Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres and Cape Coral all score high on Wallethub list.
When it comes to measuring the nation’s fastest-growing cities, experts at the personal finance website Wallethub.com go beyond population numbers, to factors such as socio-demographics and jobs and economy.
And although they are not among the largest cities in the study, Wallethub ranks three Lee County cities within the Top 25 nationwide — two inside the Top 10, and one of them leading the pack.
Among 515 cities in the study, Fort Myers was ranked No. 1, with Lehigh Acres placing seventh and Cape Coral ranked No. 24. Rankings are based on a combined score on a scale of 100, 50 points in the combined socio-demographic subcategories and 50 points under jobs and economy. Socio-demographics includes scoring in overall population growth, working-age population growth and college-educated population growth. Among the jobs and economy score factors were job growth, median household income growth, increase in number of businesses, increase in number of startups, median home price growth, unemployment rate decrease and more.
Lee County is a beneficiary of overall southward migration and is reflective of Wallethub’s overall finding that the South is an attractive destination for relocation. The U.S. Census Bureau reports eight of the 15 cities with the largest population gains in 2017 were in the South.
In all, 15 relevant metrics were evaluated during a period of seven years. Fort Myers outscored all other cities in the country with a total score of 76.57; Lehigh Acres posted 71; and Cape Coral had 64.38. The study considered only statistical data within the city limits and not overall metropolitan areas. Over the seven-year study period, Fort Myers experienced an overall population growth of 3.9%, Lehigh Acres 5.5% and Cape Coral 2.6%.