Houston's secret ingredient to growth: energy.
With oil prices hovering around $90 a barrel the past couple of years, oil profits have poured into town.
"[Houston has] always been influenced by the petrochemical industry," said Texas state demographer Lloyd Potter.
But nowadays the area has diversified into health care, financial services and construction, which has made the area much more stable economically, he said.
The well-paying jobs these employers provide make it that much more affordable for new residents to move here. Home prices in the metro area are well below the national median.
NEXT: Los Angeles