Austin has found itself on yet another “Best Of” list. Austin nabbed the top spot on U.S. News World and World Report’s Best Places to Live list.
U.S. News & World Report broke the rankings down into a Scorecard that features rankings for Desirability, Value, Job Market, Quality of Life and Net Migration. Austin scored a 7.8 overall out of a possible 10.
Fifty new residents decide to call the Austin area home on a daily basis. Austin’s lightning fast growth means the cost of living, particularly for housing, can be steep because of the competition. The median price for a house is $262,182, compared to $211,731 nationally. Renters pay an average of $1,044 for rent in Austin.
The mostly mild weather in Austin draws people as well, and boosts our score on the desirability score. Events like South by Southwest, the Austin City Limits festival, and our reputation as the “Live Music Capital of the World” also make us a great destination.
Getting around in Austin, however, isn’t easy, and our city is one of the worst for traffic congestion. The average commute is 26.2 minutes, .3 minutes above the national average. 87% of Austin residents drive, 1% choose to ride a bicycle, and 2% Walk. All these figures are equal to the national average. However, just 2% of Austinites use public transportation, which is below the national average. By choosing a neighborhood that’s close to work, play, public transportation, and bike routes, you can reduce your commute significantly.
The median age of Austin residents is 33.6, making it a young city. The majority of Austinites with children live in the suburbs, but they often come into the city to enjoy all the city has to offer, including our 250 parks.
The job market in Austin is robust, with unemployment at 3.2 percent, well below the average nationwide. Median household income is $49,560, compared to $48,320 nationally. Some of the largest employers in the area include the State of Texas, the University of Texas, and the tech industry (which led to Austin’s nickname “Silicon Hills”).
Austin’s schools score higher on the College Readiness Scale than those in other comparably sized Metros. There are 94 public schools ranging from elementary to high school and 113 private schools. Seventeen high schools made U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools list. There are six institutions of higher learning in Austin, and one of those made U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges list.