Best Houston Suburbs To Live For 2020

We analyzed over 27 places around Houston to identify the most in demand places to live.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best Houston suburbs.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

Big city living isn't for everyone--but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.

There's the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There's traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing--pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you're looking at.

But that's where the suburbs come in--they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.

Of course, not all suburbs of Houston are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

What's the best suburb of Houston? West University Place ranks as the best suburb of Houston for 2020 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of West University Place, you're probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 Houston 'burbs better than the rest--but first, a bit about our methodology.

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.
Or feel free to check out some more reading about Texas:

The 10 Best Houston Suburbs To Live For 2020

West University Place, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,619
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $250,001
Unemployment Rate: 2.9%
Poverty Rate: 1.7%
More on West University Place: Real Estate | Data | Photos

West University Place is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Houston area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome West University Place."

Everyone here is rich; families average $250,001 a year, which is the 1st highest in the Houston region. And only 2.95% are out of work. Homes average more than $1,055,000 each.

Bellaire, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 18,733
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $201,629
Unemployment Rate: 2.4%
Poverty Rate: 1.7%
More on Bellaire: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bellaire is the second best 'burb we looked at near Houston for 2020.

It ranks 2nd for incomes in the area and only 1.8% of residents lack insurance, good for 2nd best.

Sugar Land, TX

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 118,182
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Income: $122,233
Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
Poverty Rate: 5.0%
More on Sugar Land: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Sugar Land, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Houston 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 Sugar Land.

Pearland, TX

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 117,867
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $102,891
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 3.8%
More on Pearland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Pearland ranks as the 4th best suburb of Houston for 2020.

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

Meadows Place, TX

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,677
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Income: $85,875
Unemployment Rate: 1.6%
Poverty Rate: 4.4%
More on Meadows Place: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is Meadows Place.

Meadows Place gets kudos for having the 16th most expensive homes in the Houston area, where houses sell for an average of $170,600. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Oak Ridge North, TX

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,136
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Median Income: $92,313
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Poverty Rate: 6.3%
More on Oak Ridge North: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Oak Ridge North 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 3.5% which is 8th best in the area.

According to online reports, Oak Ridge North is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Houston area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Friendswood, TX

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 39,319
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Income: $104,097
Unemployment Rate: 4.7%
Poverty Rate: 5.4%
More on Friendswood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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

Friendswood 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 21.9 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

El Lago, TX

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,760
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Income: $97,750
Unemployment Rate: 5.9%
Poverty Rate: 4.9%
More on El Lago: Real Estate | Data | Photos

El Lago 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 10.54% of people lack insurance, good for 10th in the area.

Shenandoah, TX

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,817
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Income: $78,643
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 2.2%
More on Shenandoah: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is 'Everything Better In Shenandoah?'


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.

Seabrook, TX

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,670
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Median Income: $86,738
Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
Poverty Rate: 7.3%
More on Seabrook: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2020 is Seabrook.

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 Houston for 2020

Figuring out the best suburbs around Houston 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 2014-2018 to research each suburb.

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

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 27 suburbs to evaluate around Houston.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 27 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 Houston." We're lookin' at you, West University Place. 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 Houston 'Burbs of 2020

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 Houston, 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 Houston Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 West University Place, TX 15,619 $250,001
2 Bellaire, TX 18,733 $201,629
3 Sugar Land, TX 118,182 $122,233
4 Pearland, TX 117,867 $102,891
5 Meadows Place, TX 4,677 $85,875
6 Oak Ridge North, TX 3,136 $92,313
7 Friendswood, TX 39,319 $104,097
8 El Lago, TX 2,760 $97,750
9 Shenandoah, TX 2,817 $78,643
10 Seabrook, TX 13,670 $86,738
11 Nassau Bay, TX 4,083 $86,944
12 Manvel, TX 9,143 $94,956
13 Katy, TX 18,094 $77,731
14 Stafford, TX 18,110 $61,872
15 Deer Park, TX 33,935 $79,726
16 Tomball, TX 11,644 $60,657
17 La Porte, TX 35,386 $72,640
18 Kemah, TX 2,831 $73,056
19 Richmond, TX 12,084 $37,340
20 Alvin, TX 26,154 $53,714
21 Pasadena, TX 154,193 $53,331
22 Baytown, TX 76,581 $55,628
23 South Houston, TX 17,627 $46,100
24 Webster, TX 11,165 $51,779
25 Humble, TX 15,861 $41,189
26 Galena Park, TX 11,075 $45,020
27 Arcola, TX 2,221 $44,570

How Is Your Town In ?

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.