Best 'burbs

2 desirable Dallas-Fort Worth neighbors unlock rankings among best cities to live in U.S.

2 DFW neighbors unlock rankings among best cities to live in U.S.

Main Street Celebration
Richardson repeats as No. 12. Photo courtesy of the City of Richardson

For the second year in a row, two Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs have captured top-15 spots on a prestigious list of the Best Cities to Live in America. Drumroll, please ... they are Plano, at No. 9, and Richardson, at No. 12.

Both cities are repeat entrants in’s ranking of the best cities to live in the U.S. Richardson also came in at No. 12 in the 2021 list, while Plano was No. 7 last year.

Niche specializes in supplying data, reviews, and ratings of schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S. This year, researchers combed through data for 228 cities, as well as 18,515 towns and neighborhoods, to develop its annual rankings. Niche relies on data from sources like the U.S. Census Bureau and FBI, along with residents’ ratings.

“Whether our users are young professionals, parents with young kids, or retirees, Niche’s … rankings serve as an excellent starting point for considering a move,” says Luke Skurman, founder and CEO of Niche.

“The pandemic triggered a new set of possibilities — suddenly, many individuals and families found themselves more mobile than ever before, and in the past two years they have continued to think hard about where they really want to live,” Skurman adds. “Families wondering about an area’s school district, a major part of many relocation decisions, can also use our comprehensive school profiles and rankings to get a sense of what their child’s future school might be like.”

Across the Tarrant County line, Arlington lands at No. 89, and Fort Worth, at No. 135.

Other notable local rankings:

  • Plano ranks fifth among the best cities to buy a house, and Richardson takes the No. 9 spot.
  • Plano ranks ninth on the list of the cities with the best public schools.
  • Arlington (No. 11) and Irving (No. 12) are the top-ranked Texas cities on the list of the most diverse cities.
  • Austin is the top-ranked Texas city (No. 19) on the list of the best cities for young professionals, with Plano five places behind at No. 24.
  • Richardson is the No. 1 Texas city for retirees.
  • At No. 42 nationally, Plano is the healthiest city in Texas, followed by Richardson at No. 43.

Houston suburb The Woodlands earned the No. 1 overall ranking for the second year in a row. Aside from being named the best city to live, The Woodlands ranks second on Niche’s list of the best cities to buy a house, and sixth on its lists of the cities with the best public schools and the best cities for retirees.

Nationally, the top five cities to live (after The Woodlands) are:

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, No. 2.
  • Naperville, Illinois, No. 3.
  • Arlington, Virginia, No. 4.
  • Overland Park, Kansas, No. 5.

What follows is a breakdown of other communities in Texas that earned places in Niche’s ranking of the best cities to live.

Dallas-Fort Worth:

  • Plano, No. 9
  • Richardson, No. 12
  • Irving, No. 40
  • Denton, No. 56
  • Dallas, No. 80
  • Arlington, No. 89
  • Fort Worth, No. 135

Houston metro area:

  • The Woodlands, No. 1
  • Houston, No. 71

Austin metro area:

  • Austin, No. 25
  • Round Rock, No. 29

San Antonio metro area:

San Antonio, No. 101

Elsewhere in Texas:

  • College Station, No. 27
  • Lubbock, No. 72
  • Tyler, No. 94
  • Wichita Falls, No. 98
  • El Paso, No. 100
  • McAllen, No. 102
  • Abilene, No. 112
  • Amarillo, No. 122
  • Waco, No. 130
  • Corpus Christi, No. 132
  • Midland, No. 158
  • Beaumont, No. 170
  • Killeen, No. 189
  • Brownsville, No. 193