Last updated on September 6th, 2023
Has your credit score improved in the last recent years? If so, it may be a common trend for your fellow neighbors too. A recent Experian report indicates an upward trend in credit scores of the fastest-growing mid-sized cities in the U.S. Here’s what you should know.
Fastest Growing Mid-Sized Cities and Trending Credit Scores
The Experian study analyzed mid-sized cities that grew by 5% or more since 2016 while adding 50,000 to 100,000 new residents over that time, according to U.S. Census data. The credit attributes from these “Boom towns” were then compared to other U.S. cities.
Since 2016, FICO® Scores have seen a nationwide average increase of 15 points (from 699 in 2016 to 714 in 2022). However, mid-sized cities have surpassed the national average by 21 points. What does this mean? It means mid-sized cities have seen population changes leading to better credit scores. According to Census data, these mid-sized (previously small) cities have grown exponentially over the last few years.
The data shows 20 mid-sized cities have added 50,000 or more residents since 2016. In nearly half of those cities, roughly 1 in 10 residents are newbies to the area. However, most areas still host between 500,000 and 1 million in population in 2022. As a result, the healthy rates at which these cities have grown in population attract employers and more economic activity which can lead to better credit scores.
Factors Affecting the Rise in Credit Scores
It’s important to note there are many other factors that come into play when analyzing the rise in credit scores for growing mid-sized cities. For example, making a big move to a smaller town near a growing mid-sized city can very well mean more affordable living. When living is affordable, budgeting, investing, and saving money becomes a more attainable financial goal. If you have extra money in your pockets, paying down existing debt is easier to manage and can truly impact your credit score in a positive light. Not to mention, an affordable town, means homeownership could be more feasible and can also have positive effects on your credit score if done responsibly.
|Average FICO® Score Change Since 2016 by City|
|City||Average FICO® Score, 2016||Average FICO® Score, 2022||Change (Points)|
|Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL||695||720||+25|
|Colorado Springs, CO||701||722||+21|
|Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL||687||710||+23|
|Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA||715||730||+15|
|Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC||681||712||+31|
|Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA||713||729||+16|
|Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL||699||718||+19|
|Port St. Lucie, FL||694||714||+20|
|Salt Lake City||702||726||+24|
|Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA||707||728||+21|
|All U.S. Consumers||699||714||+15|
Where are Boom Town Residents Migrating From?
Many of the new Boom Town residents are not traveling from far away. Most mid-cities’ population growth stems from nearby smaller metro areas within the same state. The majority of the Boom Towns are in the Southern and Western regions of the U.S., except for two cities – Des Moines, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska. Otherwise, they are most widespread in Florida, which possesses four of the fastest-growing mid-sized metros: Cape Coral, Deltona, Palm Bay, and Port St. Lucie.
Research report data shows that citizens in these 20 growing cities improved their credit score by at least 15 points. The cities with the highest growth in credit scores are located in South Carolina: Myrtle Beach and Greenville. These two Boom Towns saw average FICO® Scores increase by 30 points.
The Difference Between Large and Mid-Sized Cities
Fast-growing mid-sized cities see population growth arriving from within the same state – usually from larger nearby cities. In contrast, the bigger cities in the country with credit score increases encounter population growth from out of state. The large booming cities also serve as a supply to smaller nearby towns with new residents.
|Most Common Sources of New Residents Since 2016|
|Source City||Boom City||Boom Town|
|New York City||Charlotte, NC||Charleston, SC|
|Los Angeles||Seattle, WA||Spokane, WA|
|Miami||Orlando, FL||Deltona, FL|
The Bottom Line
Although the study shows significant credit score and population changes in recent years, Experian also analyzed data on economic impact from before the Covid-19 pandemic. Nearly all of the 20 Boom Towns identified by Experian were also considered examples of economically “resilient” metro areas. In other words, these cities exhibited above-average economic growth both prior to and following the pandemic in 2020. Who knows? If you don’t already live in one of these booming cities, your town might be next.
Related Article: 3 Ways Credit Card Debt Impacts Credit Scores
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