DALLAS — The best of both worlds between the "big city life " and suburban living – that's the mixture of lifestyles Dallas-Fort Worth offers to residents, according to a new U.S. News & World Report.
The publication released its "Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2023-2024," where they analyze the 150 most populous metro areas to find the best places to live. Out of those 150 places, D-FW came in at No. 113.
Well, it could have been worse.
An even more humbling is Austin's fall from grace. The capital city used to take up the No. 1 spot from 2017 to 2019. In 2022, it fell outside the top 10 to No. 14.
Now? They fell another 26 spots to No. 40. Austin is still Texas' highest ranked city on the list, however.
To make the list, U.S. News & World Report looked at the following criteria:
Quality of Life Index – 36%
The Quality of Life Index measures how satisfied residents are with their daily lives in each ranked metro area, along with how affected the specific metro area is to life-impacting factors such as crime rates, quality of education, commute times, air quality, etc.
Value Index – 23%
The Value Index measures how comfortably the average resident of each metro area can afford to live within their means.
Desirability Index – 22%
The Desirability Index measures whether people want to live in a given metro area. To determine this, they asked people from all over the U.S. where they'd prefer to live.
Job Market Index – 19%
The Job Market Index measures the strength of each metro area's job market. To do this, they assessed the following two factors to determine how likely residents are to find employment in each metro area and their earning potential there:
- Unemployment Rate (50%): They calculated the 12-month moving unemployment rate using data from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This represents whether the job market is growing, struggling or remaining stable.
- Average Salary (50%): The average annual salary, as calculated by the BLS, is the best indicator of earning potential in a metro area.
To dive deeper into how the scores were calculated, look at their methodology page here.
Dallas-Fort Worth rankings and scores
The overall score for D-FW was 6.0, which slotted the metroplex at its No. 113 spot. Here's how the individual scores broke down:
- Desirability: 6.0
- Value: 5.8
- Job Market: 6.0
- Quality of Life: 6.1
The reports says D-FW offers both " big-city excitement and quiet, suburban living," creating an "interesting mix of Texas pride and cosmopolitan offerings."
"The cowboy life still exists in Fort Worth, while Dallasites love the trendy local bars and numerous retail shops. And no matter which part of the metroplex they call home, sports fans rally together behind their professional sports teams," the report says.
The report says Dallas and Fort Worth residents tend to be young professionals, while the surrounding suburbs are largely filled with young families. The metroplex's population has ballooned from 5.8 million people in 2005 to 7 million in 2023 due to new developments drawing in both "families looking for their dream home" and "young professionals looking to advance their careers."
Dallas-Fort Worth was also listed 98th on their list of Best Places to Retire and third on the "Best Places to Live in Texas." Austin and San Antonio were ranked above D-FW (sorry y'all ... don't blame the messenger).
If it's any consolation, Dallasites, Houston came in dead last of the "Best Places to Live in Texas" list and 140th out of 150 on the "Best Places to Live in the U.S." list!
And for those wondering, the report ranks Green Bay, Wis.; Huntsville, Ala; Raleigh & Durham, N.C.; Boulder, Colo.; and Saratosa, Fla. as the nation's top five.
For a look at the full list, click here.
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