It doesn't get better than Austin. In fact, the Capital City is No. 1 on U.S. News & World Report's 2017 list of the 100 Best Places to Live. The publisher took the 100 most populous metros in the country and ranked them in five main factors: job market, value, quality of life, desirability, and net migration.
Quality of life, given the most weight, encompasses everything from healthcare to commute. Austin dominates with its low violent crime rates and high quality of education.
Value was calculated by the median household income compared to cost of living, which is getting a little pricey, to say the least. The median home price is $262,182 — much higher than the national average of $211,731, and renters spend about $1,044 per month on average.
Despite these large costs, U.S. News & World Report points out that "Austinites' pocketbooks benefit from no personal or corporate income tax and a low state and local tax rate." The flourishing job market in Austin, with its 3.2 percent unemployment rate and median annual salary of $49,560, also helps alleviate some of these financial burdens.
Austin's desirability, determined by a Google Consumer Survey, is also high. Not only do people want to live here, they're actually making the move. According to a previous report from U.S. News & World Report, Austin is the most popular place to move to in the state and No. 2 in the nation. With a net migration of 8.86 percent, our population increased to 1.8 million between 2010-2014.
Austin isn't the only shining spot in the Lone Star State. Texas' biggest cities also fare well, with Dallas-Fort Worth at No. 15, Houston at No. 20, and San Antonio at No. 23. Coming in just behind Austin are Denver; San Jose, California; Washington; and Fayetteville, Arkansas.