Reported GDP in 2009: $73 billion
Reported GDP today: $78.4 billion
Population change 2000-10: 20.4%
The locals want to keep Austin weird, and having a glut of jobs and a growing city definitely qualifies as weird during a period of financial turmoil. Heavy hitters such as Dell (DELL), the University of Texas, Whole Foods (WFMI) and Forestar Group (FOR) have helped by doling out jobs, and newcomers such as Samsung have added to the city's work force. But a town that's staked its reputation on art-and-music-fueled funkiness seems to expand every time the South By Southwest music, technology and movie festival rolls through.