Austin has long been considered the lone blue dot in the middle of a sea of Texas red when it comes to politics. And now our state capitol ranks as one of the top spots for liberals to live in the country: No. 2 in the United States and No. 1 in Texas.
Liberal-leaning Houstonians are making their mark as well with the Bayou City ranking No. 15 in the nation as a place where Hilz and Bernie fans can feel at home. That said, three Texas cities are tops for conservatives with Midland leading the red zone nationally.
SmartAsset wanted to see which cities in America were the best for liberals and which cities were best for conservatives. The study looked at the local economy, cost of living, population growth, education growth, and upward mobility. A political ideology score was included to differentiate between cities that were simply nice to live in and those that liberals or conservatives would prefer.
Austin ranks highly on the economy and education scales, with a strong economy and a highly educated local population. Austin has the fifth-lowest unemployment rate and the fifth-highest percentage of residents with a bachelor's degree (33.86 percent of the population) compared to the rest of the cities in the study.
While Austin isn't quite as liberal as some of the other left-leaning cities in the study, it's by far the most liberal in Texas. In fact, three Texas cities rank among the 10 best in the nation for conservatives. Midland takes the No. 1 spot on that list, with Amarillo coming in third and Lubbock tenth. The rankings make sense too. According to the study, Midland hasn't voted for a Democrat in a presidential election since Harry Truman in 1948.
Austin is second only to Seattle on the list of American cities fit for liberals, but a few other Texas hubs make the top 25. Fort Worth ranks No. 18 and Dallas, No. 21.