Austin
11:56 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Austin's One of the Nation's Best Cities. (Okay, the Eighth Best. Wait, What?)

This may come as little surprise to readers of this news blog, but yet again, Austin has ranked in another  list.

This time, Austin has been listed as the eighth “best” American city by Bloomberg Businessweek, which places the Capital City three spots higher than Bloomberg had it last year.

How do the rankings decide which cities are best? Or what exactly “best” means? That’s easy, sort of: Bloomberg Businessweek cross-referenced data from Onboard Informatics and Trust for Public Land to construct a ranking system. The system, in turn, relies on the number of bars and restaurants, employment percentages, crime rates and educational markers.

Boom. There’s your solution for ranking America’s Best Cities.

There’s a hint of faint praise in Austin’s write-up, which leads off by describing Austin as Texas’ largest city without a major pro-sports team. (What do you call the Texas Rollergirls, or the Austin Aztex, for that matter?) But Bloomberg Businessweek adds the usual qualifiers – tech jobs, Austin City Limits, and of course, South by Southwest – as more than make up for our shortcomings.

Austin wasn’t the only Texas city to make the rankings, but the ATX was the only city in Texas to crack the top 10. The Texas rankings didn’t escape the notice of TM Daily Post, which wrote (entirely un-ironically we’re sure) that “Bloomberg Businessweek cemented its status as a statistical and scientific powerhouse” with the list. And up in the great Northwest, a fellow NPR member station, KPLU, took some umbrage with the list, although it ranks Seattle as the second best city in the U.S.:

Great to be high on that list of course … even though Bloomberg Businessweek got the rain thing mostly wrong. We do get rain, but mostly clouds and mist and, well, you know …

Back in Austin, our eighth place finish basically adds insult to injury considering Forbes thought Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Fort Worth were all "cooler" than Austin. Maybe our mothers were right when they said it's better to be your personal best than be cool. 

Where do you think Austin should rank? Leave your thoughts below.

Update: KUT News was so flabbergasted by these rankings we  incorrectly stated Austin was ranked ninth, not eighth. We've since corrected the error.