Once a queen of the "best city" rankings, Austin has in recent years plummeted to more middling spots on those clicky listicles. A rebound, however, appears to be in the works.

The Texas capital has once again cracked the top 10 in U.S. News & World Report's ranking of the 2024-2025 Best Places to Live in the nation. (Austin didn't even make the top 25 in last year's list.)

This year’s list evaluated 150 of the country’s top cities based on how well they meet Americans' living expectations, with measures including value, job market, desirability, and quality of life. The rankings weighted the four factors in part based on national public survey to determine what qualities respondents consider important in a place to live. 

The study also uses data from the National Weather Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, Sharecare , the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the U.S. News rankings of the best high schools and best hospitals. 

"We’re honored to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report with this distinction that confirms what Austinites know — our city is a special place," Austin Mayor Kirk Watson said. “Our access to nature, our dynamic and diverse economy, and an unparalleled music scene make Austin a vibrant place to live, work, and play.”

Austin was bested in the publication's 2024-25 rankings by (in descending order): Naples, Florida; Boise, Idaho; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Greenville, South Carolina; Raleigh, North Carolina; Huntsville, Alabama; and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

On a perhaps related note, in 2023 Austin slipped a notch from its briefly held position as the 10th largest city in the nation. Between July 2022 and July 2023, Austin saw a net gain of 4,464 new residents, growing to a new total population of 979,882 people, according to new estimates released by the United States Census Bureau. 

Florida, which seems to be having a very long moment, captured the 10th place spot with the city of Jacksonville, now home to 985,843 people.

Taking places one through nine on the list are, in descending order: New York (8,258,035), Los Angeles (3,820,914), Chicago (2,664,452), Houston (2,314,157), Phoenix (1,650,070), Philadelphia (1,550,542), San Antonio (1,495,295), San Diego (1,388,320), and Dallas (1,302,868).