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U.S. News & World Report Ranks McAllen as #3 for Best Places to Live for Quality of Life in the U.S.

Methodology used measured value of living in the community and the desirability to live there


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Texas Border Business

McAllen has been rated tops again by U.S. News & World Report, this time, ranking #3 for Best Places to live for Quality of Life in the U.S. in 2020-2021, measuring how satisfied residents are with their daily lives by metro area.  U.S. News analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people’s desire to live there.

“This ranking is no surprise to anyone who lives in our great city of McAllen,” said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling.  “Our City of McAllen administration and staff are some of the most creative, innovative and dedicated employees who daily work to provide the best programs, projects, events, infrastructure and services to ensure that all who live in McAllen are safe, healthy and enjoy all that our city has to offer.  By working closely with the private sector, educational institutes and medical services, McAllen becomes an attractive place to work, learn and get healthy.  Throw in all the fun things to do here, and I would say we have the best place to live for quality of life anywhere!”

According to the final report, McAllen was described as “…a vibrant metro area and a major center for retail, international trade, tourism and manufacturing.  A high quality of life, an abundance of medical facilities and a young, bicultural community are additional draws.”  Other highlights for the city were its warm environment, describing both the residents and mild temperatures which is a huge draw for winter Texans, who also help boost the local economy with millions of dollars.  Also noted was McAllen’s proximity to Mexico and the close relationship it enjoys with Mexican nationals who come to McAllen to shop and other activities.  The strong Hispanic culture celebrated in McAllen was also another feature emphasized in the report.  

All of these elements were a part of the methodology used for McAllen to earn a Quality of Life score of 7.8. The proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, the many activities available at Town Lake at Fireman’s Park and bird-watching were some of the nature activities highlighted as things to do in McAllen.  Other key attractions mentioned include the McAllen Public Library, “…the largest single-floor public library in the nation, offering everything from a children’s play area to an art gallery to a cafe…” and the metro area’s International Museum of Art & Science. Also mentioned were the community’s annual festivals, including the McAllen Holiday Parade and the Fiesta De Palmas, which draw residents together. 

Another highlight was McAllen’s low-cost of living, which is ranked the least expensive metro areas to live in the nation. According to the report, residents spend less than the national median sale price on home purchases, as well as less than the national average on everyday expenses like food, transportation and heath care.

McAllen’s short commute time of about 20 minutes is a draw, but also highlighted was the Metro McAllen public transportation intracity buses which runs seven routes throughout the metro area and offer paratransit services.  The metro area’s bike-share program, B-cycle, stationed in locations around the region, was highlighted as a low-cost public transit option for citizens. 

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The McAllen International Airport, serviced by major airlines including Aeromar, American Airlines, Allegiant Airlines and United Airlines and ground transport to other cities is provided by charter bus companies like Greyhound were included as a highlight of transportation options for residents.

McAllen has also earned the following rankings from U.S. News & World Report: #136 in Best Places to Live; #65 in Best Places to Retire; #9 in Best Places to Live in Texas; and #17 in Safest Places to Live.

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