In a surprise turn of events, Houston has fallen from grace in U.S. News and World Report's "Best Places to Live" ranking for 2023-2024.
Last year, Houston ranked No. 59 on the annual report — not surprising, considering all the Newstonians. However, the Bayou City plummeted to a shocking No. 140. Two years ago, the city ranked as No. 39, so this year's report represents a series of slips for Houston.
But why? According to the report: "A paycheck goes further in Houston than it does in other major metro areas, with affordable housing and free or cheap attractions like biking along Buffalo Bayou and exploring the 7,800-acre George Bush Park. The affordability of this region, which is located in southeastern Texas and home to more than 7 million residents in the metro area, is attracting new people from across the country and around the world."
The report takes a look at several different metrics to determine their rankings, including quality of life, housing affordability, desirability, and job market strength.
Somehow, Houston scored a mere 5.6 out of 10 in the livability score. By the numbers (and out of a perfect 10), Houston scored a 6 for desirability, 6.3 for value, 5.5. for job market, a surprising 5 for quality of life, and 5.9 for net migration.
It gets worse: Houston ranks as only No. 10 on the report's Best Place to Live in Texas list for 2023.
Texas overall saw a major drop. Austin, previously the No. 1 place to live in America for three consecutive years from 2017 to 2019, lands at No. 40 overall this year. Austin managed to hang on to its title of the Best Place to Live in Texas for 2023, with San Antonio at No. 2, and Dallas-Fort Worth taking No. 3. Rounding out the top five is Killeen in No. 4, and El Paso at No. 5.
Here's how other Texas cities faired in 2023's Best Places to Live report:
- No. 103 – San Antonio, down from No. 83 last year
- No. 113 – Dallas-Fort Worth, down from No. 32 last year
- No. 122 – Killeen, down from No. 108 last year
- No. 128 – El Paso, down from No. 124 last year
- No. 131 – Beaumont, down from No. 109 last year
- No. 132 – Corpus Christi, up from No. 133 last year
- No. 134 – Brownsville, unchanged from last year
- No. 137 – McAllen, up from No. 138 last year
- No. 140 – Houston, down from No. 59 last year
The full report can be found on U.S. News and World Report's website.
This article originally ran on CultureMap.
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