Best in Class

Houston once again ranks among America's best places to live

Houston once again ranks among America's best places to live

Houston skyline
Houston is among the nation's best places to live — again. Photo courtesy of Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau

Once again, U.S. News & World Report has named Houston one of the best places to live in the U.S. Last year, H-Town appeared at No. 20 on the list; for 2018, the Bayou City ranks 26th.

The publication describes Houston this way: “The Houston metro area attracts people with an entrepreneurial spirit and those who want to work at some of the country's largest companies. Not only is Houston the hub of the oil and gas industries, but it's also a major center of manufacturing and health care.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Houston isn't the only Lone Star city to nab a spot on the list. In fact, Austin takes the No. 1 spot for the second year in a row. San Antonio appears at No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Places to Live report card for 2018, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth, at No. 18.

Here are snippets of what U.S. News & World Report observed about Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San Antonio.

  • Austin — “People are drawn to the Texas capital’s music, outdoor spaces, and cultural institutions.”
  • Dallas — “Offering both big-city excitement and quiet, suburban living, the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area offers an interesting mix of Texas pride and cosmopolitan offerings. The cowboy life still exists in Fort Worth, while Dallasites love the trendy local bars and numerous retail shops.”
  • San Antonio — "San Antonio is as comfortable as an old pair of jeans. It offers big-city amenities and world-renowned attractions coupled with a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.”

U.S. News & World Report compared five factors in grading 125 metro areas:

  • Net migration: the difference between the number of people moving to and from an area.
  • Desirability: the allure of a region for potential residents.
  • Value: a region’s affordability.
  • Quality of life: a mix of indicators for categories like commute times, crime rates, health care, and education.
  • Job market: salary levels and job availability.

“When deciding on a place to settle down, it’s important to understand that where a person lives can impact their well-being,” Kim Castro, executive editor of U.S. News, says in a release.

U.S. News created the Best Places to Live to highlight areas across the country that have the characteristics residents are looking for, including steady job growth and affordability. The top-ranked places are areas where citizens can feel the most fulfilled socially, physically, and financially.”