WalletHub named Town 'n' Country as the Seventh Fastest Growing Cities in the U.S., but it's a Suburb of Tampa, not its own city.
I recently sold my home because the Tampa housing market is super hot and it is a seller's market. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see how Tampa ranked among other cities in the United States, so I checked google and found WalletHub's report from October 2020.
My home was in one of the most sought out Tampa neighborhoods for families called Westchase. I hadn't planned on moving from my perfect little neighborhood.
As an investor who never planned on holding on to my house forever, I knew this was my time to sell. It is nearly impossible to find housing inventory in Westchase. So, this drove the price of my home up and I sold my home for more than 49% of what I bought it for only 4 short years ago.
Tampa residents call Westchase a neighborhood in Tampa, a suburb of Tampa, or planned development in Tampa, subdivision, but never its own city. Westchase is a huge development of homes, but most people in Westchase do a lot of business in Town 'n' Country right next door.
Town 'n' Country, like Westchase, is considered a suburb of Tampa. It is in western Hillsborough County, just like Westchase. It is also a census-designated place (CDP) just like Westchase. It's not a planned development, however.
Town 'n' Country is much larger than Westchase and has tons of different subdivisions and businesses within its boundaries. All those neighborhoods in Town 'n' Country, just like Westchase, address their mail as Tampa, FL.
As of this writing, a Realtor.com search shows Town 'n' Country has 262 Homes for sale and Westchase has 82 Homes for sale. Many of the Westchase homes share a zipcode with Westchase but are not considered a part of the Westchase Community Association, so they are the 'Greater Westchase' area. Only two, just listed are actual Westchase homes and they are sure to be pending next week as they will receive multiple contracts this weekend.
Some of the neighborhoods in Town 'n' Country share great schools with Westchase and therefore is a fantastic alternative to Westchase due to housing costs. So, I can see why Town 'n' Country is a fast-growing area. It still has housing inventory, it's a large area, and there's still room to grow.
Town 'n' Country
So, Town 'n' Country is not a city. It is considered a Census-designated place (CDP).
According to the United States Census Bureau, Census-designated places (CDPs) are communities that lack separate municipal governments, and for statistical purposes are defined by the Census Bureau in order to statistically combine and compare populated areas that physically resemble incorporated places.
The boundaries of a CDP have no legal status and may not correspond with the local understanding of the area with the same name.
Town 'n' Country has a population of 87,338.
Interesting to note is the United States Census Bureau report from May 2020 listed Parkland City as the fastest-growing city in Florida.
So, it is possible that Tampa is not getting a fair shake in the WalletHub report since Town 'n' Country is a suburb within Tampa. It's just not in the city limits. It's an incorporated part of Hillsborough County, making it, even more, a part of Tampa.
The author of the WalletHub study, Adam McCann seemed to know "Fastest-Growing Cities in America" findings would be controversial. In the first paragraph, he stated, "Experts might not agree on the “best” or the “right” recipe for rapid economic growth, but some cities know the key ingredients for long-term prosperity better than others." However, he vaguely described how he defined a city.
The methodology portion of the report does state, "In determining our sample, we considered only the “city proper” in each case and excluded cities in the surrounding metro area." I'm no expert, but if this is the case then Town 'n' Countries numbers should have been included in Tampa's numbers.
Tampa showed up on the list as the number 65th fastest-growing cities in the U.S. Perhaps every CDP in Tampa was removed from Tampa's numbers. Who knows. Either way, I think Tampa was cheated out of a higher ranking. Within the same report, Tampa did rank as number nine by city size.
Check for yourself. In the interactive map below you can hover over and check out any U.S. city ranking: