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Texas makes pitiful showing on list of America's best small towns

Texas makes pitiful showing on list of America's best small towns

City of Plano hot air balloon
Plano and Denton were the only Texas towns to make the list of America's 100 best towns to live in — perhaps due to lack of corn. City of Plano/Facebook

We Texans have grown rather accustomed to our best status in the world of lists (although sometimes it's nothing to brag about). But a recent survey detailing the best small and medium-sized cities to live in found that only two Texas towns made the top 100.

Bypassing the quaint towns in the Texas Hill Country, the survey selected two towns in North Texas, so we suppose of that we can be proud — sort of. According to, Denton is the 55th most livable small or medium-sized town in America. Plano ranked 86th.

The study narrowed the towns to those with populations between 20,000 and 350,000 and looked at the factors of economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and healthcare.

Plano scored well in healthcare and infrastructure while Denton was solid across the board. Palo Alto, California, earned the highest livability score thanks to a thriving tech economy, mild weather and the Stanford campus. Boulder, Colorado, and Berkeley, California, rounded out the top three.

In all, California carried 27 of the 100 spots. Meanwhile, Florida had eight cities on the list; Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville, Orlando and Tallahassee all placed above Denton, because apparently the survey didn't look into how much people do or do not enjoy being eaten by alligators or living in 100 percent humidity all the time. 

Corn also appears to be an important factor in livability, as Iowa scored five spots, including the power duo of Des Moines and West Des Moines. Oh, and Montana and Utah both had three spots on the list because, well, sure. 

To generate its list, and its partners, the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto and Ipsos Public Affairs, looked at data from public resources, including the U.S. Census Bureau as well as private sources such as Ersi and Walk Score.