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Best Cities 2010: Houston, TX

City: Houston

State: Texas

Best Cities Overall Rank: 47

About Houston: Houston has more than 500 cultural, visual, and performing arts organizations.

Located downtown, the 17-block Theater District is second only to New York City with its concentration of seats in one geographic area.

Houstonians eat out more than residents of any other city.

Houston has more than 40 colleges, universities and institutions. It is also home to 23 Blue  Ribbon Schools and 34 NAEYC Accredited Preschools.  With five quality children's hospitals and 17 quality pediatricians we rank it 41 amongst our healthy cities to live in.

County: Harris

Population: 224,2193

Official website for city visitors' bureau/city: Visitor's bureau website 

Newspaper with the largest circulation: Houston Chronicle

Houston blogs:

Houston Chronicle BabySteps, Cattywampus Life, Boricua in Texas

Houston's Facebook page: Follow Houston on Facebook 

Houston's Twitter page: Follow Houston on Twitter 


Education rank: 11

High School graduation rate 2008: 68.2%

Blue Ribbon Schools, 2003-2009: 23

Blue Ribbon Schools per 100,000 people: 1.03

NEAYC-accredited preschools: 34

NAEYC schools per 100,000 people: 1.52

NAEP State proficiency reading, grade 8: 260

Pupil/Teacher Ratio: 16.7

Total Expenditures Per Student: $9,802


Health rank: 71

Quality children's hospitals: 5

Hospitals per 100,000 people: 0.22

Quality Pediatricians: 17

Quality Pediatricians per 100,000: 0.76

Average number of Unhealthy Air Quality days between 2006-2008, by county: 6.33


Safety rank: 42

Violent Crimes, 2008: 24779

Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 1105.12

Sex Offenders: 1357

Sex Offenders per 100,000: 60.52


Economy rank: 62

Travel time to work, 2006-2008, in minutes: 26.3        

Percent of labor force unemployed, January 2010: 8.8      

Best Performing Cities Job Index: 362.57

Median Home List Price: $169,900                    


Recreation Rank:  40

Parkland acreage, 2008 (includes pools and playgrounds): 34,742       

Parkland per 100,000: 1549.46