ValuePenguin has ranked Austin as the top city in the nation for young families on its Best Cities for Young Families in 2016 report. Based on 16 different factors, the capital city ranked tops out of 156 compared cities.
Of the five factors ValuePenguin considered the most important for young families, Austin ranked third for Education and Environment, 10th for Working Parents, 17th for Outdoor Activities, 103rd for Buying or Renting a Home, and 121st for Safety and Healthcare.
For Austin’s highest ranking of Education and Environment, the report looked at the number of children in Austin, the percentage of families in poverty, the rating of the school systems (by GreatSchools.org), and the proximity of state universities. “Our belief is that kids should grow up with other kids, go to good elementary and secondary schools and have the option of paying discounted in-state tuition for their undergraduate degrees,” the report stated.
For Working Parents, ValuePenguin considered economic strength, the unemployment rate, commute time, and the divorce rate. Austin’s unemployment was ranked at 16th and almost half the national average – 4.7 percent versus 9.2 percent. Austin’s commute time was about four minutes longer than the national average, at 26.6 minutes.
For Outdoor Activities, ValuePenguin considered weather and proximity of stadiums.
For Buying or Renting a home, Value Penguin considered cost of living, real estate taxes, the ratio between income and mortgage amounts, and the percent of residents who spend 40% or more of their income on rent.
For Safety and Healthcare, ValuePenguin considered crime and hospital rankings.
Other Texas cities fared well for young families. Houston followed Austin in second place. Dallas ranked fifth, and San Antonio ranked 14th.