AUSTIN (KXAN) – The City of Austin found itself in the unusual spot of being outside of the top ten in a national ranking this week.

The U.S. News and World Report 2023-24 survey of Best Places To Live ranks Austin as No. 40 in the nation.

The survey ranked Austin No. 13 in 2022, no. 5 in 2021, no. 3 in 2020.

According to Austin Business Journal, U.S. News ranked Austin No. 1 in the nation 2017, 2018 and 2019 and No. 2 in the nation in 2016.

The good news for Austin is that the city still ranked No. 1 in terms of cities in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report said on its website, “to make the top of the list, a place had to have good value, be a desirable place to live, have a strong job market and a high quality of life.”

Top 10 places to live in the U.S., according to U.S. News and World Report 2023 survey

  • Green Bay, Wis.
  • Huntsville, Ala.
  • Raleigh & Durham, N.C.
  • Boulder, Colo.
  • Sarasota, Fla.
  • Naples, Fla.
  • Portland, Maine
  • Charlotte, N.C.
  • Colorado Springs, Colo
  • Fayetteville, Ark.

Top 10 places to live in Texas, according to U.S. News and World Report 2023 survey

  • Austin
  • San Antonio
  • Dallas-Fort Worth
  • Killeen
  • El Paso
  • Beaumont
  • Corpus Christi
  • Brownsville
  • McAllen
  • Houston

Although U.S. News did not say why Austin was ranked so low in the 2023 survey, in 2021 it said a rising cost of living was a factor in why Austin fell to no. 5 in that’s year survey.

On Wednesday, city leaders sat in on a summit to explore how to make things better for everyone.

To know Austin is to love it. However, for those who grew up here, there’s no denying, it’s changing.

“It’s pretty sad,” long-time Austinite, Joseph Quinn said. “I love the city, but it’s just getting kind of expensive.”

Quinn is a chef on the East Side. He said he might possibly move to Houston, because it’s more affordable.

Others like Shay Ryan, a barber was pushed out of city limits.

“My wife and I just just had a baby, and we couldn’t afford to buy here, So we moved out to Lockhart.”

According to the U.S. News site, it scores cities on several categories. Affordability holds most of the weight when deciding where a city lands on the list.

“That’s one of the reasons we have to be relentless about it,” Austin Mayor Kirk Watson said.

The mayor at an affordability summit Wednesday, said the city is working to make it better.
He said one big issue to tackle is development laws.

“McKinsey Consulting…they’ve come in, and they’ve agreed to look at our site plan process…so that it doesn’t take so long and the time value of money doesn’t add to the cost of what’s being built,” Watson said.

Pricilla Hanson, a realtor with Moreland Properties said there are a combination of problems leading to affordability issues in Austin.

“I think that the city really needs to take a look at all of their, their cost structure even to set up utilities for someone that’s renting,” Hanson said. “I would love to understand why city of Austin is so much higher to do development costs than any other city in Texas.”

Questions that need solutions, fast, before the city so many love fizzles out.