A U.S. News study found that while Austin is among the top 5 best places to live, Dallas-Fort Worth dropped out of the top 25.
“There was a slight increase at least by our calculations of the cost of living in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area,” said Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News. “The area has grown steadily in population over the years and our scores for net migration based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau certainly reflects that.”
What scored Austin the 5th spot is its high quality of life, job market, and desirability while Dallas-Fort Worth has steadily slid down the scale, according to 2021 Best Places data. Last year, Dallas ranked at No. 24 and in 2019 at No. 21.
Boulder, Colorado has secured the top spot two years in a row.
“Every Metro area across the country was negatively affected by the pandemic,” Thorsby told Dallas Express. “Unemployment rates went up a lot except in the Metro areas but they were able to remain relatively steady compared to the rest of the country.”
Despite falling out of the top 25 this year, Dallas remains securely in the Top 50 Best Places to live at No. 37.
“It’s entirely possible that people’s politics or a desire to focus on a different part of the country might have impacted the Dallas Forth Worth area’s desirability score,” Thorsby said in an interview.
Texas is a heavily Republican state. President Emeritus Donald Trump earned all 38 electoral votes during the 2020 election.
Dallas-Fort Worth’s overall score is 6.9, ranking at 6.81 in value, which includes housing affordability and cost of living. The city is also 7.03 in desirability, 7.5 in net migration, 6.4 in quality of life, and 7.05 for its job market.
Quality of life includes the homicide rate and property crime rate based on FBI data. The murder rate per 100,000 people is 6.4 this year compared to 4.4 last year. The property crime rate is 2,118 per 100,000 people compared to the national average of 1,700 property crimes per 100,000 people.
“It does contribute to lowering the quality of life score a little bit,” Thorsby added.
But because the state of Texas remains one of nine states that charges its residents no income tax, Thorsby is confident that Dallas-Fort Worth will make a comeback in the future.
“It might be interesting to see how things like the job market or the cost-of-living change as we see the Elon Musk’s of the world relocate to Texas,” she said. “Texas and Florida are considered big draws for tax purposes. We don’t specifically look at the taxes in terms of calculating the best places to live, but it certainly has an impact on how people view it or why companies may be attracted to an area.”
Musk, who is CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, told CNBC last year in December that he had personally moved to Texas from California.