Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs are in the spotlight right now, with Frisco ranking as one of the fastest-growing cities and a host of North Texas towns being recognized as the best for first-time buyers. Now, Southlake is shining as one of America's best small cities for 2020.
The list comes from personal finance website WalletHub, which looked at 1,200 U.S. cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 for the study. Rankings in five individual categories — affordability, economic health, education and health, quality of life, and safety — were rolled up into an overall score, then assigned a percentage.
"Given the large sample of cities ranked in this study, we grouped cities by percentile. The 99th percentile represents the top 1 percent of small cities in America," notes the report.
In the 99th percentile, aka at the very top of the list, sits Southlake, the No. 8 best small city in the U.S.
The Tarrant County city also runs away with several No. 1 rankings among the individual categories studied. It cashes in as No. 1 for income growth, with a 35.12 percent jump from 2014 to 2018. It also boasts the highest median income on the list, at $230,700. Finally, Southlake ranks first for housing costs, meaning that big paycheck can go pretty far.
Eighteen other cities, including two in Texas, join Southlake in the top 1 percent. Sugar Land, just outside of Houston, ranks No. 5 overall, and Cedar Park, the hot spot northwest of Austin, ranks No. 9.
Sugar Land rivals Southlake with a few first-place rankings of its own. It takes the No. 1 spots for population growth — 43 percent from 2014 to 2018 — and job growth — 41 percent during the same period.