Keep Austin Cool

Is Austin the coolest city in America? Not quite

Is Austin the coolest city in America? Not quite

Austin skyline downtown at night
Austin is the third coolest city in America.  Texas Wide Open for Business/Facebook

According to Forbes, Austin isn't the coolest city in America. But we sure are close. On Wednesday, Forbes released its picks for America's Coolest Cities 2014, where the Live Music Capital of the World secured the No. 3 spot. Clenching the No. 1 and No. 2 spots were Washington D.C. and Seattle, Washington, respectively. 

So what makes for a cool city (and what put these East and West Coast anchors ahead of Austin)? Forbes took the 60 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. and ranked them according to six equally weighted factors: entertainment per capita, recreation per capita, "foodie" culture (bonus points for local establishments), population ages 20 - 34, diversity and net migration.

Surprisingly, Austin scores a relatively low 75 on the arts and culture index, far behind Washington D.C.'s 99 and Seattle's 93. Less surprisingly, 73.9 percent of our food scene is made up of local eats, which is lower than Seattle's 81.6 percent, but higher than D.C.'s 68.9 percent. 

Here's how Austin, which Forbes calls one of the "up-and-coming, more affordable metros," stacks up as a whole. 

Arts and culture index: 75
Recreation index: 48
Diversity index: 66.54
Local eats: 73.9 percent
Population age 20-34: 32.5 percent
Net migration 2010 - 2013: 7.5 percent

Austin may be the coolest city in Texas, but it's not the only Lone Star metro area to land on the list. Houston falls just below us at No. 4, Dallas ranks No. 10, and San Antonio sneaks in at No. 15.