Where the jobs and housing are

If you're looking for cities where the population, jobs and household income are growing -- imagine that -- then head for Texas. Or Tennessee, North Carolina or Georgia. They are among a small group of states that have shown surprising expansion, despite the recession, according to a survey on the nation's highest-growth areas. The study, dubbed "9 from 2009," was conducted by Little Rock, Ark.-based data firm Gadberry Group, and included only areas larger than 10,000 occupied households that met certain growth requirements.

The reasons these nine cities managed to grow amid the bruising recession is that they have booming industries, stable housing markets and quality-of-life amenities, such as good schools and proximity to jobs and recreational areas.