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Austin And Houston Are Cooler Than Dallas, Forbes Says

Dallas is pretty cool, but not as cool as Austin or Houston. That’s according to Forbes Magazine, which recently released its list of America's Coolest Cities.";

Dallas and Fort Worth are pretty cool, but not as cool as Austin or Houston.

That’s according to Forbes Magazine, which recently released its list of America’s Coolest Cities.

Dallas-Fort Worth is ranked No. 10 on the list. But Austin ranks No. 3, while Houston came in fourth place.

San Antonio ranked No. 15.

Which cities are super cool?

Washington, D.C., was named the coolest city. Seattle was No. 2. San Francisco came in fifth place.

So, how does one come up with a list of cool cities?

Forbes says it worked with Sperling’s BestPlacesto rank the 60 largest metro areas “based on six data points we weighted evenly.”

They factored in entertainment options. Forbes says:

This metric essentially measures ways you might spend a Saturday, quantifying the availability of professional and college sports events, zoos and aquariums, golf courses, ski areas, and National parks, among others. It also factors in art and cultural options, measuring the presence of theater and musical performances as well as local museums.

They considered local restaurants and population growth.

They also factored in a city’s “cultural make-up” and measured “the likelihood of meeting someone of a different race or ethnicity.”

Dallas-Fort Worth vs. other Texas cities

While North Texas (technically the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro) scored quite high on the arts and culture index, it scored lower than Houston on recreation, diversity and local eats.

Austin performed well in the net migration category, indicating lots of people have flocked to the state’s capital in recent years -- Austin's percentage is higher than Houston or Dallas-Fort Worth. From 2012 to 2013, more people moved to Houston or Austin than Dallas or Fort Worth,according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Also, Austin has a greater percentage of younger people, according to the data that Forbes crunched.

A look at the scores:

Austin-Round Rock: No. 3

Credit Kenny Tong/

Arts & Culture Index: 75

Recreation Index: 48

Diversity Index: 66.54

Local Eats: 73.9%

Population age 20-34: 32.5%

2010 - 2013 Net Migration: 7.5%

Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown: No. 4

Credit Jorg Hackemann/

Arts & Culture Index: 91

Recreation Index: 94

Diversity Index: 74.36

Local Eats: 75.8%

Population age 20-34: 29.0%

2010 - 2013 Net Migration: 4.2%

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington: No. 10

Credit Leena Robinson/
Fort Worth

Arts & Culture Index: 95

Recreation Index: 86

Diversity Index: 71.85

Local Eats: 72.7%

Population age 20-34: 28.4%

2010 - 2013 Net Migration: 3.9%

Rankings, rankings, rankings

Dallas is the worst outdoor city in America,Outside Magazine declared.

Fort Worth is the country's least funny city, according to some humor researchers.

Nearly 70 percent of Texas residents who were polled say their state is the best place to live in the country, according to the Gallup Poll.

Photo credits: Houston: Jorg Hackemann/Shutterstock

Austin and Dallas: Kenny Tong/Shutterstock

Fort Worth: Leena Robinson/Shutterstock

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.