Austin, Texas has cemented itself as one of America’s hottest cities. Austin’s 2023 chart-topping rankings follow a similar trend to years past. With no signs of slowing down, 2024 promises to be another standout year for the Texas capital. 

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In this article, we take a deep dive into the factors propelling Austin’s success and the recognition it continues to garner on national rankings.


Austin’s Innovative Environment Spurs Growth

Austin has emerged as a magnet for major technology companies and startups alike. The city’s welcoming business climate, anchored by the University of Texas, has attracted heavy hitters like Google, Apple, Oracle, Tesla, and Samsung. These tech giants are transforming Austin’s skyline, with new expansions and campuses rising to meet demand.

At the same time, Austin remains a hub for entrepreneurship and startups. The city claimed the No. 1 spot for Best City for Entrepreneurs (The Zebra) and Best City for Startups (Crowdspring) in 2023. Access to talent from the University of Texas, a collaborative startup community, and a lower cost of living compared to tech hubs like San Francisco make Austin an appealing launchpad for founders. This innovation ecosystem also helped Austin rank second on the Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities index.

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Austin’s business-friendly environment and global connections earned it the seventh spot for Best City for International Business from the Financial Times. The city’s rapid economic and population growth also led to Austin being named the seventh Biggest Boomtown in America by Checkr.

Austin’s universities, led by the University of Texas, supply tech companies with skilled graduates versed in fields like computer science, engineering, and data analytics. With corporations hungry for tech talent, it’s no wonder Austin took second place on WalletHub’s ranking of Best Metro Areas for STEM Professionals.

Austin’s rankings also underscore its draw for people considering a move, with the city placing highly on the following lists: 

  • No. 1 Best Housing Markets for Growth and Stability (SmartAsset)
  • No. 1 Best State Capital to Live In(WalletHub)
  • No. 1 Best Housing Market for First-Time Buyers (Bankrate)
  • No. 2 Best Cities for Veterans to Live (WalletHub)
  • No. 2 Best Real Estate Market in the Large City Category (WalletHub)
  • No. 5 Top City for One-Way Moves (U-Haul)

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Higher Education Options Set Students Up for Success

Austin offers students a winning combination of academic excellence, affordability, and quality of life. The University of Texas was named the ninth top public university in the U.S. by U.S. News. This prestigious university anchors a diverse collection of over 20 public and private universities in the metro area, with total enrollment exceeding 180,000 students.

This concentration of higher education helped Austin secure the No. 1 ranking for Best College Town (WalletHub) for the second consecutive year. Students can tap into UT-Austin’s extensive resources while enjoying Austin’s vibrant live music scene and abundance of outdoor activities. The city offers an affordable cost of living compared to many college towns, helping students stretch their budgets.

Beyond providing a great student experience, Austin’s colleges and universities supply a pipeline of qualified graduates. Bloomberg named Austin the No. 2 city for fastest graduate degree growth, pointing to increased educational attainment. 


Austin’s Depth of Career Opportunities

Austin offers a winning formula for millennials and STEM professionals seeking rewarding careers and lifestyles. The city claimed top 10 rankings on lists like Best City for Gen Z Job Seekers (MoneyGeek), Best City to Start a Career (WalletHub), and Hardest Working City (WalletHub).

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With major tech and life science companies driving demand, STEM professionals have abundant career options in Austin. The University of Texas’s new Dell Medical School also expands the city’s healthcare sector. This STEM-friendly environment allowed Austin to place second on WalletHub’s ranking of Best Metro Areas for STEM Professionals

The future looks bright for those looking for a career in Austin with LinkedIn naming Austin the top city with the strongest hiring rates based on platform data.


Austin’s High Rankings Show No Signs of Slowing

The innovative nature, the concentration of colleges, and the influx of young professionals have powered Austin’s rise up the charts. As these strengths show no signs of fading, Austin appears poised to continue topping national rankings in 2024 and beyond. With an enviable quality of life, a business-friendly climate, and opportunities for all generations, the future remains bright for the Texas capital.

To see a list of Austin accolades, see the updated Austin Tops the Charts below.

Click here to download the PDF.


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Alexa Fair

Alexa puts her knack for writing to good use at AQUILA, acting as the in-house content manager producing, editing, and managing content for the AQUILA Learning Center.

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