The bloom isn’t off the yellow rose of Texas after all. Oil’s plummet cannot stop the state’s tech haven — or apparently, even slow it down.
Austin’s been named the No .1 City in America by Forbes Magazine in new rankings designed to determine the Cities Of The Future. And while Austin may be keeping it weird, it has plenty of Texas company on the list. Four Texas cities make the Top 10 of Forbes‘ boomtown projections.
Houston is No. 6, Dallas No. 7, and San Antonio comes in at No. 8. Heck, even Oklahoma City squeezes into the Top 10, giving the greater region half of the terrific 10 cities. Throw in the fact that New York City and Los Angeles rank a pathetic 36th and 39th, respectively, (out of the 53 metropolitan areas studied), and these new rankings of city power signal a clear changing of the guard.
Forbes chalks much of it up to Texas’ people-drawing power, specifically the influx of “young, educated millennials and households with children” into the state’s major cities. Austin dominates here, too. “The clear star of the show is No. 1-ranked Austin, which has become the nation’s superlative economy over the past decade,” the magazine declares.
Austin’s population jumped 13.2 percent between just 2010 and 2014, the highest increase of any of the cities studied. It also has the strongest rate of domestic “in-migration” — people moving from other parts of Texas to Austin — in the country.
It turns out, Austin’s just as cool as it thinks it is.
Houston ranking No. 6 in America and second among the Texas giants may be more of a surprise, what with oil hovering around $30 a barrel and energy companies laying off workers in frantic sprees. The study’s analysis does caution that it “would not be a surprise” to see Houston fall out of the Top 10 for a few years as oil prices nosedive. But it insists that Houston’s job growth should continue even as it gets hit by massive energy company layoffs, primarily because of major gains in other sectors, especially medical.
In fact, it projects 9,000 new medical-services jobs will be created in Houston in 2016 alone.
There are no doubts raised over surprise No. 2 Salt Lake City (the Mormon hotbed boasts the highest birth rate among the 53 major metro areas studied), No. 3 San Jose, No. 4 Denver or No. 5 Raleigh. Of course, all those cities give way to Austin, and Texas in general.
No other state has more than two cities in the Top 10. It may be cooler to be in Austin, but any major metropolis in Texas still looks awfully futuristic to the economic bible.