Top Brass

Austin saluted as best city in the U.S. for military veterans to live

Austin saluted as best city in the U.S. for military veterans to live

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Austin is top brass when it comes to military vets. Courtesy photo

Austin is being saluted as the best place in the U.S. for military veterans to live, with Plano marching in it at No. 6.

Just in time for Veterans Day on November 11, a new study from personal finance website WalletHub examines the 100 largest cities in the country and ranks them based on their veteran-friendly atmospheres. To come up with the ranking, WalletHub looked at 18 factors in four categories: jobs, economy, quality of life, and health.

In those categories, Austin appears at No. 9 for jobs, No. 17 for economy, No. 5 for quality of life, and No. 20 for health.

"One of the reasons Austin is the best place for veterans to live is its high presence of veterans’ job fairs. Those help lead to one of the lowest veteran unemployment rates in the country, at 3.5 percent,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez says. “The city offers educational opportunities specific to vets as well.”

Austin also landed the No. 1 position in WalletHub’s 2017 ranking of the best places for veterans.

Five places down from Austin is No. 6 Plano, which slipped from No. 5 in 2017. This year, it ranks No. 19 for jobs, No. 61 for economy, No. 6 for quality of life, and No. 20 for health.

"Plano has the lowest veteran unemployment rate in the country, at 2.4 percent, and ranked third best for housing affordability,” Gonzalez says. “These are probably some of the reasons why there is a projected increase in its veteran population by 2045, at 9.26 percent — one of the highest rates in the country.”

Interestingly, Texas was missing from a ranking released earlier this year by personal finance startup SmartAsset of the top 10 states for veterans. For its study, SmartAsset considered seven ranking factors, including veterans’ unemployment rate, share of population, and veterans’ income.

Meanwhile, home lender Veterans United ranks San Antonio as the best place in the U.S. for veterans who are buying homes, with Arlington at No. 3 and Fort Worth at No. 9.

In yet another study, the Military Times newspaper named San Antonio the third best big city for veterans to live in and New Braunfels the third best small city. The publication evaluated 599 cities based on economic indicators, livability criteria, military services, and other factors.