Heat Plagued Phoenix, Austin Among Best US Economies

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The extreme heat of the last several years, which has only worsened in several southwestern cities, has not slowed their growth. Phoenix and Austin continue to add population at a blistering space. Whether this year’s 110 degrees F will change is too early to tell. According to a new study, their economies are remarkably healthy.

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CoWorkingCafe recently released a study titled “America’s Boomtowns: Top Cities for Economic Growth.” The study examined median household earnings, business applications, crime rates, educational rates, unemployment, city GDP, housing units, and infrastructure. On a points basis, the highest possible score was 100. Data included activity from 2018 to 2022. 

Among cities with populations over 500,000, Mesa, part of the Phoenix region, ranked first with a score of 66. It was followed by Fort Worth, which scored 64. Phoenix followed that with a score of 63, Sacramento at 62, and Austin at 59.9, which tied it with Fresno. 

The authors wrote, 

Phoenix, AZ, ranks third, bolstered by an evolving infrastructure and growing GDP. But those are not the only metrics where Phoenix stands out. 54% more business applications were registered between 2018-2022, reaching an impressive total of 83,305.

Few cities the size of Phoenix and Austin have done so well based on recent population data from the Census. Phoenix grew 4.6% between 2020 and 2023 to 5,070,110. Austin grew 8.3% to 2,473,275, making it the fastest-growing country’s top 50 cities. 

Temperature Challenges

While many cities in the US need to deal with population size and weather, none face problems as serious as Phoenix’s. It was over 110 degrees for 54 days last year. Over 600 people died of heat in the metro area. It has become unsafe to work outdoors many days out of each year. The energy needed to support the city’s air conditioning needs will also create a hurdle.

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