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Texas cities standout in top “Up & Coming” places on Yelp

In 2021, much has changed about everyday life in America but perhaps one of the most striking changes has been where people are now choosing to live. 

A new wave of migration in America has been linked to the pandemic and an increase in opportunities for remote work. In fact, Yelp recently contributed data to the New York Times that was used to develop a quiz that can help predict where in America you should move based on dozens of criteria from housing prices to climate risks. While the ‘why’ behind these moves varies greatly, the phenomenon is no doubt spurring increased economic opportunity for many in new areas across the country. 

Against this backdrop, Yelp’s data science team examined increases in consumer engagement volume from 2019 to 2021 across business categories that together could indicate someone is a resident of the area (restaurant and food businesses, as well as home, local, professional and auto services categories) to uncover neighborhoods across the country that are “Up and Coming.” We then narrowed those findings to the top 20% of areas that also saw an increase in new business openings, uncovering that suburbs and exurbs near major cities are not the only places seeing an increase in consumer activity. 

A clear standout in our analysis was the state of Texas – an area of the country that has seen a number of high profile individual and corporate moves in the past year. Neighborhoods in Texas accounted for the most areas with “Up and Coming” locations with an increase in new business openings – beating out other favorable southern states including Florida which took the number 2 spot. 

This analysis combined with Yelp’s business opening data underscores the growth of economic activity across Texas as more Americans move there and contribute to the local economy. 

Here’s a full list of Up & Coming areas in Texas on Yelp. 


How Yelp Defines “Up & Coming” Locations

Yelp data science leveraged page view growth (engagement) from YTD Oct 2019 to YTD Oct 2021 by zip code of two category groups: 1) restaurants and food and 2) professional, local, auto, and home services, ranked in percentile. The largest growth being the 99th percentile and the lowest growth being the 1st percentile. The definition of Up & Coming includes select locations that are above the 50th percentile of growth for both category groups, indicating “out performance” compared to other locations. 

This analysis looks at the geographies in which a behavior phenomenon is at work: places where growth above the national median in both category groups is evident and; therefore, “Up & Coming.”

New Business Growth

Of the locations with the highest growth (the top 20% of “Up & Coming” locations) from 2019 to 2021 Yelp further examined the data to see how business activity responded to the increased consumer engagement. Yelp analyzed the count of how many new businesses opened in 2021 compared to 2019, limiting our sample evaluated to only include locations with more than 10 business openings in 2021.