Houston is — officially — one of ‘America’s best cities’

by Emily Marek

World’s Best Cities has announced their ranking of the best cities around the country. Several Texas metros made the top 100, with Houston coming in as the No. 9 city overall.

The ranking is based on six main criteria: place (including walkability, bikeability, landmarks and outdoor areas), product (airports, convention centers, museums, universities and pro sports teams), programming (culture, nightlife, food, shopping and attractions), people (diversity, education levels and percentage of the population born outside the U.S.), prosperity (number of Fortune 500 companies, knowledge based-businesses, cost of living and poverty rates) and promotion (based on Facebook check-ins, google searches and trends, Tripadvisor reviews and Instagram hashtags).

Houston ranked at No. 9 overall — with high scores for restaurants, the number of Fortune 500 companies in the area and family-friendly attractions, World’s Best Cities calls Houston a “stealthy powerhouse on the rise.”

Diversity is one key to what makes the fourth-largest city in the U.S. so special: Houston ranked No. 7 overall for culture. “In the past year, immigration, both domestic and international, has swelled the metro population to more than seven million, with new arrivals more educated and international than pre-pandemic,” the report states. “Houston today is one of America’s most ethnically diverse big cities, with more than 145 languages spoken at home — about even with New York.”

The report also cites that Houston’s economy is thriving, with Houstonians experiencing one of the best cost-of-living levels in the country.

“The city has more than recovered the jobs it lost early in the pandemic while employment in the leisure and hospitality sector, which makes up 10% of the region’s jobs, is up 6% over this time last year,” said Houston First Corporation CMO Holly Clapham. “Thanks to major events like the NCAA Men’s Final Hour and 29 major conventions, we expect to see significant growth in visitation totals this year.”

In addition to Houston, five other Texas metros ranked among the best cities in the country: Dallas (No. 15), Austin (No. 18), San Antonio (No. 30), El Paso (No. 58) and McAllen (No. 73).

You can find the full ranking of America’s Best Cities here.

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