Applause for Austin
Austin named the No. 9 best city for families in new report
Here's good news for the 20 percent of Austin families who are raising children: A recent report names the Capital City one of the most family-friendly places in the United States.
In StorageCafe's recent analysis of 100 large and mid-size cities to raise a family, Austin places at No. 9 overall. StorageCafe, an online platform that provides storage unit listings across the nation, evaluated 29 factors including public school rankings, childcare cost, neighborhood safety, and community amenities to determine the best cities to live in for families with children.
Austin ranked second for public school ratings, and touted a mid-range affordability factor, with child-care costs rated as “moderate.”
"As one of the favorite moving destinations in the U.S., Austin’s real estate scene is by no means cheap, but compared to other buzzing urban hubs, it still provides access to comfortable living," the report says.
"Zooming in specifically on the cost of homes, prices are in fact above average, hovering at about $642,000. However, family incomes are some of the most generous on our list ($121,000/year), thanks, in part, to Austin’s status as the tech and innovation hub."
Mid-size cities dominated the list, and Texas snagged five of the top 20 spots.
At No. 1 is the Dallas suburb of Plano, which earned outstanding grades in the area of education. Of the cities considered, Plano’s public schools were rated the highest, and the city claims a 96 percent graduation rate.
Another factor that raised Plano’s profile is affordability. While home prices are above average in Plano ($533,000), the median income ($116,000/year) is higher, as well. Healthcare availability was another factor, with Plano boasting the second highest number of healthcare establishments per capita.
“Plano has long been recognized as one of the country’s most family-friendly cities. We’re proud to offer all the amenities families seek in a place to live – a top-tier education system, a reasonable cost of living, a fantastic parks system, all in a safe and clean environment," says Mark Thompson, executive director of Visit Plano.
Coming in at No. 10 overall is Lubbock, which ranked 25th in public school ratings and ranks among the lowest prices for groceries, childcare, homes, and apartment rent.
El Paso and Laredo, with overall rankings of 12th and 15th, also offer low cost of living, although it’s offset by lower median income. Public education in both cities was rated in the top third.
Judging by this report, it looks like bigger cities aren’t necessarily better for families with children. San Antonio (55), Fort Worth (56), Dallas (63), and Houston (69) ranked in the bottom half of the 100 cities considered.