Bad news for Austin, good news for Dallas-Fort Worth: While Texas' capital city has been knocked out of the top 10 in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the best places to live in the U.S., DFW has moved up five spots.
DFW landed at No. 32 on the 2022 list, up from No. 37 last year.
The Austin metro area tumbled from No. 5 last year to No. 13 this year. It does remain the top-ranked place in Texas, though; DFW is No. 2.
For this year’s ranking, U.S. News considered key factors for 150 metro areas such as job availability, housing affordability, quality of life, and desirability. This year, the publication added data about air quality for the first time.
Of DFW, U.S News says, "Offering both big-city excitement and quiet, suburban living, the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area has 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. And no matter which part of the metroplex they call home, sports fans rally together behind their professional sports teams."
They cite DFW residents' friendliness and note that there are a lot more of us.
"People from both demographics are flooding the area, and the population has swelled from about 5.8 million people in 2005 to more than 7 million people today," they write. "New developments have drawn in both families looking for their dream home and professionals looking to advance their careers."
Huntsville, Alabama, grabbed the No. 1 spot in 2022 from last year’s top-ranked metro, Boulder, Colorado. Huntsville came in third place last year.
“Much of the shakeup we see at the top of this year’s ranking is a result of changing preferences,” Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News, says in a news release. “People moving across the country today are putting more emphasis on affordability and quality of life than on the job market, which in many ways takes a back seat as remote work options have become more standard.”
Elsewhere in the U.S. News rankings:
- Houston landed at No. 59, down from No. 39 last year.
- San Antonio landed at No. 83, down from No. 75 last year.
- Killeen landed at No. 108, up from No. 114 last year.
- Beaumont landed at No. 109, up from No. 124 last year.
- El Paso landed at No. 124, up from No. 131 last year.
- Corpus Christi landed at No. 133, down from No. 129 last year.
- Brownsville landed at No. 134, up from No. 140 last year.
- McAllen landed at No. 138, up from No. 139 last year.