(NEXSTAR) — Feel like you have more neighbors than you did a few years ago? The U.S. Census Bureau reports more than 127,000 people moved to Nevada last year alone, and one community in particular has exploded in population.
SmartAsset, a financial tech company, has released a list of the fastest-growing cities with populations over 100,000 in the United States. That growth was based on the population difference reported by the U.S. Census between 2017 and 2022 for the 344 largest cities.
Southwestern cities, many of them desert suburbs, dominated the top of the list, SmartAsset found. In the No. 2 spot overall was Enterprise, the booming unincorporated town just outside Las Vegas-proper.
Enterprise, which plays host to the Town Square shopping center on the north end, Southpoint Casino, the UFC Apex production center, and goes as far south as Sloane, grew by 46% between 2017 and 2022, SmartAsset reported.
Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he believes the Las Vegas Beltway construction is what led to Enterprise’s massive growth.
“With the beltway providing connection to the Summerlin and Henderson communities and easy access to the airport and the Strip, Enterprise was highly attractive to working families and businesses,” Jones said.
While you may think a city like Los Angeles or New York City would be at the top, it was another southwestern destination that ranked No. 1. Buckeye, Arizona, located about 35 miles west of Phoenix, saw the largest growth since 2017.
North Las Vegas also ranked in the top 20 with a population growth of nearly 13% in five years.
The table below, courtesy of SmartAsset, shows the cities where the population grew — and shrank — since 2017.
"In general we’ve seen positive growth indicators in the southwest besides just population," said Jaclyn DeJohn, Managing Editor of Economic Analysis at SmartAsset. "In fact, Texas and Arizona place second and fourth respectively in terms of where high earners are moving to. One thing that may be drawing high earners and others to these areas is relative tax-friendliness, and lower costs of living than coastal California and major cities."
Over 120 cities analyzed saw a dip in population between 2017 and 2022. That includes many major cities, like Salt Lake City, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Portland, Houston, New York City, Des Moines, San Diego, Boulder, Milwaukee and Washington, D.C.
Interestingly, another Nevada city was hardest hit by population loss. Paradise, home to the majority of the Las Vegas Strip, lost 21% of its population, according to SmartAsset's analysis. The Strip's northern end is hosted by the Winchester township.
Others at the bottom of the list were Jackson, Mississippi (-10.4%); Aurora, Illinois (-9.4%); and Highlands Ranch, Colorado (-8.4%).