Houma-Thibodaux, Hammond among fastest-growing small cities

The Houma-Thibodaux metro area ranked No. 8 in a Forbes list of fastest-growing small cities.

The metro rankings were based on population growth from 2000 to 2013; job growth from 2001 to 2014; real per capita personal income growth from 2000 to 2012; and growth of regional gross domestic product per job from 2001 to 2012. An increase in GDP per job indicates the metro area is adding high-value, productive industries to its economy rather than low-paying jobs.

In February, the Houma-Thibodaux area had the lowest jobless rate in the country at 2.8 percent. Houma-Thibodaux was one of three list members whose economies were driven by the oil and gas industry. The others were No. 2, Midland, Texas, and No. 3, Odessa, Texas.

Hammond was one of the towns whose economy is driven by being a college town.

The No. 1 spot on the list was The Villages, Florida, whose population and wealth has been driven by “active” seniors.