BLOOMINGTON — Even as other municipalities face challenges in the wake of the recession, Bloomington stands among the country’s fastest-growing cities, according to a new study.

Financial website NerdWallet ranked cities across the U.S. according to their level of economic growth between 2007 and 2011, with Bloomington coming in at 11. The study’s top 10 cities included New Orleans, La.; Fargo, N.D.; and Odessa, Texas.

The study took into account not just population growth, but growth in the rate of employment and median income for workers, said Divya Raghavan, an analyst with NerdWallet who put together the study, based on U.S. Census data.

Bloomington’s population of those aged 16 and older grew 5.8 percent between 2007 and 2011. During the same period, NerdWallet found Bloomington’s employment rate increased by 3.3 percent and the median income of workers rose 8.9 percent.

“Most of these (types of studies) look at population growth as ‘fastest-growing,’ and we were looking for a broader measure,” Raghavan said. “If you look at just population growth, you could have cities with a very high birthrate or a lot of people, but the economic indicators are not really any better.”

“You would naturally expect to see the labor force decrease during times of economic hardship,” said Ken Springer, director of research and client services for the Economic Development Council of the Bloomington-Normal Area.

“My best guess (at the cause of the increase) is that given the historical strength of our economy, Bloomington-Normal may have attracted displaced workers from outside our community during this period.”

Springer attributed Bloomington’s growth in earnings to its generally strong employment rate.

“When workers are in abundance (due to high unemployment rates), employers generally don’t feel as pressured to increase worker pay,” Springer said Wednesday.

College towns like Bloomington tended to rank high, Raghavan said. The study’s top 20 included university towns like Shreveport, La. at No. 20, home of Louisiana State University Shreveport, and Las Cruces, N.M. at No. 16, home of New Mexico State University.

Towns with industries that are experiencing rapid growth also tended to make the list, Raghavan said, citing Gainesville, Fla., at No. 2, which she said has benefited from being a hub for tech company startups.

The presence of strong industries like insurance, healthcare and agriculture, and Bloomington’s position as a transportation hub have also helped Bloomington weather the uncertain economy, said Michael Seeborg, a distinguished professor of economics at Illinois Wesleyan University.

Another encouraging sign is Bloomington’s status as one of only two Midwestern communities on the list, Seeborg said. Rochester, Minn., home of the Mayo Clinic, was ranked No. 13.

“It’s great to see Bloomington on lists like this,” Seeborg said.

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(11) comments

bertee
bertee

This is GREAT news! Now we don't have to copy cat that new uppity town Normal. Who needs them? Who needs all that debt for reduced parking in the 21st century. I mean really, peeps are going to walk everywhere! Lol! Evidently Normal didn't make the grade.

Chadwick Snow
Chadwick Snow

Since the economic area included Bloomington-Normal, I think Normal is included.

BlackStoneCherry16
BlackStoneCherry16

I hope to join the Bloomington work force this summer!

Snert
Snert

The fact that NOLA was #1 makes this list questionable in and of itself. Having visited NOLA just a month ago, it is STILL in shambles from Katrina, and there is NO way on earth I would want to live there.

Bloomington #11? Fix up the west side and get the ghetto out, and maybe its justified. Wait until State Farm moves most of it's operations to the new Dallas facility....then we'll see.

peni1234
peni1234

This area will dry up faster than an old lady if that happens

ct
ct

The article was based on growth

NO has gone from flooded ghost town pit to a tad better, mostly due to govt money flooding the area for rebuilding.

Crybaby
Crybaby

On the even brighter side, this is great news for the 'Let's Build a Bypass' brigade.

bo1505
bo1505

Considering the City of Bloomington has requested State Farm reduce it's "local" external work force by 800 by 12/31/2013, I highly doubt this growth will continue. Predictions on who will get hurt first...#1 hotels, #2 restaurants, #3 Landlords, #4 Housing Market, #5 Businesses throughout the community #6 Airport Travel/Car Rentals. Don't be surprised if your taxes will go up & housing values will go down. On the bright side, the schools won't be as crowded & Unit 5 won't have to build another school or two to "put up" with the rapid growth.

12for10cents
12for10cents

That number is just the tip of the iceburg. Stinky is working very hard to ensure the transition from Bloomington / Normal to Flint, Illinois goes smoothly.

12for10cents
12for10cents

This really is great news, hahahahaha. Increase in population due to importing thousands of H1, L1 and T1 workers (which in reality are just scabs). All in order to make this possible:
How many SF'rs found out since this article was published that their days here are numbered? Just about all of systems maybe?

In a few years B/N will be on one of those fastest-dying city lists. Thanks Stinky.

carolchristensen123
carolchristensen123

Cet ensemble de veille technologique unique de la lumière solaire énergie cinétique du Citoyen, l'hôtesse aura cette joie Don pas besoin d'échanger la batterie. Cartier Table et cadran peuvent absorber la lumière du soleil et les formes de la lumière artificielle, recharger constamment montre-bracelet. Si met souvent au sein de la source de lumière, de la technologie de l'énergie cinétique optique continue à se charger correctement, peut fournir l'un des plus fiables dans la vie de service de la fonction de minuterie. replique montres Avec des caractéristiques de l'énergie cinétique de lumière, cette montre intègre un 135 - le stockage de l'énergie de la journée.

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