U.S. News and World Report ranked Austin, Texas at the top of its annual Best Places to Live in the USA 2019 report. With a total score of 7.6 overall, Austin received high marks for its desirability, with people “drawn to the Texas capital’s music, outdoor spaces and cultural institutions.”
For the report, U.S. News analyzed 125 U.S. metro areas for quality of life, job market, value, and people’s desire to live there. For desirability, Austin tied for its highest score with nine out of 10. Net migration also ranked a nine. Job market came in at 7.4, quality of life was 7.3, and value was 6.7.
Value ranked lower due to a median home price well over the national median, at $292,500 locally versus $226,500 nationally. While this was seen as a “a tough pill to swallow for people shopping for a home,” the report stated, “Austinites’ pocketbooks benefit from no personal or corporate income tax, and a low state and local tax rate.” The report also noted traffic congestion as a challenge of living in Austin.
Quick stats cited in the report:
- Metro Population: 2,000,590
- Average Annual Salary: $51,840
- Median Age: 34.2
- Unemployment Rate: 2.9%
Rounding out the top five were Denver, Colorado; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Des Moines, Iowa. Among Texas metros, Dallas came in 21st, while Houston was 30th, and San Antonio was 34th. In a separate Best Places to Retire report, Austin ranked fourth.