High Country Association of REALTORS News

Boone, NC: Among the fast-growing small towns in America

A small town with a big reputation. That's what appears to be drawing people to the High Country, specifically to live in or near the town of Boone. Forbes.com this week reviewed some of the fast-growing small towns in the US, and found the namesake of Daniel Boone to be among the most popular in the group.

According to Census figures, Boone's population has grown 14.7% from 2007 to 2010. People came to the area not just to retire, but also to start college. And when done with college, they stayed. It's a diversity of demographics underneath the growing numbers of residents.

Appalachian State welcome signThe population of Boone, a ski area nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, rose 14.7% to 51,079. It has a median income of $31,967 and a below-the-national-average unemployment rate of 7.2%, and it was recently named one of the 10 best places to retire by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, it’s home to Appalachian State University.

“Boone is a university town, but more than most university towns, it is dominated by the university,” says Todd Cherry, director of the Center for Economic Research and Policy Analysis at Appalachian State. “Indeed, enrollment exceeds the town’s population. Between 2007 and 2010, university enrollment increased by nearly 2,000 students, and [university] employment increased by about 200 people. That’s a primary factor in Boone’s recent growth.”

Appalachian is also a focal point of many amenities for locals, including An Appalachian Summer Festival, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, and a national-title contending Division 1 football program.

Many students fall love with the area, and eventually become residents of Boone. You can join them! There are more than 200 active opportunities to Live the Dream in the High Country of North Carolina.