Houston Soars in Best Cities Rankings

HOUSTON – (By Dale King, Realty News Report) – Driven by its large and ethnically diverse populace, multitude of festivals and cultural events, wide-ranging dining scene, economic “heft” and skilled workforce, Houston has earned a high-level assessment in the ninth annual America’s Best Cities rankings sponsored by Resonance Consultancy, a place-branding advisor for tourism, real estate and economic development.

The Best Cities listings “quantify and benchmark the relative quality of place, reputation and competitive identity of U.S. metropolitan areas,” says the Resonance report.

“Austin may get the attention, but the promise of the Lone Star State drawing Californians and New Yorkers is quietly being fulfilled in Houston,” Resonance says in its narrative listing the top-performing 100 metros enumerated in this year’s analysis.

Diversity, performance and “heft” earn Houston high Best Cities rank

Houston notched the Number 10 position, outdistancing rivals Austin and Dallas, making the Space City Number 1 on Lone Star turf. The 10 top metros, based on what Resonance calls their “livability, lovability and prosperity,” are: New York, 1; Chicago, 2; Los Angeles, 3; Miami, 4; Las Vegas, 5; San Francisco, 6; Boston, 7; Washington, D.C., 8 and Seattle, 9.

The annual America’s Best Cities rankings are based on methodology that analyzes key statistics, user-generated reviews, social media and online activity. The determination of this year’s results was assisted through a new partnership with Ipsos, an international market research and polling company.

“Resonance once again analyzed the principal cities of U.S. metropolitan statistical areas with populations of more than 500,000,” says the company’s president and CEO, Chris Fair. “Our goal in producing these reports is to create the most comprehensive and holistic approach to measuring and benchmarking both perception and performance of cities available.”

The 2024 report is not Houston’s first trip to the upper end of the Best Cities chart. Last year, it finished ninth and in 2022, it ranked 11th.  But a lot has happened lately – particularly in the past year – to maintain the community’s placement on the upper rungs.

Houston’s population has risen to about 7 million people of varied ethnicity “with more than 145 languages spoken at home, according to the latest census,” says the report.

Culture “is a testament to the city’s prism of festivals, from international film to massive Juneteenth celebrations,” it goes on. “Next year, the city welcomes America’s first Ismaili Center, commissioned by His Highness the Aga Khan.”

Describing the city’s dining scene as “underappreciated,” the Best Cities report calls attention to the varied menu items in Houston eateries — cuisine ranging from “Southern Soul and barbecue with Mexican that’s then seasoned with global flavoring.” So tasty are the culinary offerings around Houston that the Texas city beat out such gustatory Meccas as San Francisco, Las Vegas and Miami in the dining subcategory.

“Where America’s fourth-largest city truly takes off is in its economic heft and wealth,” says the report which highlights Houston’s ranking as Number 3 in the nation for the number of Fortune 500 companies located within its borders.

In addition, “while hometown companies like ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Phillips 66 have ensured that 40 percent of Houston’s economy is tied directly or indirectly to oil and gas, the energy talent in the city has made it an unlikely green power destination.”

The Resonance report also praises the city for its leadership role in global energy transitioning. “According to a recent McKinsey report, an investment of up to $250 billion may be headed Houston’s way by 2040 to leverage the skilled workforce and existing infrastructure.”

Blastoff in Space City

True to its designation as “the Space City,” Houston is also building on its NASA legacy “to position itself as the center of the global space industry.” The report spotlights the Houston Spaceport, an FAA-licensed urban commercial facility “offering unprecedented access to a thriving aerospace community.”

The Spaceport, says the report, “can eventually serve as the country’s takeoff point for passenger jets capable of flying at supersonic and hypersonic speed.”

And while the report didn’t say it in so many words, it could have concluded that for the future of Houston, the sky’s the limit.

July 2, 2024 Realty News Report Copyright 2024


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Photo credit: Cynthia Lescalleet. CALpix, copyright 2024

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