Middle-class families looking for the perfect place to call home may find just what they're looking for in Dallas, according to a new study.
Personal finance website Simple Thrifty Living ranked the best cities for middle-class families in every state, declaring Dallas the second best 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.
Dallas, with a median household income of $47,285 (compared to the statewide median of $57,051) stands out with its affordable homes (the local median of $183,000 isn't far off from the state's median of $169,500) and near-perfect job score, with 18,377 openings within a 10-mile radius. The strong employment market shouldn't come as a surprise for Dallas, as the Metroplex was recently recognized for record job growth over the last decade.
Outside Dallas proper, DFW dominates with four additional cities landing in the top 10, including the somewhat curious entries of affluent University Park and Highland Park, which rank the No. 3 and 4 best cities for middle-class families. (Despite having median household incomes ($200,000-plus) and home values ($1 million-plus) well outside the norm, the two aspirational neighborhoods receive exceptional scores for their highly educated residents, job availability, and real estate tax rates.)
Irving and Fort Worth also chart top spots, at Nos. 5 and 10, respectively. Households in Irving earn more than the state median, $58,196, while home values are relatively the same, $169,800. Fort Worth households also earn more than the Texas median, $57,309, but homes there are even more affordable, at $155,200.
The No. 1 city on the list is Houston, with a median income of $49,399, median home value of $169,600, and impressive 19,981 job openings. Two other Houston-area spots land in the top 10: West University Place, No. 7, and Richmond, No. 9.
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.