The 10 Best Austin Suburbs To Live For 2021


We analyzed over 19 places around Austin to identify the most in demand places to live.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best Austin suburbs.

Do you want to know where the best suburbs Austin has to offer are located? Then you're in the right place because this is HomeSnacks seventh time ranking the ten best Austin suburbs.

Austin isn't just the capital ofTexas; it's also the live music capital of the world. Perhaps no event is more well-known than the annual South by Southwest Festival that goes down each March, but a plethora of other shows ensures that you can fill up every single day of your calender with live music, if you're so inclined. A good place for music and some of the tastiest grub you can find in Austin is South Congress Avenue, known to locals as SoCo. Outdoorsmen and women will find plenty to live at McKinney Falls State Park, but even if you're not down for a 15-minute drive, Zilker Metropolitan Park boasts quite a bit of green for a city park. Not to mention the gorgeous Zilker Botanical Garden and the natural spring/public swimming area of Baton Springs Pool that you can find within the park.

There's no doubt about it, Austin is an aesthetically pleasing place to call home. But if you'd rather be a regular visitor than a resident, you'll have to find the perfect suburb to call home. We came up with our list of stellar suburbs by consulting data from the FBI and the Census to find places with low crime, unemployment, and poverty rates, quality housing that won't break the bank, and plenty of stuff to do. We also gave each city a SnackAbility score based on that data, plus a few extra things like commute times, diversity, and educational opportunities.

We found a pattern -- most of the best Austin suburbs are situated north or west of the city. They range from as far as a half-hour away from Austin's downtown to just a ten-minute drive. There's also a huge disparity between affordability, with homes in West Lake Hills typically selling for around $1,000,000, while a Pflugerville home will only set you back about $220,000. One thing that each suburb had in common was a reasonable cost of living; even the priciest suburb on this list is only about 40% more expensive to live in than a typical U.S. city.

So get ready to order your first breakfast taco, jive to some live music, and Keep Austin Weird, because we're heading to the best suburbs the city has to offer.

Here are the 10 best suburbs to live around Austin for 2021:

  1. The Hills
  2. Lakeway
  3. West Lake Hills
  4. Cedar Park
  5. Buda
  6. Bee Cave
  7. Leander
  8. Round Rock
  9. Pflugerville
  10. Georgetown

There's a reason Austin ranks among America's fastest-growing cities. But if big-city life isn't your thing, then any of the suburbs listed above is sure to make a good home.

So what's the absolute best Austin suburb? According to the data, The Hills is Austin's premier suburb for 2021.

Since we've already taken a look at the area surrounding Austin, check out our list of Austin's best neighborhoods to see what it's like inside the city itself. And if you're curious about an Austin suburb not featured on our list, consult the full list of Austin's 20 suburbs down below.

Note: This result may differ from our state wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a larger selection of suburbs.

Feel free to check out some more reading about Texas:

The 10 Best Austin Suburbs To Live For 2021

The Hills, TX

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,586
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $165,179
Unemployment Rate: 2.9%
Poverty Rate: 2.9%
More on The Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Hills is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Austin area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome The Hills."

Everyone here is rich; families average $165,179 a year, which is the 2nd highest in the Austin region. And only 2.87% are out of work. Homes average more than $547,700 each.

Lakeway, TX

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 15,138
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $132,899
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
Poverty Rate: 3.3%
More on Lakeway: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lakeway is the second best 'burb we looked at near Austin for 2021.

It ranks 3rd for incomes in the area and only 2.35% of residents lack insurance, good for 4th best.

West Lake Hills, TX

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 3,311
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $187,569
Unemployment Rate: 6.8%
Poverty Rate: 1.2%
More on West Lake Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in West Lake Hills, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Austin metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in West Lake Hills.

Cedar Park, TX

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 74,814
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Income: $104,019
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%
Poverty Rate: 4.8%
More on Cedar Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cedar Park ranks as the 4th best suburb of Austin for 2021.

You won't find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Cedar Park and the schools are some of the best around.

Buda, TX

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 15,565
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $89,688
Unemployment Rate: 2.0%
Poverty Rate: 3.3%
More on Buda: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is Buda.

Buda gets kudos for having the 10th most expensive homes in the Austin area, where houses sell for an average of $257,800. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Bee Cave, TX

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 6,642
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $94,509
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
Poverty Rate: 5.1%
More on Bee Cave: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bee Cave is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here's why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 2.45% which is 4th best in the area.

According to online reports, Bee Cave is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Austin area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Leander, TX

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 53,716
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $101,872
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
Poverty Rate: 4.2%
More on Leander: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Leander.

Leander schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it's only 19.3 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Round Rock, TX

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 124,434
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Income: $82,676
Unemployment Rate: 5.2%
Poverty Rate: 7.0%
More on Round Rock: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Round Rock is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 9.29% of people lack insurance, good for 10th in the area.

Pflugerville, TX

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 61,737
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Income: $93,627
Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
Poverty Rate: 5.1%
More on Pflugerville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is 'Everything Better In Pflugerville?'

Almost.

It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it's really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Georgetown, TX

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 71,004
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $73,822
Unemployment Rate: 5.9%
Poverty Rate: 6.9%
More on Georgetown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2021 is Georgetown.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It's far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Austin for 2021

Figuring out the best suburbs around Austin was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High Median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data for 2015-2019 to research each suburb.

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Austin.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 20 suburbs to evaluate around Austin.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 20 in each category, where 1 was the "best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the "Best Suburb near Austin." We're lookin' at you, The Hills. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Welcome to the Best Austin 'Burbs of 2021

We said it once and we'll say it again--life in the big city isn't for everyone. At least not all the time.

So if you're hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Austin, but don't want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.

For more Texas reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Austin Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 The Hills, TX 2,586 $165,179
2 Lakeway, TX 15,138 $132,899
3 West Lake Hills, TX 3,311 $187,569
4 Cedar Park, TX 74,814 $104,019
5 Buda, TX 15,565 $89,688
6 Bee Cave, TX 6,642 $94,509
7 Leander, TX 53,716 $101,872
8 Round Rock, TX 124,434 $82,676
9 Pflugerville, TX 61,737 $93,627
10 Georgetown, TX 71,004 $73,822
11 Kyle, TX 42,706 $79,348
12 Hutto, TX 25,320 $78,942
13 Wimberley, TX 3,037 $64,141
14 Dripping Springs, TX 4,119 $80,000
15 Bastrop, TX 8,776 $56,425
16 Lockhart, TX 13,652 $55,644
17 Manor, TX 9,974 $68,079
18 Taylor, TX 17,001 $52,672
19 Elgin, TX 10,064 $58,816
20 Liberty Hill, TX 2,041 $46,250

How Is Your Town In ?

Talk To A Relocation Expert

Need help figuring out where to move? Email YouTube star Nick Johnson at [email protected].

It's $200 for a phone consultation, and you'll go over politics, weather, cost of living, schools, culture and more to discover which city is the PERFECT place for your family to move to.

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *