If someone told you an L.A.-area community made the top 10 in a ranking of America's fastest-growing cities, you might guess that it was Irvine, Glendale or even Santa Clarita.

Nope. This will really surprise you. Not only does this community lack a contemporary mall and upscale housing, it's not even a city, technically speaking.

We're talking about good old fashioned East L.A. proper:


Yeah, East Los Angeles, an unincorporated community of L.A. county (meaning it never achieved city status), came in at number 10 on WalletHub's recent list of “2014?s Fastest Growing Cities.”

How did this neighborhood of immigrants and longstanding Mexican American families do it?

The personal finance website looked at metrics including population growth, how much unemployment has decreased, growth in educational attainment, median household income, regional gross-domestic product, and more.

Not only did East L.A. make the national top 10 for more than 500 American cities analyzed, it was also ranked third for “midsize cities with [the] most growth” behind Irving, Texas (number 1) and North Charleston, South Carolina (2).

Credit: WalletHub

Credit: WalletHub

East L.A. is a survivor, too. During the period analyzed, from 2008 to 2013, economic and population growth for vast numbers of cities was stagnant. Says WalletHub:

In 2013, the United States experienced its lowest population gain since the Great Depression. Growth stood at .72 percent, largely in contrast with the 5 percent of the 1990s, a period of prosperity. Demographer William H. Frey of the Brookings Institution attributed the decline to the economic downturn. Not only did the crisis deter job-seeking migrants from flocking to the U.S., but it also discouraged couples from having children.

By the way, Inglewood, right on L.A.'s bustling Westside, made second to last place on the growth list.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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