Austin plummets on list of best places to live in new national report
In a shocking turn of events, which might not surprise some, Austin has fallen from grace in U.S. News and World Report's "Best Places to Live" ranking for 2023-2024. Maybe the city took a page out of Icarus' book on flying too close to the sun in touting how great it is ...
Austin was previously the No. 1 place to live in America for three consecutive years from 2017 to 2019, and began to slip in 2020 when it failed to remain on top and came in at No. 3. It's been downhill since then, with Austin falling down to No. 5 in 2021, then tumbling out of the top 10 to No. 13 in 2022. Now, the Live Music Capital of the World has dropped even further down the list to No. 40. That hurts.
The report takes a look at several different metrics to determine their rankings, including quality of life, housing affordability, desirability, and job market strength.
To determine why Austin fell so low, you have to examine its overall rating, which was a 6.4. The city's desirability, job market strength, and quality of life were all similarly ranked at 6.5 or 6.6, and its highest rating was a 7.3 for net migration, which is the measurement of people moving in or out of the city. The high number is to be expected even with residents' waning interest in proper city living, and increased desire for living in the suburbs. And when household bills in Austin cost 25 percent more than the national average, it makes one question the true quality of life provided here.
The city's lowest rating was a 6 for it's value, aka its housing affordability and price parity. Latest reports show Austin's housing market is stabilizing, and “home prices are moderating" according to 2023 ABoR president Ashley Jackson.
On the bright side, Austin has managed to hang on to its title of the Best Place to Live in Texas for 2023, so at least we still have that going for us. San Antonio came in at No. 2 on that list, and Dallas-Fort Worth taking No. 3. Rounding out the top five is Killeen in No. 4, and El Paso at No. 5.
Here's how other Texas cities faired in 2023's Best Places to Live report:
- No. 103 – San Antonio, down from No. 83 last year
- No. 113 – Dallas-Fort Worth, down from No. 32 last year
- No. 122 – Killeen, down from No. 108 last year
- No. 128 – El Paso, down from No. 124 last year
- No. 131 – Beaumont, down from No. 109 last year
- No. 132 – Corpus Christi, up from No. 133 last year
- No. 134 – Brownsville, unchanged from last year
- No. 137 – McAllen, up from No. 138 last year
- No. 140 – Houston, down from No. 59 last year
The full report can be found on U.S. News and World Report's website.