Florida is emerging as the new leader for economic growth, fueled by baby boomers and retirement communities. Oil towns had dominated in recent years but as the energy boom fades, growth has been tapering off. Instead, Naples, Fla., emerged as the leader on a list of metro areas that are expected to see the most economic growth next year, according to a new report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, prepared by IHS Global Insight.
Naples is expected to see its economy grow 4.9 percent in 2016. Metro areas in Florida made up half of the top 19 economic performers. For example, The Villages, a senior community, ranked third and has been the fastest-growing city by population for two consecutive years.
Here's a list of the metros expected to see the most economic growth in 2016:
- Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Fla.: 4.9%
- Sebring, Fla.: 4.8%
- The Villages: 4.7%
- Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.: 4.5%
- Austin-Round Rock, Texas: 4.4%
- Raleigh, N.C.: 4.3%
- Ocala, Fla.: 4.2%