Houston – No.1 America’s Coolest City to Live

No, don’t take the literal meaning of cool. Cool has taken different dimension in the Internet era. Houston is ranked Top among America’s coolest cities by Forbes considering factors like job growth, young professional, housing development combined with a strong theater scene, world-class museums and a multicultural, zoning-free mashup of a streetscape.

As per their report, they sought to quantify it in terms of cities, ranking the 65 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Metropolitan Divisions(M.S.A)(areas that include cities and their surrounding suburbs that are defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget) based on seven data points weighted evenly.

Here are the numbers against seven data points to make Houston and around (Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown), No.1 coolest city:

  • Arts & Culture Index: 91
  • Recreation Index: 94
  • Diversity Index: 77.1
  • Number of Local Eats: 11,196
  • Median Age: 33
  • Unemployment: 6.9%
  • 2011 Net Migration: 49,820 people

Houston is joined with four other Lone Star metro areas: Dallas ranked fourth; San Antonio, 11th; Fort Worth, 13th; and Austin, 19th. They all boast strong economies, large young adult populations and relatively high levels of cultural diversity. Below full list of Top 20 cities with Texas cities bolded.

1. Houston
2. Washington DC
3. Los Angeles, CA
4. Dallas, TX
5. Seattle, WA
6. San Diego, CA
7. Boston, MA
8. Orange County, CA
9. San Francisco, CA
10. New York, NY
11. San Antonio, TX
12. Chicago, IL
13. Fort Worth, TX
14. Baltimore, MD
15. Philadelphia, PA
16. Oakland, CA
17. Bethesda, MD
18. Minneapolis, MN
19. Austin, TX
20. Denver, CO

Like me, you might be wondering how come Houston became the cool city beating out New york, San Francisco, DC and others?
Forbes is well know for releasing favorite lists and they don’t just do them without crunching the numbers. They have put in lot of work bringing numbers against seven data points using various data elements.

Forbes used Sperling’s Best Places to calculate the number of entertainment options per capita in each metro area. They also ranked the cities based on other recreational opportunities, including the amount of green space, the cost and number of outdoor activities like golfing and skiing available, and the number of pro and college sports teams.

With the help of Sperling’s, they tallied restaurants and bars per capita, weeding out chain establishments – Applebee’s has less sizzle than a local chef’s bistro. They also looked at each city’s cultural composition using Sperling’s Diversity Index. It measures the likelihood of meeting another person of a different race or ethnicity. Increased diversity tends to lead to a larger assortment of interesting shops, restaurants and events. Using the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, they factored in median age, favoring places with a large young adult population.

They ranked the cities based on net migration (the number of people who relocated there in 2011) and also on unemployment rates, since a city’s offerings are only as good as the amount of people who want and can to afford to enjoy them. They culled this data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Moody’s Analytics.

I am totally blown away to hear this news and happy to live in the coolest city. Houston has added another feather to its crown by becoming the No.1 coolest city in America. Go to Forbess.com to see the list with details.

About Vijaianand Thirnageswaram

I am a Proud Realtor of Texas, trying to guide and help clients to find their dream home and educate them to buy them for right price. I am also a Candidate for CFP who has more financial knowledge which allows me share and educate clients in any financial decision making process.

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