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.