Using 22 different key metrics, the personal finance website compared 1,268 U.S. cities with populations of between 25,000 to 100,000.
in the Austin area, Cedar Park ranked No. 119 on the list – not a bad showing when competing against 1,200, and earned highest rank of any Central Texas city – with its best score coming in the economic health metrics. San Marcos ranked the worst, coming in at 791, with its worst score coming in the affordability metrics. The ranking for the other Austin-area small towns can be found in the database below this story.
To determine each city’s overall rank, WalletHub assigned a score from 0-100 to each metric within four different categories – affordability, economic health, education and health and quality of life. The weighted sum of the scores was used to rank the cities using the following criteria.
• “Affordability” scores were calculated using housing costs, cost of living and homeownership rate;
• “Economic health” scores were determined using each city’s unemployment rate, median household income, percentage of residents below poverty level, population growth and income growth;
• “Education and health” scores were calculated using the metrics of school-system quality, percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher, percentage of population with health-insurance coverage and number of pediatricians per 100,000 residents;
• “Quality of life” scores were computed using the metrics of average commute time, percentage of residents who walk to work, average hours worked per week, percentage of millennial newcomers, crime rate and the number of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, museums and fitness centers per 100,000 residents.
WalletHub's Best & Worst Small Cities in Central Texas
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