Another Austin accolade

Austin earns coveted spot among best big cities to live right now

Austin earns coveted spot among best big cities to live right now

Lake Austin Spa Paddleboarding
It's good to live in Austin, Texas. Photo courtesy of Lake Austin Spa Resort

Cue the caravan of moving vans. Further adding to the city’s appeal, Austin ranks second in a new study of the best big U.S. cities to live in.

Personal finance website WalletHub evaluated the 62 largest U.S. cities based on 56 metrics, ranging from quality of public schools to job opportunities and property taxes. Among the 62 cities, Austin earned the second highest overall score — 64.63. At No. 1, with a score of 65.49, is Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Austin is the only Texas city to appear in the study’s top 20 for 2019. It ranked third in the economy category, eighth for health and education, 17th for quality of life, and 30th for affordability. Within the economy category, Austin tied at No. 1 for income growth.

WalletHub ranked Austin third in its 2018 list of the best big cities to live in, behind Seattle at No. 1 and Virginia Beach at No. 2. This year, Seattle dropped to the No. 3 spot.

The WalletHub ranking is another in a string of accolades for Austin. For years, any number of websites and publications have praised Austin as a top-notch place to live. A prime example: In 2019, for the third year in a row, U.S. News & World Report placed Austin atop its list of the best places to live in the country.

In May, Forbes.com contributor Laura Begley Bloom explained that a big part of Austin’s draw is its status as a hub for entrepreneurship and startups. The title of her article? “Is Austin, Texas, The Best City In America?”

Laura Lorek, publisher and co-founder of tech website Silicon Hills News, perhaps best summarized Austin’s allure when she told Bloom that “Austin is a special place with an appealing culture. It has a lot of great parks, river access, hike-and-bike trails, good food, great music, and it has a collaborative tech culture that is warm and accepting of people who are not from here.”

Here’s how other Texas cities fared in the WalletHub ranking:

  • Arlington — No. 25 (score: 55.91). Dragging down Arlington’s score was that it ranked 58th for income growth and 58th for coffee shops per capita.
  • Fort Worth — No. 30 (score: 54.75). Fort Worth got props in the economy category (No. 13) but got penalized in the quality-of-life category (No. 54).
  • San Antonio — No. 31 (score: 54.63). San Antonio appeared at No. 9 in the economy category but at No. 52 in the health and education category.
  • El Paso — No. 32 (score: 54.61).
  • Corpus Christi — No. 43 (score: 51.72).
  • Houston — No. 45 (score: 51.09). Weighing down Houston’s score was that it ranked 61st for percentage of people covered by health insurance.
  • Dallas — No. 47 (score: 50.92). Contributing to Dallas’ low score was that it came in at No. 60 for percentage of 25-and-over population with at least a high school diploma and No. 61 for percentage of people covered by health insurance.