EULESS, Texas — The best place to live in Texas — nay, the country — isn't Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin or anywhere out in west Texas, according to the New York Times.
That's according to "Everyone’s Moving to Texas. Here’s Why," a new opinion column from the Times' Farhad Manjoo, who looked at a lot of data and applied a strict set of parameters to determine where would be the best place in the country to move to. Seven of the top 10 locations are in Texas, and all of those Texan cities are in North Texas.
Besides Euless, which got Manjoo's top marks in affordable cost of living, high-paying jobs, racial diversity and low climate risks, other North Texas cities that made the list include Edgecliff Village, Garland (sadly misspelled in Sunday's NYT print edition as "Gardland"), Grand Prairie, Mesquite, DeSoto and Cedar Hill.
As of 2021, Euless had a population of just over 58,000 people, according to the latest data from the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Of its 10,371 total acres, a little more than 3,000 fall within DFW International Airport. It's also home to some of the largest populations of Tongan and Nepalese people outside of their native countries.
According to Manjoo's criteria for a great place to live (you can set your own criteria and take the NYT's interactive quiz here), most anywhere on the Interstate 35 corridor in Texas would do just fine for a California ex-pat, but it's North Texas that stands out.
"As the Golden Gate shuts, the Lone Star beckons. If you’re looking for an affordable, economically vibrant city that is less likely to be damaged by climate change than many other American cities, our data shows why Texas is a new land of plenty. For the many hypothetical life scenarios I ran through our quiz, the suburbs around Dallas — places like Plano, McKinney, Garland, Euless and Allen — came up a lot. It’s clear why these are some of the fastest-growing areas in the country. They have relatively little crime and are teeming with jobs, housing, highly rated schools, good restaurants, clean air and racial and political diversity — all at a steep discount compared to the cost of living in America’s coastal metropolises."
But despite high-profile figures like Elon Musk and Joe Rogan moving to the Lone Star State, the "Don't California My Texas!" crowd shouldn't worry. Manjoo notes that reports of a sudden "California Exodus" have been greatly exaggerated, but that Texas — especially its suburbs — is appealing to many people because of how similar it is to other places, including California.
"As I toured houses in Dallas, I knew that I wouldn’t be moving to Texas anytime soon — but mainly because I’m not in a place in life where I have to. If I were 10 years younger, if my kids weren’t settled at their schools and my wife wasn’t tied to a job in California, I’d feel a lot differently," he writes.
"Texas, now, feels a bit like California did when I first moved here in the late 1980s — a thriving, dynamic place where it doesn’t take a lot to establish a good life. For many people, that’s more than enough."
As for Euless, it is now the No.1 place to live in America, at least by this metric. Maybe next year's Arbor Daze will feature a few new Texans.