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Austin ranks high in best college towns in the country

More young people might be moving to central Texas after finding out Austin is one of the best college towns in the country.

A new report from WalletHub ranks Austin at #2 for 2021's best college towns in America.


Source: WalletHub

The personal finance site determined its rankings by evaluating 415 cities across the country with three elements: wallet friendliness, social environment and academic and economic opportunity.

Austin had an overall score of 62.25 out of 100, just short of .67 points that gave Ann Arbor, Michigan the leading #1 spot. Austin is the only Texas city that made it into the top 10, followed by College Station which ranked #12.

Out of the three categories, Austin ranked highest in social environment with a score of 16. WalletHub looks at these factors per capita to determine social environment: students, gender balance, cafes, breweries, food trucks, shopping centers and sports clubs. Among these factors, a presence of NCAA Division 1 sports teams, share of single people and population also help determine the social environment.

Austin's next highest rank was in academic and economic opportunity, where it ranked 33rd. This category is determined by looking at the quality of higher education, earning potential for students, share of part-time jobs as well as median income, unemployment rate, entrepreneurial activity, brain drain and job growth rate.

The city saw its lowest rank in the wallet friendliness category, where it ranked 210th. This category is ranked by looking at housing costs, share of rental units, average fitness club fee, average cost of pizza and burgers, movie and bowling costs, costs of higher education and student loan debt per person.

Home to over 20 colleges and universities, it is no surprise that Austin is #2 on the list of best college cities in the country. Austin is home to major higher education institutions including the University of Texas, St. Edwards University, Huston-Tillotson University and Austin Community College.

According to a study done by DataUSA, 18-34 year-olds made up over 26% of the Austin population in 2018. And according to the Census Bureau, almost 90% of the Austin population, age 25 and older, have a bachelor's degree.

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