This is my 21st year in Austin and it must be a great place to live because the time is flying! I've lived in several states and cities in the U.S. (including Chicago), but of all of them I consider Austin the easiest place to live. Of course the traffic over the years has made it a little less easy, hah! Still, Austin has a comfortable rhythm. Southern manners and cowboy charm, but high tech and vibrant. Austin is eccentric, casual and down to earth. It's the best city in the best state of the Union, but perhaps I'm biased. Below is a list of recent accolades Austin has received from online news and print media, recent studies and national opinion polls.

ECONOMY

  • Austin ranks second on Forbes' List of Best Cities For Job Growth (Forbes, July 2014) 
  • Austin ranks fourth on Forbes' List of America's Most Creative Cities in 2014 (Forbes, July 2014)
  • Austin, Round Rock and San Marcos are grouped at number six among the best places for STEM Graduates (Nerdwallet, July 2014)
  • Austin ranks number three among Cities Stealing Jobs From Wall Street (NewGeography.com, June 2014)
  • According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Austin will be the fastest growing U.S. metro economy through 2020 (U.S. Conference of Mayors Online, June 2014)
  • Austin is one of the top five most small business-friendly cities in the nation (Thumbtack, June 2014)
  • Austin's economic performance from the recession through the recovery ranks number one in the nation (Brookings' Metro Monitor, April 2014) 

EDUCATION

  • Austin makes the list of Best Cities for Service-Oriented Students (BestColleges.com, July 2014)
  • Austin tops ranking of U.S. metros for net migration of adults with college degrees (NewGeography.com, August 2014)
  • The University of Texas ranks 5th worldwide for U.S. patents granted to universities in 2013 (National Academy of Inventors, June 2014)

LIFESTYLE

  • Texas ranks number two on the list of U.S. states by food/drink (Thrillist, July 2014)
  • Austin named among the Top 10 budget-friendly retirement spots for having a lot of retirement-friendly attributes, including low taxes (CNBC Online, June 2014)
  • Austin was ranked third among the "Top 20 Coolest Cities in America" (Forbes Magazine, August 2014)
  • Austin is one of the Ten Best Cities for Coffee Snobs (Redfin, Sept 2014)
  • Austin is number one on the list of top ten cities in the U.S. for group fitness (MyFitnessPal, July 2014)
  • Austin is rated the number three most patriotic city in U.S. (MyLife.com, July 2014)
  • Austin and San Antonio are the two Best Places for Veterans overall. Austin ranks in the top five for veterans starting out, mid-career, and military retirement (United Services Automobile Association, October 2014) 
  • Austin ranks number seven on list of World's Most Dynamic Cities (Jones Lang Lasalle, January 2014)