10. Gainesville, Florida

Home to the University of Florida’s Gators, in 2009-2013, Gainesville witnessed a nearly 11% jump in its working-age population, which was further bolstered by a 20% increase in average earnings during the same period.

Meanwhile, the university has an interesting year ahead of it, hoping to make up for its not-so-good 2013 football season.

9. Ann Arbor, Michigan

picture two

Home to the 23rd highest ranked university, Ann Arbor had exceptionally strong growth in inflation-adjusted earnings from 2009-2013. Plus, workers enjoyed a 31% increase in average earnings.

8. Hemet, California

Three factors encouraged the growth in Hemet: growth in working-age population, employment rate and average earnings. The city, which is home to about 80,000 residents, boasts an average home price of $173,242, which compares with the average of $341,894 statewide.

7. St. Cloud, Minnesota

Despite a slight tick downward in its working-age population growth with the new census numbers, a strong growth in employment and earnings helped push St. Cloud into the number 7 position.

And if that’s not good enough, the city is soon to be home to a standalone brewery, Beaver Island Brewing Co.

6. Lawrence, Kansas

Lawrence recorded a strong growth in wages — a nearly 38% jump in average earnings from 2009 to 2013. Meanwhile, it also posted a 3.42% increase in employment during the same time period. And of course, the city is home to the famous Jayhawks, with the University of Kansas boasting at least 28,000 students.

5. Bloomington, Indiana

Along with having the largest campus in the state, Indiana University, Bloomington, has seen continuing growth in population and average earnings.

4. Muncie, Indiana

Between Ball State University employing a lot of the city’s population and its strong growth in population, employment and income, Muncie’s economy has evolved in recent years to one with opportunities in health care, education and retail.

3. Lawrence, Massachusetts

Despite challenges in its economy, Lawrence has experienced some positive trends, including a substantial increase in employment. In fact, the report cited that the city’s 24% growth in the percent of residents in the workforce is the highest of any city in the country.

2. College Station, Texas

Cowboy hate

Home to Texas A&M University, College Station has seen rapid growth in its population since 2009. Not only did the city’s population grow at a rate of almost 18%, but the average income also saw a substantial increase, rising by more than 25%. 

1. Boulder, Colorado

Taking the number-one spot, Boulder’s economy was significantly influenced by a growing number of businesses, especially in the tech sector. The average earnings for workers in Boulder increased more than anywhere else in the nation from 2009 to 2013 — a nearly 50% income growth rate. And of course, the city is home to the University of Colorado Boulder