Live long and prosper in these successful cities

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Cities of success

Want to live long and prosper? Then head South to Odessa, Texas. The city was recently named the most prosperous in the nation.

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Oh, Odessa

According to a new ranking from RENTCafe, Odessa, Texas, takes the cake as the single most prosperous city in the U.S. The area has seen a 25 percent jump in population since 2000 and a 38 percent increase in median income. In the same period, poverty dropped 36 percent, while unemployed decreased 24 percent.

Three other Texas cities also made the ranking, which takes into account recent changes in population, income, home values, high education achievements, unemployment and poverty rates. The Lone Star State’s Pearland, Brownsville and Midland took spots 7, 9 and 10, respectively.

The worst places to rent in America; Odessa takes the top spot

According to RENTCafe’s Balazs Szekely, it’s growing crude oil production that’s likely behind the big Texas showing.

“During the time period we analyzed in our study, U.S.-wide crude oil production has seen a 50% upswing,” Szekely said. “And as Texas is responsible for more than one-third of the nation’s total crude oil output, this sudden increase in the petroleum industry’s activity may give a hint to why the Midland-Odessa area, one of the main employment hubs in the Permian Basin had some of the lowest unemployment rates in Texas for years, and how it has put busy metropolises like Los Angeles, Seattle or even New York City to shame in our ranking.”

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More places to prosper

Coming in as the No. 2 most prosperous city was Washington, D.C., where incomes have jumped 38 percent, higher education rates have risen 42 percent, and unemployment has dropped 19 percent.

Charleston and North Charleston, South Carolina, took No. 3 and 5, likely due to the area’s growing aerospace industry, Szekely said.

Fontana, California; Jersey City, New Jersey; and Miami rounded out the top 10.

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Verify your new rate (Mar 22nd, 2019)