wages and employment opportunities is a key factor to McAllen’s ranking on the list.  People generally enter a local workforce because they seek better opportunities, so researchers wanted to see how that changed, along with improvements to the unemployment rate and the increase in earnings.  McAllen’s civilian labor workforce grew by 8.7%, as overall, it’s unemployment rate has decreased by 10.9%.  Add to that the median earnings for workers skyrocketing by 18.4% and it is easy to see why more people are flocking to McAllen.


“The City of McAllen is committed to providing an environment for successful developments and projects through customer friendly processes,” said City of McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, P.E.   “This ensures a prosperous business environment for companies to open and expand, attracting more employees and customers.  It’s a win-win for us all.”



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