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An aerial view of downtown Dallas - 

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Doug Krizner: Eight of the 10 fastest-growing metro areas in the U.S. are in the south. A new report from the Census Bureau finds the Dallas/Fort Worth area attracted the most newcomers between July 2006 and July 2007. John Dimsdale has more on the economics behind the growth.


John Dimsdale: Dallas, Atlanta, Phoenix and Houston all gained more than 100,000 people from 2006 to 2007.

Economics Professor Tom Fomby at Southern Methodist University in Dallas says the fastest-growing cities have good weather for outdoor construction. Cheap land also means these metro areas support many different work centers, rather than one central downtown.

Tom Fomby: Not all workers are going to one epicenter if you will, and therefore that gives rise to less congestion. This sprawling nature makes the commute time less for a lot of workers, and therefore it's a desirable place to have a workplace.

Fomby predicts favorable economies in southern and western cities will continue to attract migrants from the Northeast and Midwest, as long as water remains available.

The eighth-fastest growing city was New Orleans, with a 4 percent population increase. That's a rebound from the previous year, when New Orleans registered the highest rate of decline of any city in the country.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.