Amarillo ranks in Forbes' "Opportunity Cities"

Amarillo ranks in Forbes' "Opportunity Cities"

A recent study by Forbes measuring the top "Opportunity Cities" says Amarillo is in the top 20 for places where residents can make their mark.

The study ranked 19 cities nationwide based on factors like real estate cost, unemployment, and population growth. Amarillo ranks No. 16 overall.

According to Forbes, the list contains cities large enough to offer cultural amenities -- parks, museums, and a vibrant downtown -- yet small enough for its residents to not get lost in the shuffle of large cities like New York or Los Angeles. Forbes noted that civic efforts in revitalizing downtown areas are a key factor.

"Most importantly, because these places offer affordable housing, residents enjoy the opportunity spending their energy getting creative, starting a company, or simply enjoying time off without the pressure-cooker professional environment and stressful high housing costs that are a hallmark of many of the nation's biggest job centers," the article states.

Forbes gathered data from the Sperling's median home costs from the first quarter of 2014 in cities with over 150,000 people. It also gathered information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census' American Community Survey.

The downtown revitalization of Amarillo has been a work in progress for many years, with recent a tax abatement to the city opening the door for more projects in the future. Lubbock and El Paso are the other Texas cities to rank in the study.