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No. 1 ‘boomtown’: Cape Coral tops national growth list

By Staff | Dec 14, 2017

The city of Cape Coral is the No. 1 “Boomtown” in the U.S., according to an annual study done by SmartAsset.

Cape Coral’s top ranking was one among eight Florida cities that reached the top 10 in the study – Largo at No. 2; Palm Coast, No. 3; St. Petersburg, No. 5; Spring Hill, No. 6; Riverview, No. 7; Town ‘N. County, No. 8; and Tampa, No. 10.

“One feature of any boomtown is a large influx of new residents. Relative to its population only one city (Bend, Oregon) has seen a larger net migration than Cape Coral. Overall, Cape Coral has seen an influx of net migration equal to 2.9 percent of its population. At the same time the economy has been growing tremendously. From 2012 to 2016, the GDP of Cape Coral grew 5.2 percent,” said Kara Gibson, spokesperson, in a statement.

The study also found the housing growth rate increased 7.1 percent and the unemployment rate decreased from 4.9 percent in August 2016 to 3.5 percent in August of this year.

But it was the net migration and being in the top 10 percentile in many categories that helped Cape Coral really stand out.

“Cape Coral did really well on all of our metrics. The net migrations rate was the second highest in the country out of the 581 areas we studied,” said A.J. Smith, vice president of content at SmartAsset. “The housing growth rate was 41st, the decrease in unemployment was 68th and GDP growth was 37th.”

SmartAsset used the five factors stated above to come up with their scores. In 2016, Cape Coral ranked third and ranked ninth the year before.

Cape Coral was also ranked No. 5 in the state by SafeHome.org as one of the safest cities in which to live in 2017.

Cape Coral was cited for its violent crime rate going down 18.6 percent, with 203 violent crimes, and its property crime rate decreasing 7 percent to 3,136. For every 563 citizens, there is one Cape Coral police officer.

In Florida, North Port, Port St. Lucie and Margate placed higher.

Greenwich, Conn., was named the safest in the country, while Weston was named the safest in the state.

Connie Barron, city spokesperson, said the survey looked at cities with a population of at least 50,000.

Looking at a like population base, the city ranks as the No. 2 safest city in the state behind Port St. Lucie for cities over 100,000.

“The 100,000 population is a little more reflective. If we say we’re the second safest city and say hey, we’re the, fifth-safest, people might wonder,” Barron calrified.