7 Best Cities To Live in Texas
Everything is bigger in Texas, so if you’re looking to upgrade, consider the best places to live in Texas below. For more information on how we rank, read the Best Places to Live methodology.
Texas is a popular destination for working families and retirees for a variety of reasons. Some common motivations include the warm climate, no income tax and plenty of employment opportunities.
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If you’re wondering where the best places to live in Texas are, our guide should make it easier to find your ideal community.
We’ve analyzed cities by pulling recent data on key lifestyle factors such as the area’s median home price, personal income per capita, and the unemployment and crime rate.
Best Places to Live in Texas
First, let’s admit all “best places” lists are subjective. Still, they can inspire you with ideas on where to live. With that said, let’s dig into some of the most popular places in Texas so you can compare their stats and features to see if any stand out to you.
1. El Paso
El Paso is a great city if you like being outside in the sun. Located in the far western corner of Texas, El Paso also borders Mexico and features many mountain trails with beautiful views.
If you’re a water person, the Rio Grande is nearby and has great fishing, canoeing, and whitewater rafting opportunities.
If you’re more of a land person, you may enjoy attending one of the many festivals or watching the numerous marathons and bike races El Paso hosts.
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Also, be sure to check out the Abraham Chavez Theatre that’s shaped like a sombrero.
- Metro Area Population (840,477)
- Average Salary ($40,460)
- Median Monthly Rent ($837)
- Median Home Price ($203,064)
- Average Annual Rainfall (10″6)
Among the best places to live in Texas in Killeen. Located in central Texas, Killeen is known as an army town due to its proximity to the Fort Hood military base. Some say you can even hear their artillery practice on the other side of Belton Lake.
The city is also close to Austin, which is causing a ton of growth and making Killeen a metroplex of its own.
- Metro Area Population (444,716)
- Average Salary ($45,190)
- Median Monthly Rent ($921)
- Median Home Price ($160,95013)
- Average Annual Rainfall (35″14)
3. Dallas-Fort Worth
Coming in second place is the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. While only an hour’s drive away from each other, Dallas and Fort Worth is worlds apart!
Dallas is Mercedes and BMWs, while Fort Worth is F-150s and Dodge Rams. Dallas is Armani and Gucci, while Fort Worth is Tecovas and Wranglers. You get the idea.
Dallas is very posh—there’s a joke that everyone there is a $10,000 millionaire. Dallas hosts the Texas State Fair, where you can be greeted by Big Tex—a 55-foot cowboy figure.
The state fair offers some of the craziest fried food you can think of, including lemon pie balls, gumbo balls, and shrimp etouffee.
Meanwhile, Fort Worth is lovingly referred to as “Cowtown.” You can take a trip to the past at Fort Worth Stockyards and walk red cobblestone roads surrounded by old saloons, longhorns, and cowboys on horseback.
Fort Worth is also home to Billy Bob’s Texas—known as the “World’s Largest Honky-Tonk.” At Billy Bob’s, you can gush over celebrity cement handprints, much like at Hollywood’s Chinese Theater, but for country music stars.
- Metro Area Population (7.3 million)
- Average Salary ($53,800)
- Median Monthly Rent ($1,139)
- Median Home Price ($341,464)
- Average Annual Rainfall (36″17)
One of the country’s “hot spot” cities, Houston is rebounding after being decimated by Hurricane Harvey in 2017, but recovery is swift in one of the most diverse and highly populated urban locations in the U.S.
Median home values are more than affordable at $140,300, and rental dwellings clock in at a relatively low $898 per month, compared to other major U.S. cities.
The city’s diversity is truly balanced, as the demographic breakdown is fairly equal among Hispanics, Whites, African-Americans, and Asian-Americans, making Houston a true melting pot landing spot.
Household budgeting is easier in Houston as well. Forbes ranks Houston as the U.S. city where paychecks “stretch the most.”
5. Sugar Land
Sugar Land, Texas is aptly named – it was founded as a major sugar plantation in the 1800s, and has since grown into one the most vibrant and desirable landing spots in the entire Lone Star State.
Business-wise, the city is a mecca for major U.S. corporations, with Aetna, Bechtel, and Minute Maid, among others, headquartered in Sugar Land.
Located 20 miles from Houston, Sugar Land’s residents are sold on living there – 84% said they love living in the city, according to the 2017 Citizen Satisfaction Survey.
The national “approval” average in the same category is 49%, providing a glimpse of why Sugar Land residents believe they have it so well.
A Texas city that earns high marks across the board, Plano was recently rated one of the “100 Best Places to Live in the U.S.” by Livability.com.
Plano offers a small-town, multicultural vibe, but it also flexes its muscle economically, as well. It’s home to the headquarters of 25 U.S. companies, including brand names like Frito-Lay and Cinemark Theaters.
The Texas state capital and home to the University of Texas, Austin is a popular landing spot, especially for younger arrivals.
At $1,106, the median residential rental rate in Austin is much lower than in equally populous states like New York and California. At 3.2%, Austin has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. Austin was recently tabbed as the “#1 Best Place to Live in the U.S.”