What a difference a year makes — although time isn't the only variable factor when it comes to determining which Colorado places are booming the loudest.
Last year, we shared a list of Colorado's ten-fastest growing cities according to the Nerdwallet website.
Now, another site, Wallethub, has come up with its roster of 2015 cities with the fastest-growing economies — one that includes 515 small, medium and large communities across the country. From that grouping, we pulled out the fifteen Colorado cities that made the cut, and it has little in common with the Nerdwallet compendium. Note that Fountain, which topped the Nerdwallet offering, doesn't even appear on the Wallethub version.
Count down the fastest-growing-economies in Colorado list for 2015 below, followed by a graphic showing how Denver rated in comparison with large cities, and the overall methodology, which explains how the order was determined.
Number 15: Pueblo
Overall ranking: 461
Number 14: Highlands Ranch
Overall ranking: 439 (tie)
Number 13: Centennial
Overall ranking: 264
Number 12: Westminster
Overall ranking: 227
Number 11: Colorado Springs
Overall ranking: 178 (tie)
Number 10: Longmont
Overall ranking: 172
Number 9: Arvada
Overall ranking: 158
Number 8: Thornton
Overall ranking: 143 (tie)
Number 7: Boulder
Overall ranking: 123
Number 6: Lakewood
Overall ranking: 112
Number 5: Fort Collins
Overall ranking: 79
Number 4: Loveland
Overall ranking: 73
Number 3: Greeley
Overall ranking: 57
Number 2. Aurora
Overall ranking: 36
Number 1: Denver
Overall ranking: 19
In order to identify the American cities that have grown the most rapidly in socioeconomic terms, WalletHub scored 515 cities of varying sizes based on two key dimensions, “Socio-Demographic Landscape” and “Jobs & Economic Environment.”
We then compiled 10 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. For each metric, we examined data spanning 2008 to 2014 (except for “Unemployment Rate Decrease” and “Job Growth Decrease,” which, because of data limitations, were analyzed from the period spanning 2011 to 2014, and “Ratio of Full-Time to Part-Time Jobs Increase,” from 2009 to 2014).
In order to obtain the final ranking, we attributed a score between 0 and 100 to correspond with the value of each metric. We then calculated the weighted sum of the scores and used the overall score to rank the cities. Together, the points attributed to the two major categories add up to 100 points.
With regard to our sample, we categorized the cities based on the following population sizes:
• Large cities: More than 300,000 people
• Midsize cities: 100,000 to 300,000 people
• Small cities: Fewer than 100,000 people
Please note that “city” refers to city proper and excludes surrounding metro areas.
Socio-Demographic Landscape — Total Points: 50
• Population Growth: Full Weight (~16.7 points)
• Working-Age Population Growth (“working-age population” includes ages 16 to 64): Full Weight (~16.7 points)
• Poverty Rate Decrease: Full Weight (~16.7 points)
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Jobs & Economic Environment — Total Points: 50
• Median Household Income Growth: Full Weight (~7.7 points)
• Unemployment Rate Decrease: Full Weight (~7.7 points)
• Job Growth: Full Weight (~7.7 points)
• Ratio of Full-Time to Part-Time Jobs Increase: Half Weight (~3.8 points)
• Growth of Regional GDP per Capita: Full Weight (~7.7 points)
• Growth in the Number of Businesses: Full Weight (~7.7 points)
• Growth of Median House Prices: Full Weight (~7.7 points)