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Culture / Real Estate

Texas Dominates Best Cities to Live Rankings, Annoying California

You Won’t Believe Which Houston Suburb is No. 1

BY // 04.24.17

The new Best Cities to Live in America rankings carry a decidedly Texas feel. In fact, five of the Top 25 best places to live in the United States can be found in the Lone Star State. That’s the most for any state. Are you really surprised?

Livability seems to be a Texas hallmark — and native Texans and transplants alike seem to have little difficulty in feeling comfortable within its mega-sized borders. The only state that comes close to Texas’ livability is California, which places four cities in the Top 25. And you know that drives superior-feeling California crazy.

No other states put more than two cities in that Top 25 elite upper class. It’s just better to be deep in the heart of Texas.

Or at least, in the suburbs of Houston. For The Woodlands, which bristles at any notion that it’s just a suburb, has been deemed the best city to live in all of Texas and the sixth best place to live in the entire country. And you thought the Waterway was just a glorified creek?

Think again. Anyone who’s spent any time in The Woodlands knows that it’s now really a world of its own, with enough upscale restaurants, events, concerts and shopping to make it a destination spot in its own right, Plus, all those trees and night-time lighting regulations don’t hurt either.

The hard data supports The Woodlands as well. Niche, the neighborhoods and schools rankings site, based these best city rankings on real statistical analysis as well.  Cost of living, the percentage of residents with a college degree, average commute time, crime rates, public school ratings, resident reviews and weather are some of the major factors.

Plano — the new land of Shake Shake, beloved New York grocery store Dean & Delucca and a rare Barnes & Noble full restaurant store — does well in the data too. It comes in just behind The Woodlands as the seventh-best place to live in America.

Richardson (No. 13), Round Rock (No. 16) and Austin (No. 22) complete Texas’ Top 25 quintuple. The largest Texas cities do not fare quite as well. Houston comes in at No. 57, Dallas is No. 80 and San Antonio’s 90. That is still better than New York City with limps in with a No. 99 ranking. Big Apple… Ouch.

The best city to live in according to the rankings? Ann Arbor, Michigan, the land of University of Michigan football and summer art fairs. As someone who lived through many a Michigan winter, I’d dispute that title. Then again, No. 2 — Naperville, Illinois — is also a cold-weather suburb of Chicago.

Midwest values play very well in these livability rankings. Of course, so does Texas. No surprise there. Even Russell Westbrook would probably rather live in Texas at the moment. Take that for data.

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