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Fastest-growing cities seek to beat recession soonest

Cities in Texas, North Carolina, and California dominated the top 10 list of fastest-growing US cities in 2008.

By Staff writer / July 1, 2009

New Orleans's Marigny neighborhood at sunrise. The Crescent City, which continues to rebuild almost four years after Hurricane Katrina, topped a Census Bureau list of fastest growing US cities.

Charlie Varley/Sipa Press/FILE

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Atlanta

Some of America's fastest-growing cities – from Round Rock, Texas, to Raleigh, N.C. – were the last to slip into the recession. Now they are hoping to harness their momentum and slingshot their way out of it.

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“We can either sit back and wait for President Obama to send us a check, or we can take control of our own future,” says Alan McGraw, mayor of Round Rock, the Austin suburb that was the second-fastest-growing US city between 2007 and 2008.

Cities in Texas, California, Arizona, Louisiana, and North Carolina dominated the ranks of fastest-growing cities, according to a Census Bureau report released Wednesday. New York City was the numerical winner, gaining 53,000 residents.

But New Orleans topped the list in percentage terms, reflecting continued rebuilding after hurricane Katrina. Texas hosts four of the top 10 cities, including Round Rock – which was No. 2 – Killeen (9), Fort Worth (10), and McKinney (5).

The others include Raleigh (8) and Cary (3) in North Carolina; Roseville (6) and Irvine (7) in California; and Gilbert (4), in Arizona. Faltering tourism and a free-falling real-estate market seem to have taken the wind out of North Las Vegas, which dropped from No. 4 in 2007 to No. 19 last year.