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North Texas Is Tough For An Active Lifestyle But Great For A Job, New Reports Say

Biking to work in the city

Looking for a city that makes it easy to stay fit? A new study shows Garland, Arlington and Irving in the back of the nationwide pack.

But need a job? Plano, Irving and Dallas are among the brightest spots in the country.

Two reports issued by personal finance website WalletHub offer a look into which U.S. cities are best for active lifestyles and for job opportunities.

For staying active

WalletHub weighted 38 indicators of an active lifestyle, then scored each of the biggest 100 U.S cities to come up with its 2019 Best and Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle report.

» 10 BEST

1. Honolulu, Hawaii
2. Chicago, Illinois
3. San Francisco, California
4. Portland, Oregon
5. Seattle, Washington
6. Minneapolis, Minnesota
7. Washington, D.C.
8. Denver, Colorado
9. San Diego, California
10. Madison, Wisconsin

» 10 WORST

91. Memphis, Tennessee
92. Garland, Texas
93. Toledo, Ohio
94. Wichita, Kansas
95. Arlington, Texas
96. Fresno, California
97. Irving, Texas
98. Bakersfield, California
99. North Las Vegas, Nevada
100. Hialeah, Florida

Ten other Texas cities made the list ... mostly on the "worst" half. Except for Austin, which hit No. 18, and Houston, which landed at No. 42.

Dallas was in the middle of pack:


18. Austin
42. Houston
53. Dallas
57. Lubbock
61. San Antonio
68. Plano
71. Laredo
80. El Paso
84. Fort Worth
89. Corpus Christi
92. Garland
95. Arlington
97. Irving

Click or touch each of the 100 cities on this interactive map to view their ranking, or view the full list.

The 38 metrics used for scoring by WalletHub — which frequently cranks out reports, lists and rankings on variety of topics — include:

  • Share of workers who walk or bike to work
  • Average price of a pair of running shoes
  • Walkability
  • Weather
  • Air quality
  • Proximity to a major lake or ocean
  • Proximity to a ski resort
  • Share of physically inactive adults
  • Average cost of a tennis court rental
  • Presence of bike sharing programs

Its methodology also took in a lot of per-capita features, like the number of trails, playgrounds, pick-up soccer meetups, soccer fields, dance studios, swimming pools, golf courses and baseball/softball diamonds.

And while the Arlington in Texas was a laggard in this ranking, the one in Virgina sprinted to the lead in a different report: Arlington, Virginia, was ranked as the No. 1 fittest city in the country by American College of Sports Medicine for its 2018 American Fitness Index.

For jobs

The nation's unemployment rate blipped up to 3.9 percent this week -- making it the perfect time for WalletHub's Best Cities for Jobs list. The website compared 182 U.S. cities across 30 different metrics. The Lone Star State's showing on the jobs report was brighter than on the fitness report: 11 Texas cities are listed in the top half (the top 91), with an additional town — El Paso — just outside that group at No. 92.

» 10 BEST

1. Scottsdale, Arizona
2. Columbia, Maryland
3. Orlando, Florida
4. San Francisco, California
5. Colorado Springs, Colorado
6. Portland, Maine
7. Plano, Texas
8. Washington, D.C.
9. Boston, Massachusetts
10. Chandler, Arizona

» 10 WORST

173. Detroit, Michigan
174. North Las Vegas, Nevada
175. Fresno, California
176. Stockton, California
177. Brownsville, Texas
178. Shreveport, Louisiana
179. Toledo, Ohio
180. Newark, New Jersey
181. Las Cruces, New Mexico
182. Fayetteville, North Carolina


7. Plano
16. Austin
21. Irving
26: Dallas
36. Grand Prairie
45. Amarillo
46. Garland
57. Arlington
58. Fort Worth
82. Houston
86. San Antonio
92. Lubbock
131. Corpus Christi
133. El Paso
153. Laredo
177. Brownsville

The 30 indicators of job-market strength that WalletHub used used for its job report include:

  • Monthly average starting salary
  • Growth
  • Openings
  • Automation risk
  • Presence of work-share programs
  • Access to internships
  • Average work commute time
  • City safety
  • Disability-friendliness of employers
  • Family-friendliness
  • Housing affordability
  • Transit access

Click or touch each of the cities to see its jobs ranking, as well as where it ranks on the list of fastest-growing cities:

The cities in WalletHub's job report included the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state. Read about the methodology for the job report.

Christy Robinson oversees social media strategy.