A survey released by WalletHub, the personal finance website, ranked Texas cities from best to worst this week. They gave their picks for the most family-friendly places to live for the folks who already reside in-state and for those who are considering relocation.
WalletHub compared 112 of the state’s municipalities, ranking them in four categories: family life and fun; education, health and safety; affordability; and socioeconomic environment. Then, within these categories, examined 21 sub-metrics to determine family suitability factors such as the number of playgrounds per capita, crime rates, housing affordability, school system rankings, average commute times, divorce statistics and unemployment rates.
Eight North Texas cities, all Dallas or Fort Worth suburbs, took the top eight spots. Southlake placed first, followed by University Park, Colleyville, Allen, Flower Mound, Frisco, Coppell, and Keller. Pearland, a Houston suburb, and Cedar Park, outside of Austin, rounded out the Top 10.
The first place Southlake, home to more than 27,000 people, also ranked sixth on WalletHub’s 2015 Best and Worst Small Cities in America. That survey looked at 1,268 small cities nationwide. Other Texas cities in the Top 200 last year included Keller (41), Flower Mound (70), Sugar Land (88), Coppell (95), Cedar Park (119), Pearland (130), Grapevine (137), Spring (147), Little Elm (152), Allen (176), and Harker Heights (189).
In this newly released survey, Southlake measured first in areas of health and safety, and education, claiming the highest public school system quality in the state. The second place University Park had the lowest violent crime rate in Texas, followed by Southlake. Colleyville placed third with the lowest property crime and divorce rates, and the lowest percentage of families living below the poverty line.
Cibolo, which ranked 18th, recently was named one of the 10 fastest growing small cities in America, which Breitbart Texas’ Logan Churchwell reported. The exurb, or city beyond the suburbs but still within the San Antonio metropolitan area, got high marks from WalletHub in this survey for education, health and safety, placing fifth. It ranked 20th for its affordability and 22nd for its socioeconomic environment.
When it came to the major metropoles, Fort Worth fell in the middle of the pack at 62, although it ranked third for family life and fun. Austin placed 63rd, Longview 67th, El Paso 75th, San Antonio 85th, and Galveston 88th.
Overall, Dallas scored poorly, landing in the bottom 10. It ranked at 107 of the 112 cities included in the survey. The Big D placed deplorably (111) for affordable housing and took last place (112) for least affordable place to live in the state. Houston, at 110th, placed second worst in the sub-categories of education, health, and safety. The Houston Independent School District is the state’s largest school district. Beaumont in Jefferson County ranked 111th. The southern border city of Weslaco was designated the worst place for families to live. It was also the worst for education, health and safety. According to WalletHub, Weslaco has the highest violent crime rate in Texas, preceded by Houston.
In other indicators, the Top 5 highest median family income (cost of living-adjusted) were Southlake, Colleyville, Keller, Flower Mound, and Coppell. The bottom five were Nacogdoches, Dallas, Port Arthur, Corsicana, and San Benito. Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth tied for most family-friendly attractions (i.e., zoos, museums, theaters, amusement parks).
Couples are least like to divorce in Colleyville and the places to find the most families with kids under 18-years old are in Kyle, Little Elm, Leander, Frisco, and University Park.
Previously, Breitbart Texas reported nearly 500,000 people relocated to the Lone Star State between July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2015. This is more than any other U.S. state. The largest population bumps came in Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land followed by Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, and San Antonio-New Braunfels. In June, Breitbart Texas reported Houston, Austin, and San Antonio scored in the top five destinations nationwide for one-way U-HAUL 2015 rental agreements.
Follow Merrill Hope, a member of the original Breitbart Texas team, on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.