To develop a worthy "fastest-growing small cities" ranking, New Geography chief Joel Kotkin teams up with Mark Schill at the Praxis Strategy Group to rank them based on four factors: population growth (2000-13), job growth (2001-14), real per capita personal income growth (2000-12), and growth of regional GDP per job (2001-12) - if GDP per job is increasing, it's an indicator that the metro area is adding high-value, productive industries to its economy, as opposed to lower-wage jobs.

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