According to a study recently published by Portfolio.com, Austin is one of the top ten cities in terms of the quality of life it offers to its residents. In fact, in a study that took a closer look at 67 metropolitan areas in the United States, Austin was ranked as the 9th best city in the country.
In order to develop this list, 20 different statistical categories were considered. The highest scores were given to those areas with the most well-rounded markets, including those that offered a moderate cost of living, a high-powered educational system, solid housing stocks and healthy economies. Austin scored in many of the indicators that were considered, except for the one that focused on people living in the same area for longer than one year.
Areas in which Austin scored high included its strong population growth, which has grown by 32% since 2000, and the relatively high number of people who walk to work, at 7.1%. The capital city also took the highest position when it came to the number of job opportunities available for young adults, while Houston took the number five position, Dallas ranked seventh and San Antonio came in at fourteen. Overall, Dallas took the 29th position on the final quality of life list, while Houston came in at 47 and San Antonio ranked 53rd.
On the other end of the spectrum, Bakersfield took the last spot in six of the twenty different categories that were studied. In addition to having the highest poverty level of any of the markets included in the study, it also has the lowest concentration of professional and management jobs and the weakest inventory of large houses. Bakersfield also had the smallest percentage within all three of the educational categories that were considered, including the number of adults with high school diplomas, with bachelor’s degrees and with advanced degrees. Other metro areas included in the bottom five were New Orleans, Louisiana; Memphis, Tennessee; and Riverside-San Bernardino, California.