Cost of Living Articles

Houston Tops Our List Of America's Coolest Cities

Forbes, July 26, 2012 [read article]

Houston is known for many things: Oil, NASA, urban sprawl and business-friendly policies. But the Texas city deserves to be known for something else: coolness.

The Bayou City may not be the first place you associate with being hip or trendy. But Houston has something many other major cities don't: jobs. With the local economy humming through the recession, Houston enjoyed 2.6% job growth last year and nearly 50,000 Americans flocked there in response – particularly young professionals. In fact, the median age of a Houston resident is a youthful 33.

The result? Over the past decade, the dreary corporate cityscape has been quietly transforming. Stylish housing developments have popped up downtown, restaurants have taken up residence in former factories and art galleries like the Station Museum have been inhabiting warehouses.

Combine that with a strong theater scene, world-class museums and a multicultural, zoning-free mashup of a streetscape and you have the recipe for the No. 1 spot on Forbes’ list of America's Coolest Cities To Live.

Arts & Culture Index: 91
Recreation Index: 94
Diversity Index: 77.1
Number of Local Eats: 11,196
Median Age: 33
Unemployment: 6.9%
2011 Net Migration: 49,820 people

Houston is the only city on our list that manages to have a lower-than-average cost of living and higher-than-average nursing salaries.

Minority Nurse, Winter 2007 [read article]

This lively urban area, the fourth largest city in the U.S., is home to Texas Medical Center, the largest medical facility in the world. The complex employs more than 65,000 health care professionals and treats more than five million patients each year. In total, Houston is home to 95 hospitals (including an above-average number of Magnet hospitals) and 36 educational institutions that offer degrees specializing in the health sciences. The area also has a large and growing Hispanic population.


  • White 56.7%
  • African American 23.5%
  • Hispanic/Latino (of any race) 42.3%
  • American Indian/Alaska Native 0.3%
  • Asian/Pacific Islander 5.8%

Future Trends:

Demand for nurses in Texas will increase an estimated 57% from the year 2000 to 2020.

Named #1 Best City to Live, Work and Play

Yahoo! ® Finance, June 4, 2000 [read article]

Our approach this year to picking the ten best cities in which to live and work was simple: Look for places with strong economies and abundant jobs, then demand reasonable living costs and plenty of fun things to do. When we ran the numbers, some of the names that popped up made us do a double take at first. So we hit the road to meet movers, shakers and regular folks, experience the ambience and take in the sights.

#1 Houston

  • Population: 5,542,048
  • Population Growth Since 2000: 14.9%
  • Percentage of Workforce in Creative Class: 31.3%
  • Cost-of-Living Index: 88.1 (100 being national average)
  • Median Household Income: $50,250
  • Income Growth Since 2000: 13.1%