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8 of 10
Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas
2010 population: 1,716,289
2000 population: 1,249,763
Growth: 37.3%

The hip city of Austin anchors the metro area of more than 1.7 million people. That makes it the second largest of the 10 fastest-growing metro areas, trailing only Las Vegas.

The economy is buoyed by one of the largest college campuses in the country, the University of Texas. Austin is also the state capital and has one of the best educated and most prosperous residential populations in Texas.

New residential development has little constraint in Texas: There are few regulatory barriers and an abundance of developable land. That has made Austin one of the few places in the nation where homebuilding is still flourishing. It's the second healthiest market in the country, according to the Builder Healthy Markets Index.

NEXT: Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Last updated March 28 2011: 4:19 PM ET
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