The credit site WalletHub indulged its compulsion to rank cities against one another again today, this time measuring the economic growth of 515 municipalities over the past six years. San Francisco comes in number 15 on the list, which is pretty amazing, all told.
Normally we wouldn’t mind not coming in first despite our gangbuster series of years. Except that in this particular case, the findings sting our civic pride for another reason. You see, the fastest growing and strongest economy in the entire United States (at least as this one site reckons it) is a small city near Forth Worth, Texas, founded at a railroad stop in 1902.
And the name of this town is (brace yourselves): Frisco.
This just got personal.
So, what is Frisco doing that we’re not? We picked out a few of the 16 metrics Wallethub used, fact checked them against public data, and then put our two cities head to head in a contest of Frisco vs Don’t Call It Frisco to see how we shape up.
First population growth: Since 2010, San Francisco grew from 805,704 to a hearty (and actually worrisome) 864,816 in 2015. This turns out to be even more than the go-to estimate of 10,000/year that the city usually employs.
Over in Texas, though, Frisco grew from 117,056 to 154,407 over the same period, an increase of 31 percent to our 7.3 percent. Yikes.
Unemployment in San Francisco spiked to a high of more than two decades in 2010, a truly alarming nine percent. Today, though, we’re sitting pretty at an enviable 3.4 percent. ...except that Frisco of all places won’t be envying us one bit, since theirs is 2.7 percent, down from 6.6 six years ago. Theirs even began falling a full year ahead of ours.
Household income here is up 35 percent, to $84,160 these days. Unbelievably, though, this small Texas community with a principally retail local economy blows that out of the water, with a median household income of more than $112,000. While that’s admittedly only up 11 percent since 2010, it’s a pretty good 11 percent.
Finally, home prices: According to Paragon Real Estate, the median cost of a single family home in San Francisco vaulted more than 79 percent since 2010, to more than $1.35 million today. Surely little Frisco can’t possibly compete, right?
Well, if you guessed that, you’d be correct. Although the housing market in North Texas has been quite a beast in its own right, Frisco’s rise of 64 percent for a median home price of just under $478,000 pales in comparison to the runaway train of our local market.
...of course, most of us paying to live here would much prefer the "other Frisco" price, even if it did hurt our economic standing a bit.
Looks like they’ve got us beat. Of course, the Texas town is something more like an affluence suburb than a major metropolitan center, so it’s something like the difference between apples and oranges. Or in this case, between Frisco and...well, not Frisco.
- Fastest Growing Cities [WalletHub]
- San Francisco Census [US Census]
- SF Labor Market [SF Community Economic Development]
- 30 Years of SF Housing Markets [Paragon]
- Frisco Census [US Census]
- Price of Frisco Address Grows [Community Impact]