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Austin earns a place among America's most prosperous big cities

Austin earns a place among America's most prosperous big cities

Austin aerial skyline with downtown
Few big cities are more prosperous than Austin. Photo by dszc/Getty Images

It seems Austin residents are moving on up. According to a new study from rental website RentCafe, the Capital City ranks among the 20 most prosperous large cities in the nation.

The site measured more than 300 U.S. cities using Census data from 2000-2016 to "single out the ones that have made the most progress overall." Six key metrics were reviewed: percent change in population, median income, home values, share of inhabitants holding a higher-education degree, poverty rate, and unemployment rate. An overall prosperity ranking was determined by combining the values of the individual rankings.

While Austin doesn't appear on the overall top 20 list, when you drill down to large U.S. cities, Austin ranks No. 15 for prosperity. From 2000-2016, the area's population grew by 38 percent, home values increased by a whopping 52 percent, and the share of locals with a higher-education degree increased by 18 percent.

But it's not all positive growth. Income grew slightly, by 2 percent, but Austin's poverty rate increased by 16 percent, and the unemployment rate increased by 14 percent. (The study notes that only 11 cities registered improvements across all prosperity metrics; four of those cities are in Texas.)

In all, the Lone Star State boasts more prosperous cities than the entire West Coast, notes RentCafe. The report points to the huge upswing in crude oil production for Texas' prosperity.

Smaller Texas cities make a big impression on the overall list, with Odessa taking the No. 1 spot as the most prosperous in America. Pearland (7), Brownsville (9), Midland (10), Fort Worth (14), and El Paso (16) also rank among the top 20.