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Americans are flocking to these 9 southern cities where business is booming and salaries are rising

A woman smiles and floats in a pool in Miami, Florida.
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Though wages remain largely stagnant for many American workers, there are several cities around the U.S. where incomes are on the rise.

Personal finance website GOBankingRates analyzed 347 American cities with populations of 500,000 or under, looking for places experiencing a combination of economic prosperity, population growth and rising incomes. To rank the top "boomtowns," or cities that meet these criteria, the site looked at five-year data on population, housing, GDP and per capita income from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2017 American Community and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

One region stood out: The American South. It claimed nine of the top 30 spots, including the No. 1 location on the list, Naples, Florida.

These cities are good alternatives for people who want to avoid notoriously expensive cities, such as New York or San Francisco, because they "offer incentives, such as a more affordable cost-of-living or a higher paycheck — or both," GOBankingRates reports.

Below, check out nine growing cities across the southern U.S. where the economy is booming and salaries are on the rise.

9. Richmond, Virginia

Personal income growth, 2012 to 2017: 15%
Population growth, 2012 to 2017: 7.6%
GDP increase, 2012 to 2017: 22.4%

8. Port St. Lucie, Florida

Personal income growth, 2012 to 2017: 18%
Population growth, 2012 to 2017: 9.2%
GDP increase, 2012 to 2017: 21.1%

Durham, NC skyline with the Hill building on the left and Durham Center on the right.
Getty Images

7. Durham, North Carolina

Personal income growth, 2012 to 2017: 15.8%
Population growth, 2012 to 2017: 11.9%
GDP increase, 2012 to 2017: 14.8%

6. Charlottesville, Virginia

Personal income growth, 2012 to 2017: 17.9%
Population growth, 2012 to 2017: 7.6%
GDP increase, 2012 to 2017: 22.4%

Miami, Florida.
Jeff Greenberg | Getty Images

5. Miami, Florida

Personal income growth, 2012 to 2017: 17.7%
Population growth, 2012 to 2017: 10.2%
GDP increase, 2012 to 2017: 29.4%

4. Raleigh, North Carolina

Personal income growth, 2012 to 2017: 15%
Population growth, 2012 to 2017: 11%
GDP increase, 2012 to 2017: 33%

3. Fayetteville, Arkansas

Personal income growth, 2012 to 2017: 23.4%
Population growth, 2012 to 2017: 10.4%
GDP increase, 2012 to 2017: 37.6%

Residents enjoy the saturday morning Farmers Market on the square in downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Wesley Hitt | Getty Images

2. Sebastian, Florida

Personal income growth, 2012 to 2017: 20.9%
Population growth, 2012 to 2017: 9.3%
GDP increase, 2012 to 2017: 23.5%

1. Naples, Florida

Personal income growth, 2012 to 2017: 22.8%
Population growth, 2012 to 2017: 6.8%
GDP increase, 2012 to 2017: 34%

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A woman smiles and floats in a pool in Miami, Florida.
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