By Libby Hopkins

We live in a vibrant community that has a lot to offer its residents. We have a beautiful mall, amazingly good restaurants and top notch schools for our children to attend.  Our little community is one of the best places to live and work in the state and if you don’t believe me, check out the Nerd Wallet website ( They recently did a study about the best cities in Florida for job seekers and Valrico and Riverview were in the top three. “One of the reasons we did the study was because a lot of workers are looking for better jobs than what they currently have,” said Annie Wang, who is an analyst for Nerd Wallet. “Unemployment is a problem for professionals and recent college graduates.“ The study listed the top ten cities in the state for people who are looking for jobs.

The reason Valrico and Riverview made the top three was because these two towns showed the biggest population increases over the last few years. Nerd Wallet based their study on three variables. The first was do people earn high salaries? They included median household income in the calculation. The second variable was is the city growing? They assessed population growth of those 16 years-old and over to ensure that the city is attracting workers. The third variable was how many people are employed? They looked at the employment rate to determine the percentage of the city that is working. They also took into account retirement and unemployment to determine the best cities for job seekers.

Valrico has seen a remarkable growth over the last few years. “Valrico’s population grew 268.3 percent between 2008 and 2011,” Wang said. “Valrico has a high median household income of $76,000 and a relatively high employment rate of 65 percent.” Twenty percent of the population works in education services, health care and social assistance. Thirteen percent of the population works in professional, scientific, management and administration services.

The Riverview population has a growth rate of 260.9 percent from 2008 to 2011. The employment rate is high at 71 percent and the median household income is at $67,000. Twenty-two percent of the Riverview population works in education services, health care and social assistance, while 17 percent work in finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing.

For more information on the services offered at Nerd Wallet or to read a full copy of its study, you can visit the company’s website.


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Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.