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The Top 10 Austin Top 10 Lists

Austin: One of the fittest, most intelligent cities poised for greatness to do business in.
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Austin: One of the fittest, most intelligent cities poised for greatness to do business in.

It’s gotten so that you can hardly count to ten without hearing about Austin’s latest accolade. Between high profile cultural events, the economic insulation of vast state and university employment, and a relatively affordable quality of life (at least compared to coastal enclaves like Los Angeles and New York), it’s not surprising everything’s coming up Austin.

But who can keep this procession of plaudits straight?

To get a gauge of just how many Austin-happy rankings are floating around at any one time, we looked for “best cities” rankings including Austin over the last two months. And from that, we compiled this meta-masterlist, a Top 10 of the city’s most recent Top 10 rankings ranging from the apparent, to the arbitrary, to the really, really arbitrary. 

So without further ado, Austin’s Top 10 Top 10 Listings:

  1. Green Tech Go: While it doesn’t rank Austin along other cities, this love letter from Time Magazine declares Austin has become “America’s Clean-Tech Hub.” It links growth in Austin’s nascent green and clean technology to its past performance in the semiconductor industry, and gives a shout out to the Pecan Street Project energy distribution experiment.
  2. Vacation Destination: Austin clocks in second in travel website Trip Advisor’s “Top 15 Destinations on the Rise” for 2012. “Despite its growth, Austin has managed to maintain its mellow, small-town appeal.” You don’t say?
  3. About Its Business: Real estate advisors Grubb & Ellis declare Austin to be the third best city for business investment. In an accompanying report, they write “Austin has seen payroll employment pass its pre-recession peak, one of very few metro areas to reach this milestone. The effects on the office market are evident with rents gaining 1.5 percent in 2011. California tech companies Facebook, NVIDIA and Polycom all expanded their Austin footprints last year. A new construction cycle may kick off by the end of 2012.”
  4. For the Ladies: Austin is ranked the fourth healthiest American city for women, according to Women’s Health. “Better known for their mean barbecuing skills, Austin's women also have a way with fresh produce. They ranked highest in healthy diet, thanks to the fact that 35 percent of them scarf down five or more servings of whole foods every day.”
  5. And the Fellas Too: And wouldn’t you know: Austin’s the sixth healthiest American city for men, out of a tally of 100.
  6. Crime And The City: Here, Austin places sixth in a list of cities over 500,000  with the lowest crime rate.
  7. ATX Intelligence: Austin is only one of two American cities to place among the “Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year” according to the Intelligent Community forum, a self-described “think tank that studies the economic and social development of the 21st Century community.” Austin places along Oulu, Finland; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; Riverside, California; Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada; Stratford, Ontario, Canada; and Taichung City, Taiwan. Closer to home, Austin takes Texas honors as the 22nd most literate city, the highest-ranked Texas city (and tied with New York City).
  8. Strike a Poise: We’re unsure whether to tally this as optimistic or faint praise, but Austin is ranked eighth of 10 American cities “poised for greatness,” says website Main Street, citing comparatively low unemployment and housing prices.
  9. Still About our Business: Eighth place again, this time on MarketWatch’s “Best Cities for Business” rankings, this time out of 102 metro areas.
  10. Fitness Foibles: Austin comes in ninth in an index of “The Fittest of the Fit” published by workout tracking website MapMyFitness. But … what about those fit women and men rankings that had us higher? 
Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.