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The Top 10 Austin Top 10 Lists

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Perception means different things to different people. The perception of Austin as a place that embraces the weird and wild is something the city – and its listicle writers – have embraced throughout the years.

Yet if you don’t pay close attention, these perceptions can change just as quickly as the declining reservoir in Lake Travis. Now in its fourth edition, KUT News presents The Top 10 Austin Top 10 Lists, a compilations of the accolades and slights – some rigorously methodical, some seemingly made up – that Austin’s received in the last few months.

  • Love of Lobbyists: Austin easily tops all Texas cities in lobbyist spending. $800,000 was spent by the City of Austin in 2013 in an attempt to circumvent conservative legislation that could result in future lawsuits against Austin’s progressive laws.
  • Good times to be had: There’s no place better to be young, broke and single than Austin, according to the financial advice blog Money Under 30. The blog states Austin’s proclivity for bars and restaurants -- one for every 1,500 people -- make it a great place to hang out, and music festivals like SXSW keep unemployment low.
  • Broke in the Burbs: Not all of Austin’s population growth has been positive, as it ranks second in the nation in suburban poverty growth. Over the last 10 years, the number of people living in poverty in Austin suburbs has more than doubled.
  • Receiving an ‘A’ for effort: Austin comes in as the fourth hardest working U.S. city, according to real estate site Motovo. In the study, Austin also ranked fifth in average number of hours worked per week.
  • Pizza Nom-Noms: Austin is making its mark as a pizza hub. TripAdvisor rates Austin as the sixth best pizza location in the nation. That (somewhat dubiously) puts Austin just two spots behind the traditionally-known pizza mecca: New York City. Additionally, Chicago failed to make the list.
  • So much room for activities: Austin is definitely a bike friendly city, and USA Today applauds the Lady Bird Lake Bike Trail for its 10-plus miles of scenic, refreshing riding. These attributes contribute to its ranking as the seventh best bike trail in the nation.
  • Noses in the air (and we just don’t care): According to Travel & Leisure, Austin is viewed as one of the snobbiest cities in the U.S. However, Austin’s 19th ranking means it still has work to do if it wants to supersede the top so-called snobs San Francisco and New York City.
  • Blossoming with youth: Austin is closing in on the Top 10 – having grown into the 11th largest city in the U.S. And according to city demographer Ryan Robinson a big part of its push up the population leaderboard has been its influx of college educated 20-somethings.
  • Treading lightly: Austin may talk the talk of becoming green, but sacrificing the luxury of driving may be difficult without better walkways. Out of the 50 most populous U.S. cities, Walk Score rates Austin as the 31st most walkable.
  • Bros is not short for brothers: Austin ranks as the ninth best city for bros, according to real estate site Estately. Perhaps fortunately, Austin’s rank still trails far behind first place Los Angeles. Nonetheless, the combination of Matthew McConaughey and 6th Street make Austin an ideal location to bro out.
Roy is a second year journalism professional track graduate student at the University of Texas.
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.
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