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24/7 Wall St.: Fastest Growing Cities in America

3. Plano, Texas

Change in population: 3.8%
Population 7/11: 269,776
Population 4/10: 259,841
Average annual city unemployment (2011): 6.9%
Increase in jobs (2010 to 2011): 41,700 (2.1%)

Plano’s population increased by almost 10,000 between April 2010 and July 2011. Much of this may have been due to the availability of jobs, as 41,700 net jobs were added in 2011 within the Dallas-Plano-Irving metropolitan division, making up more than two-thirds of those added in the MSA. Plano’s government actively recruits multinational enterprises to move their headquarters or other major facilities to the city, and has succeeded in attracting Pizza Hut, JCPenney (NYSE: JCP), Atmos Energy (NYSE: ATO), Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ: RCII) and other corporations to do so. Another facet of the city’s appeal may be its safety record. In 2011, the city had a violent crime rate of just 1.6 incidents per year per 100,000 residents. This was the lowest figure of any of the 68 cities on our list.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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