With more than 43 million renter households — roughly 36 percent of the country — calculated in the fourth quarter of the 2014 U.S. Census survey, the nation's renter population is at a 20-year high.
Apartment hunting resource Apartment List surveyed more than 18,500 renters across the country to garner "new insights into what states and cities must do to meet the needs of the 105 million American renters nationwide."
Survey respondents rated their satisfaction on eight key factors: overall city satisfaction, confidence in the local economy, plans for homeownership, safety and crime rate, access to recreational activities, quality of local schools, state and local taxes and quality of daily commute.
Coming in at No. 84 on the list of the 100 Best Cities for Renters, Houston earned a grade of "D" for overall city satisfaction. The city received good grades in terms of respondents' confidence in the local economy ("A") and plans for homeownership ("A-"), and received decent grades for the quality of their daily commute ("B") and their satisfaction with state and local taxes ("B+").
On the other hand, factors that Houston renters felt negatively about included the quality of local schools ("C+"), access to recreational activities ("C-") and the safety and crime rate ("C-").
Although Houston fared poorly on the list, two Texas cities made it into the Top 10 of the 100 Best Cities for Renters and garnered a grade of "A+" overall, including Plano at No. 1 and Austin at No. 4. Two other Texas cities received "A" grades overall — Irving at No. 11 and Fort Worth at No. 19 — while Houston and Dallas (No. 75 with a "C-" grade) received the worst grades in the state.