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Houston Remains Top Texas City in New National Ranking

Published Jun 27, 2024 by Hailea Schultz

Houston Skyline Sunset

Houston has once again topped the rankings of an annual list of America’s Best Cities, claiming first in the state and No. 10 in the nation, surpassing Dallas and Austin. 

The report, compiled by international consulting firm Resonance, ranks cities with a population of more than 500,000 based on livability, lovability and prosperity. The Bayou City has consistently ranked high on Resonance’s list over the years, placing No. 9 in 2023 and No. 11 in 2022, drawing praise for its cultural diversity, award-winning restaurant scene, number of Fortune 500 companies and quality of life. 

Houston’s population gains can be attributed to its quality of life and strong economy. According to a Greater Houston Partnership analysis, Houston added nearly 140,000 residents in 2023, marking the second highest population growth among U.S. metros. 

“Austin may get the attention, but the promise of the Lone Star State drawing Californians and New Yorkers is quietly being fulfilled in Houston,” the report stated. 

This year’s report again recognizes Houston as one of the most diverse cities in the nation, with one in four residents being foreign-born and over 145 languages spoken, earning it the No. 21 spot in the report’s Culture category. The report also highlights the city's wealth of international festivals, world-class museums and cultural centers, including the new Ismaili Center set to open next year. 

Houston’s dining scene ranked fourth in the report’s restaurant subcategory, ahead of popular foodie destinations including San Francisco, Las Vegas and Miami. The city earned acclaim for its diverse blend of dishes, described in the report as “Southern Soul and barbecue with Mexican that’s then seasoned with global cuisine.” Earlier this year, 11 Houston restaurants and chefs were named semifinalists for the 2024 James Beard Awards.  

The report also applauded Houston’s robust economy, ranking No. 3 in the country for the number of Fortune 500 companies and patents. Houston is home to 26 Fortune 500 companies, making it the third-largest hub for Fortune 500 headquarters in the nation. As a hub for business development and opportunity, Houston was also recently named the best city to grow a business, according to a new study by The RevOps Team. 

Additionally, Resonance recognized the Bayou City for its leadership in the global energy transition, with an estimated $250 billion in potential investment in the region over the next 15 years, according to a recent McKinsey report. The report also highlighted Houston’s reputation as Space City, noting key facilities and investments such as the Houston Spaceport, which is anchored by NASA-contract-winning companies Axiom Space, Collins Aerospace and Intuitive Machines. 

Learn more about living in Houston 

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