Austin Ranked as the #2 Best Place to Live by U.S. News

Posted by Mary Ann Castro on Monday, March 14th, 2016 at 4:36pm.

The Texas Star in downtown AustinAustin, TX has once again made it to the coveted top three on someone's good list. In the inaugural ranking of Best Places to Live in the USA, published by U.S. News & World Report, our city came in at #2 right after Denver, CO.

The rankings take into account indexes such as value (e.g. cost of living), the current state of the job market (e.g. unemployment rate and median salary), quality of life (e.g. commute times, quality and availability of health care, quality of education, and crime rate), and of course, the area's overall desirability.

When relocating to any metropolitan city, obvious measures like affordability and employment opportunities can make or break one's decision in making the big move. But there's also that little x factor that gives a truly great city like Austin that added edge over others.

What Makes Austin so Great?

As the capital city of Texas and one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, Austin has become a hub for fun and excitement in many different aspects of life, from real estate to cultural activities, and everything else in between. More and more people come to our city not only to visit, but to live here. In fact, Austin has many great neighborhoods that add to its unique character, from the upscale Northwest Hills to the historic, family-friendly Hyde Park to the hip and trendy East Austin, and the endless other choices nearby.

Austinites are known to enjoy all the history, its title as the live music capital, the thriving culinary scene—from trendy food trucks to the best in fine dining—sports, recreation, with more than 250 parks in the surrounding area, and safety, with a below-average rate of violent crime. Did we mention our low state and local tax rates?

Rankings & Score

The analysis done by U.S. News considered the 100 most populous metropolitan areas in the country. These rankings were then decided based on findings from public surveys using Google Consumer Surveys, coupled with data gathered from authorities such as the United States Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and even the FBI. U.S. News' own rankings for Best High Schools and Best Hospitals also played a part in the compiling of this list.

Austin's overall score on this list is 7.7. For comparison, Denver's overall score measures at 7.8. It's interesting to see that five other cities in Texas also made it to the list (though it's no surprise that Austin was ranked the best of the bunch): Houston at #17, Dallas-Fort Worth at #21, San Antonio at #23, El Paso at #71, and McAllen at #89.

7 Basic Stats—Judge for yourself!

  • Population: 1.8 million
  • Median age: 33.3
  • Unemployment rate: 3.1%
  • Average annual salary: $48,150 (National average: $47,230)
  • Median price for single-family homes: $240,000 (National median: $218,867)
  • Average monthly rent: $1,014
  • Average commute time: 25.9 min.

Interested in relocating to Austin? Check out our Neighborhood Guide or our Relocation Guide for more details!

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