Killeen Ranks in Best for Vets
Killeen, Texas ranked 21st Medium-Sized City in MilitaryTimes’ “Best for Vets: Places to Live 2019.” MilitaryTimes evaluated 599 places, as designated by the U.S. Census Bureau, dividing them into 282 small cities with populations of fewer than 100,000; 234 medium-sized cities with populations between 100,000-250,000; and 83 large cities with populations of 250,000 or more. Click here for full study results.
Locations were compared across three broad categories: veteran and military culture and services, economic indicators — some veteran-specific and some not — and livability factors such as crime, health, school quality and traffic. Each of the three categories were of comparable value in the evaluation, but economic indicators and veteran and military culture and services were weighed more heavily than livability factors.
Including all data points measured, slightly more than half of the evaluation was based on metrics specific to veterans or the military, while the rest was based on metrics applicable to the population as a whole. Detailed methodology and sources can be found here.
The number of nearby organizations listed in other MilitaryTimes’ Best for Vets rankings was also considered when evaluating locations for this study. These include Best for Vets: Colleges 2018, Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2018, Best for Vets: Employers 2018, and Best for Vets: Franchises 2018.
Killeen had organizations listed in two categories, Colleges and Franchises. Central Texas College ranked 3rd in the Best for Vets: Colleges in the 2018 Online & nontraditional schools category. There are several franchises on the Best for Vets: Franchises 2018 listing located in Killeen, but the list does not specifically list which are veteran-owned in this community.
The fact that so many Veterans choose to live in Killeen after being stationed at Fort Hood comes as no surprise to area leaders. As the largest city neighboring one of the largest Army posts in the nation, Killeen has long had a substantial Veteran population. “The city prides itself on supporting the military, and the Soldiers appreciate that” remarked Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra. “Over the past decade, Killeen has grown exponentially while the number of Fort Hood Soldiers has decreased. Much of this growth can be attributed to Soldiers and their Families staying in the area after exiting the military because they like what this community has to offer. This is demonstrated by the fact that Killeen has the highest percentage of veterans of any city in the Top 50 rankings.”
COL (R) Keith Sledd, Executive Director of the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance (HOTDA), is one such retiree who chose to make the Fort Hood area his home after his time in the Army. He explains, “This study is one more indicator of just how great the Killeen/Central Texas area is for Veterans, Soldiers, and their Families. Killeen’s selection as #21 out of 289 medium sized cities reflects the many advantages the area offers. These advantages include low cost of living, access to military and VA Healthcare facilities, access to recreation, the third lowest state for individual taxes, and the list goes on.”
Killeen was recognized as the Most Patriotic City in Texas by Insurify in May, an accolade that augments this most recent ranking. The Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce, Killeen Economic Development Corporation and 14 Forward Foundation will continue to work with community partners to encourage continued growth and recognition.