Apartment List has compiled its annual ranking of the country’s most family-friendly cities, and Texans should be proud. Very proud, as the Lone Star State grabs four spots in the top 10. Pearland holds steady at No. 10, same as it was in last year's ranking.
So what makes a city desirable for families? Apartment List used four weighted factors to compile an overall letter grade: safety, housing affordability, education quality, and childhood friendliness. Safety data was pulled from FBI statistics and ranked each city by the number of crimes per 100,000 residents. Housing affordability was measured by the city's lowest percentage of median gross income spent on rent.
High school graduation rates determined education quality, and to draw a conclusion about child friendliness the site deemed cities with higher populations of children under 18 as more family friendly.
The results: Dallas-Fort Worth suburb Flower Mound lands the No. 1 spot overall, with neighbor Frisco coming in second. Cedar Park, near Austin, finds itself at No. 6.
All told, Texas boasts 13 spots in the top 50, with Allen (No. 11), Plano (No. 19), Missouri City (No. 23), Round Rock (No. 26), Lewisville (No. 36), McKinney (No. 38), and Irving (No. 42) making a strong showing.
The true winner, though, is No. 90 El Paso, which is awarded an A- grade and takes the top spot when you whittle the list down to just the nation's 25 biggest cities.
Other Houston area suburbs on the list are Conroe (No. 98 of 510 cities) and Baytown (No. 106). The city of Houston ranked a dismal 344, scoring relatively high on family friendliness and affordability, but poorly on safety and education.