Austin ranks among best U.S. metros for Black professionals

Austin ranks among best U.S. metros for Black professionals

Black professional in workplace
A new report finds that Austin is increasingly becoming a top city for Black professionals.  Photo by Getty Images

A study released by WalletHub in 2021 noted that the Lone Star State is among the most diverse in the U.S., and Austin, though still working toward more diversity, was ranked No. 38 among all U.S. cities. So maybe it won’t come as a surprise that the Capital City ranks among the country’s best cities for Black professionals.

A new ranking compiled by Black employees at Apartment List puts Austin at No. 9 (in a tie with Baltimore) among the best cities for Black professionals. The Apartment List employees judged 82 cities in four categories:

  • Business environment for Black professionals. Austin ranks 27th.
  • Black community and representation. Austin ranks 46th.
  • Economic opportunities for Black professionals. Austin ranks fifth.
  • Housing opportunities for Black professionals. Austin ranks 26th.

Apartment List combined the scores in each of those categories to come up with an overall score for each city. Austin’s final score was 57.1, with 100 being the highest possible score. The company released the ranking in conjunction with Black History Month.

Though Austin tied for No. 9 on the list, several other Texas cities fared much better. San Antonio was the top-ranked Texas city, with a final score of 66.08. Houston came in at No. 4 with a final score of 63.8.

Apartment List lauds Houston’s showing in three of the four categories, but dings the city for its relatively low score for housing opportunities. The website points out that 42 percent of black households in Houston spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

In 2016, Black Enterprise magazine dubbed Houston the country’s “Next Great Black Business Mecca.”

In a 2019 post on Medium, digital marketer and Los Angeles native Shameen Yakubu placed Houston at No. 2 on his list of the six cities he’d considered moving to as a Black professional. (San Antonio topped his list, and his LinkedIn profile indicates he now lives there.) Yakubu cited Houston’s large Black population, diversity, and affordability as some of the factors in the city’s favor.

“One of the things that [attracts] me to Houston is the number of [Black] professionals and entrepreneurs. Texas, in general, is a very pro-business state,” Yakubu wrote.

Other Texas cities making Apartment List’s top 10 include:

  • San Antonio, No. 3, final score of 66.08.
  • Dallas, No. 5, final score of 60.6.

In descending order, here are the top 10 cities for Black professionals, according to Apartment List:

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Atlanta
  • San Antonio
  • Houston
  • Dallas
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Lakeland, Florida
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Austin (tie)
  • Baltimore (tie)


This article originally ran on our sister site InnovationMap.