Ahead of Veteran's Day, November 11, financial website WalletHub has released its annual survey of the best and worst cities for veterans to live, placing Austin among the five best in the country.
Analysts compared 100 of the largest U.S. cities based on 21 key indicators of veteran-friendliness, ranging from percentage of military skill-related jobs to the availability of VA health facilities, in four broad categories.
Austin ranks No. 5, up from the ninth spot in 2015, thanks to high scores in the quality of life and jobs categories. Austin comes in fourth for job growth, 11th for educational opportunities, and 11th for veteran income (adjusted for cost of living). And it's a good thing. The study projects that Austin's veteran population will increase by almost 30 percent by 2040, the second highest increase in the nation.
Austin takes the well-being of its veteran population seriously. In August 2016, the city reached "functional zero" status, effectively ending veteran homelessness; since 2014, 682 veterans have found homes in Austin.
A number of other Lone Star cities rank among the best for veterans. Laredo is second, Plano is fourth, and El Paso is sixth. Plano boasts the lowest percentage of homeless veterans and ties for the lowest percentage of unemployed veterans in the U.S.
Other Texas cities in the top 25 include San Antonio (No. 21), Arlington (No. 23), Lubbock (No. 24), and Fort Worth (No. 25). Dallas ranks 31st, and Houston is 37th. The worst Texas city for vets? Corpus Christi, No. 54.