News Story

Majority of Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities Are In Right-to-Work States

77 of the top 100

The city of Cedar Park in Texas was the fastest growing city in terms of percentage growth from 2010 to 2012 when it increased 12 percent to 57,957 people, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics.

Eight of the top 15 fastest growing cities were in Texas, a right-to-work state. The state was a big reason why 77 of the top 100 fastest-growing cities were in right-to-work states.

Eighteen right-to-work states had cities crack the top 100. There were six non-right-to-work states and Washington, D.C., that made the top 100. Three of the top 100 fastest growing cities were from Indiana, which didn’t become a right-to-work state until 2012 so its cities were not included as from a right-to-work state.

Texas has the most cities in the top 100 with 27. California had nine cities and Georgia had eight.

“Since the recession ended, much of the growth in the country is happening in right-to-work states,” said James Hohman, a fiscal policy analyst at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Novi was the fastest growing city in Michigan and ranked 221st overall. It grew 3.1 percent to 56,912 in 2012. Michigan was not a right-to-work state in 2012. Royal Oak ranked 371st overall and it grew 2.1 percent to 58,410.

Antony Davies, an associate professor of economics at Duquesne University, said he was not surprised that so many cities in right-to-work states were growing quickly.

“Right to work is a significant component of economic freedom. In every year from 1985 to 2009 (the last year measured), states with the most economic freedom have seen significantly more population growth than states with less economic freedom,” Davies said in an email. “Union proponents claim that unions protect workers, yet the data say otherwise. Again, in every year from 1985 through 2009, the 25 most economically free states have seen higher incomes, lower unemployment rates, lower poverty rates, and (interestingly) more equitable income distributions than did the 25 least economically free states.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.