We’ll toast to that
Popular Hill Country destination ranks among most dynamic 'micropolitan' areas in U.S.
Fredericksburg reigns as the Hill Country’s wine and tourism hub, with both industries pouring millions of dollars into the regional economy. So it’s no wonder, then, that Fredericksburg now ranks among the country’s most “dynamic” micropolitan areas.
A new study from the nonprofit think tank Heartland Forward places Fredericksburg at No. 21 among the 25 most dynamic micropolitan areas in the U.S. The study look at economic data for the country’s 536 micropolitan areas.
A micropolitan area is a cluster of communities anchored by a town with 10,000 to 50,000 residents. Fredericksburg itself is home to about 11,000 residents, while the entire micropolitan area comprises 27,297 people.
According to the study, the key figures for the Fredericksburg micropolitan area include:
- Per capita personal income of $75,442, the second highest number among the top 25.
- 2015-20 employment growth of 4.8 percent.
- 2015-20 growth in GDP (growth domestic product) of 12.6 percent. GDP is a major indicator of economic strength or weakness.
“Close to both Austin and San Antonio, Fredericksburg is a sophisticated small town, a community that welcomes and supports newcomers. The climate is mild, the location and lifestyle ideal, and our robust economic climate is tailor-made for a number of kinds of businesses, which will benefit greatly from all the area has to offer,” says the Gillespie County Economic Development Commission.
Several factors contribute to Fredericksburg’s status as a standout micropolitan area. These include:
- More than $241 million in direct spending on travel in 2021.
- Popular attractions such as the LBJ State Park and Historic Site, the National Museum of the Pacific War, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, and Wildseed Farms.
- A full-bodied wine industry.
Los Alamos, New Mexico, stands atop Heartland Forward’s list of the top 25 micropolitan areas. The West Texas area of Pecos sits at No. 4; it’s the only other Texas micropolitan on the list.