Huntsville, Alabama is one of The South’s most prosperous cities.
In the city’s 2015 State of the Economy report, Huntsville blew expectations out of the water by reporting record employment, GDP, income, and population growth.
Here are a few reasons to consider as Huntsville the booming city for you.
9,000 New Jobs Created in the Past 3 Years
Over the past three years, more than 9,000 new jobs have been created across the city of Huntsville. Some of the largest areas of growth have been observed in companies like Polaris and Remington. Polaris, for example, recently brought 2,000 jobs to the Huntsville area alone.
Huntsville is the Fastest Growing Major Metro Area in Alabama
Out of all the cities in Alabama, no city is growing faster than Huntsville. In 2013, the city’s population sat at just under 200,000 within city limits. Within the next 7 years, that number is projected to grow substantially, reaching a regional population of over 500,000.
According to Moody’s, the 5-year projected population growth rate is nine percent growth with 39,000 new residents within city limits.
Huntsville is the No. 10 Fastest Growing City in the South
Huntsville isn’t just a fast growing city by Alabama’s standards. It’s a fast growing city compared to all of the South.
In fact, the United States Census Bureau recently reported that Huntsville was the 10th-fastest growing major metro area in the South, just a few percentage points behind Atlanta, Georgia (#9) and Miami, Florida (#8).
Huntsville was also recently picked as one of the top 35 fastest growing major metro areas in all of the United States. So whether you measure Huntsville against Alabama, the South, or all of the United States, it clearly ranks high when it comes to population growth.
Huntsville Accounts for 34% of Alabama’s Population Growth
Between 2010 and 2014, Huntsville accounted for 34% of all of Alabama’s population growth. 21,668 new residents moved to Huntsville between 2010 and 2014. The next closest city was Birmingham, with 14,738 residents.
Major cities like Montgomery actually reported a decline of 2,067 residents in those same years.
Of course, population growth doesn’t necessarily tell us that Huntsville is prospering, but it just tells us that a lot of people are moving to town. So let’s take a closer look at Huntsville’s economic growth over the same period.
Huntsville Doubled the U.S. Average in GDP Growth
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta recently showed that Huntsville, Alabama was one of the fastest growing regions in America in terms of economic growth. Huntsville reported the seventh-largest growth in GDP between 2001 and 2013 in all of America.
At a 53 percent growth rate, Huntsville’s economic growth was only passed by a handful of cities across all of America.
To put that 53 percent growth rate in perspective, the US average GDP growth rate for this time was 22 percent, while Alabama reported an average growth rate of 20 percent.
Huntsville Accounted for 25% of Alabama’s Economic Growth
Huntsville is the engine for Alabama’s economy, growing by $2.5 billion more in gross domestic product than the next closest city in Alabama.
Huntsville’s economy grew by $7.5 billion between 2001 and 2013, which accounted for 25 percent of all economic growth in Alabama. Meanwhile, Montgomery reported a growth of just $1.6 billion.
Employment Growth Exceeds the U.S. National Average
Huntsville’s employment growth between 2001 and 2015 significantly beat not just the Alabama average, but also the United States average.
Employment growth between 2001 and 2015 clocked in at 17 percent in Huntsville. Across the rest of America, it was six percent. Across all of Alabama, it was just two percent.
Moody’s Economic Forecast Shows the Future is Bright for Huntsville
Moody’s has five different business cycles it uses to track the progress of a region or city. Those cycles include Expansion, Recovery, At Risk, Moderating Recession, and In Recession.
Moody’s gave Huntsville the best possible rating of “Expansion”, which means that the economy is booming and growing at a rapid pace.
Moody’s praised Huntsville’s highly educated and skilled workforce as well as its high per capita earnings due to specialized manufacturing and research. They also reported strong population growth among younger cohorts, which should fuel the economy for decades to come.
Risk exposure of this changing in the future was rated as very minimal. The Moody’s report concluded with the following:
“Huntsville is poised for above-average growth. High-value-added manufacturing and technical services will power the expansion. Gains are to be had at the lower end of the income spectrum as well, as spillover from the area’s lucrative industries supports consumer spending long term, favorable demographics suggest HUN [Huntsville] will remain an above-average performer.”