Middle-class families looking for the perfect place to call home may find just what they're looking for in Houston, according to a new study.
Personal finance website Simple Thrifty Living ranked the best cities for middle-class families in every state, declaring Houston No. 1 out of 100 Texas cities. The study analyzed each city based on socioeconomic factors that are important to families, such as local median income and home value (compared to the state as a whole), real estate taxes, unemployment rate, college educated residents, schools, and job availability.
Houston, with a median household income of $49,399 (compared to the statewide median of $57,051) stands out with its affordable homes (the local median of $169,600 is right in line with state's median of $169,500) and perfect job score, with 19,981 openings within a 10-mile radius. The strong employment market shouldn't come as a surprise for Houston, as the metro area was recently recognized for record job growth over the last decade.
Outside H-Town proper, two other Houston-area spots land in the top 10, including the somewhat curious entry of affluent West University Place, No. 7, and the more affordable outpost of Richmond, No. 9.
Despite a median household income ($243,226) and home value ($1,041,600) well outside the Texas norm, aspirational West U receives exceptional scores for its highly educated residents and real estate tax rate. The story is different in Richmond, where residents earn less than the state median, $51,345, but home values are an affordable $174,300. Richmond also boasts a low unemployment rate and higher performing students than most of the top 10.
No. 2 on the list is Dallas, with a median income of $47,285, median home value of $183,000, and impressive 18,377 job openings. Four other Dallas-area spots land in the top 10: University Park, No. 3; Highland Park, No. 4: Irving, No. 5; and Fort Worth, No. 10.
Austin, No. 6, with a median income of $63,717, and the West Texas enclave of Canyon, No. 8, round out the top Texas cities for middle-class families.