PHOENIX — Mark Janousek moved here from Minnesota to escape the snow.
Like other Midwestern transplants, he found plentiful sunshine - and plenty of company. "The people drive much, much too fast. There's too many tailgaters - I'd never seen that before," he says.
Aggressive drivers on congested highways are just two byproducts from Phoenix's explosive expansion in the 1990s - a population surge that made the city the nation's fastest growing.
Phoenix's population grew 21.3 percent between 1990 and 1998 to almost 1.2 million, according to new US Census Bureau figures on American cities.
San Antonio was second among cities of 1 million people or more, with an increase of 14.1 percent. San Diego (9.9 percent), Houston (8.0 percent), and Dallas (6.8 percent) rounded out the top five.
But the fastest growing category was cities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000, which grew 8.6 percent overall. Mesquite, Nev., rocketed 441.2 percent to 10,125 people, and Frisco, Texas, grew 328.5 percent to 26,304.
New York remained the nation's most populous city, with 7.4 million people, followed by Los Angeles, with 3.6 million.