By HEATHER KENNISON | Free Press Staff Writer

Elko – In a study published May 12, Elko and Spring Creek made the top 10 list of fastest-growing Nevada cities from 2009-2012.

The study, published by a consumer advocacy and financial literacy website called NerdWallet, focused on three areas of growth measurement. These included the working age population (16 and older), employment and median income.

“It’s interesting to see how these cities fared post-recession,” Data Analyst Divya Raghazan told the Free Press in a phone interview.

Spring Creek made No. 2 on the list, ranking below Whitney, a suburb of Las Vegas in Southern Nevada. According to census data, the working age population in Spring Creek grew 6.8 percent in three years to 9,754. Employment grew 7.6 percent to 72.5 percent of residents employed. The median income rose 9.2 percent to $59,600.

“That income is higher than other places in the state,” Raghazan said.

Median earnings are based on full-time, year-round employees. Most other Nevada cities saw median income earnings of $25,000 to $50,000, Raghazan said.

Another thing that was interesting about this study, she said, was Nevada had more unincorporated towns on their top 10 fastest-growing cities than other states. Both Spring Creek and Whitney are unincorporated.

Spring Creek’s overall score, based on all three factors weighted equally, was 65.3. Whitney’s score was 68.2.

Elko made No. 4 on the list with an overall score of 56.6. Elko saw working age population growth of 5.9 percent to 13,559. Of that, 68.6 percent were employed in 2012, which was a small percentage change from 2009.

“Where you live is one of the biggest financial decisions you can make in your lifetime,” Raghazan said.

Other cities on the list of “Cities on the Rise” included: Fernley, Enterprise, Summerlin South, Spring Valley, Paradise, Pahrump and Las Vegas.

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