Austin | Dallas | Houston
Dubious Data

Snubbed! Young professionals told to live in Austin, maybe Dallas: Houston . . . not so much

Justin Terveen Dallas skyline
Dallas is the 8th best city in America for millennials to live. Photo by Justin Terveen
Austin skyline city buildings
Austin ranks No. 2 among best cities for millennials. Kumar Appaiah/ Flickr
Houston skyline with buildings day
Houston earned a respectable No. 21 ranking.
Justin Terveen Dallas skyline
Austin skyline city buildings
Houston skyline with buildings day

Recent college graduates have a lot to consider when thinking about their next steps. In addition to career paths, they must weigh quality-of-life factors in the cities they may soon call home. has taken out some of the guesswork in its recent list of the top cities and neighborhoods for millennials, and three of the 25 metro areas (with populations of at least one million) are in Texas. Austin ranked No. 2, just behind New York City. Dallas earned a respectable eighth place — and Houston landed a disappointing 21st.

To determine the winners, the site looked at data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey and FBI Uniform Crime Reports, plus it surveyed more than 500,000 college students and recent graduates. While the former provided obvious statistics like percentage of population between 25 and 34 years old, median rent and income, racial diversity, and unemployment rate, the surveys helped take into account factors such as sports, shopping, nightlife, accessibility and cultural attractions.

“The economic climate right now is difficult for recent college grads,” Mark Tressler, director of business development, told Forbes. “With a ranking like this we’re combining the fun stuff with more practical things like safety and the unemployment rate.

 “The economic climate right now is difficult for recent college grad. With a ranking like this we’re combining the fun stuff with more practical things like safety." 

"It’s a good balance of what you need to think about when you’re starting to get serious about life beyond college.”

Houston has a median rent of $860, median income of $28,306 and an “average” crime score. Fifteen percent of Houstonians fit within that 25-34 age range, and those folks should plant roots in Midtown, according to the site.

Austin, with 17 percent of the population between the ages of 25 and 34, boasts a median rent of $936, median income of $30,816 and below-average crime score. The site also declared South River City/Travis Heights the best neighborhood for Millennials to live.

As for Dallas, 15 percent of its residents are ages 25-34, and the city has a median rent of $874 and median income of $29,830. Like Austin, Big D's crime score was “below average,” and determined that Oak Lawn is the right neighborhood for these young professionals.

Rounding out the top five best cities for millennials, behind New York and Austin, are Washington D.C., Chicago and San Francisco.

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