McKinney, Allen, Flower Mound, Mansfield Make Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live List

Money has published its annual rundown of the 100 best small cities in the United States, and four North Texas cities make the cut: McKinney, Allen, Mansfield, and Flower Mound.

There’s not a detailed methodology on the website, but the list apparently factors in the value of homes, job growth, how well jobs pay, what the climate’s like, how clean the air is, how young/rich/single the residents are, and how long are the average commutes.

They don’t seem to consider crime data or quality of schools, which were important in our own recent Best Dallas Suburbs list. That could explain why none of our top 7 suburbs make their list, as well as other disparities.

We had Flower Mound ranked the highest (No. 8) among the four cities also on their list, whereas it was the lowest (No. 32) among this group on theirs. Allen was No. 9 for us, No. 13 in the nation for them. Mansfield was way down at No. 33 for us, and No. 28 for them.  And, of course, we rated McKinney only the 26th-best Dallas suburb, a far cry from being the second-best small city in America (trailing only Carmel, Indiana).

Sure, it seems strange that McKinney could be No. 2 on the list this year, but nowhere to be found in 2011, even though it was No. 5 in 2010. But never mind the seeming arbitrariness of it all. This gives the McKinney Chamber of Commerce some major bragging rights. Listen to the praise bestowed upon it:

McKinney’s location on the fringes of the Dallas area means commuters have a longer drive downtown, but also easy access to rolling green hills, golf courses, and leafy open spaces lacking in neighboring towns.

McKinney has rolling green hills?


  • hp-er

    what a joke! how could HP & UP not be on the list… those are all sh*tty suburban hells.

  • mike

    This has to be inferior to D-Mag’s list. They forgot to include a heavily weighted “our personal opinion” category like D…smh

  • Jay Foote

    Wow, someone’s bitter. Just FYI, Money Magazine did not publish a Best Small Cities in 2011. That was “Best Small Towns”.

  • JDV

    @hp-er in the “Bubble speak” HP & UP are not on the list due to the attitude you have. Suburbs are not sh*tty, nor are they hell.

    We choose to live in places that aren’t insular, isolated and far from a wonderful experencial life in a “Bubble”.

    We choose to live with an amazing range of people, we choose not to live with people who have no imagination, have no desire to broaden their knowledge and have no idea of the world at large.

    We choose not to live in a “Bubble” and are richer for it in monetary and experiencial wealth.

  • @Jay Foote: Great point. I’d failed to notice that Money alternates its “best town” and “best small cities” lists, since the site generally treats them the same.

  • FabFranTX

    I noticed Southlake was not on this list.

  • Yep, we’ve got tons of hills in McKinney, from the rolling ones in Stonebridge Ranch to the peaks just west of downtown. Between those two points are two holy-massive summits, which are a runner’s training paradise!