13 Best Places to Live in Texas in 2023

Are you wishing to move to Texas?

Are there any pros and cons of living in Texas?

Best Places to Live in Texas

Is the cost of living in Texas too high?

Then, you are in the right place. 

Perhaps you are thinking of moving to Texas for work, retirement, a high standard of living or just a fresh start. Regardless of your situation, there are both safe and dangerous places in Texas. And, if you do not know the best places to live in Texas then it might cost you a fortune.

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Well, because good things look attractive but don’t you want to know the affordability rate, safety rate, and opportunities, before moving to a new city? In recent times, Oracle, Amazon, Tesla, and other giant companies made Texas its headquarters. But which places in Texas ensure an impressive standard of living? 

Here check out the list of 12 best places to live in Texas that answer all the above questions. 

Things You Should Know Before Moving to Texas

Texas is not like Alaska, it is the second most populated state in the USA with new opportunities and challenges. 

Searching for a new home in Texas can be tiring if you do not know what to expect from the city. Therefore, here is the checklist of things to know before moving to Texas

  • Texas warm weather is an experience to taste
  • No income tax and a very low rate of sales tax
  • In most places, the median home value is affordable starting from $64,000. Places like Harker Heights, and Little Elm.
  • Most of the people in Texas have guns
  • Don’t get surprised if you see stores in Texas selling guns and gas 
  • Texas has its own state flag because Texas is a republic state
  • Keep your winter jackets and high boots at your parents’ place before moving to Texas.
  • The diverse culture and welcoming people. Hospitality is one of the features of Texas. 
  • Be a non-vegetarian and beef lover
  • Everyone has a truck and that results in a heavy traffic jam.

1. El Paso

  • Population: 684,753
  • Cost of Living Index: 81.4
  • Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 15.90
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.3 %

A mountain trail with gorgeous views, a southern cow town in the west corner of Texas, El Paso is home to historical sites and diversity. At the edge of the US-Mexico border, foothills of Franklin Mountains and sharing proximity with Ciudad Juarez city, El Paso is the best affordable place to live in Texas

As per US News, El Pasco is the most desirable place for US residents to reside. US news has ranked El Paso as #124 in the best places to live and #7 in the best places to live in Texas. From hiking, rock climbing, dancing, and film festivals to natural scenic spectacular places, El Paso is running a large number of active events every month. 

Near to Juarez, Mexico makes El Paso a booming place for job opportunities. Moreover, Tourism, the creative industry, advertising, media relations, and event management make up one of the core economic sectors. In terms of affordability, the home value of El Paso is around $ 195,000 and rent is around $945 per month.

The Central Cielo Vista and Mesa Hills are affordable parts of El Paso, whereas, the lifestyle in the north-western and eastern parts is expensive. The schools are above average and the place has a lot of parks and green space making it ideal for the old population.

Things to do in EL Paso: 

Hueco Tanks State Park and Franklin Mountains State Park, are the ideal place for rock climbing. The Rio Grande is perfect for whitewater rafting & fishing. For attending active events or football events visit – Mighty Mujer Triathlon, Classic Film Festival, Hueco Rock Rodeo, Michelob Ultra El Paso Marathon, The Sun Bowl, and many more.

Best Places to Live in Texas_El Paso
El Paso

2. San Antonio

  • Population: 1,456,069
  • Cost of Living Index: 89.7
  • Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 47.99
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.5 %

San Antonio is associated with the famous Alamo, the gorgeous River Walk, and unforgettable memories at the wineries in Fredericksburg. The iconic 15- mile stretch of street with picturesque surroundings, a relaxed atmosphere, and Old Spanish heritage, San Antonio, is the best place to live in Texas.

San Antonio is the destination city as it offers access to SeaWorld San Antonio, and Six Flags Fiesta Texas. The city sits in south central Texas and witnesses Hispanic influence making it appealing for all age demographics. San Antonio is an influx of fortune as it brings new opportunities for its residents.  

The home value in San Antonio is around $300,000 and the rental is around $1,230. If you’re looking for the best place to live in Texas with families, it is the place as it is slightly less expensive for people who do not want to pay premiums for a basic standard of living. The school standards in San Antonio are above average.

The dominating economy is healthcare and bioscience, IT, New Energy Economy, Aerospace, hospitality, and tourism. The average yearly salary is around $49,520 but ensures a quality life. San Antonio has been ranked #4 as the best place to live in Texas, and #73 in best places to retire by US News. 

Things to do in San Antonio: 

Visit the famous Texas UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, leisurely stroll around Pearl Brewery and Quarry Market, attend a weekend trip to New Braunfels, and Wimberley, or a small day trip to Hill Country. 

San Antonio Riverwalk
San Antonio Riverwalk

3. Dallas-Fort Worth

  • Population: 954,457
  • Cost of Living Index: 103.9
  • Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 33.16
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.3 %

Dallas – Fort Worth is one of the best places to live in Texas for young adults in the Prairies and Lake Regions. Dallas is one of the biggest and most populous metropolitan areas of the United States that ensures a cosmopolitan-style lifestyle. On the other hand, Fort Worth exhibits a cowboy lifestyle. 

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For example, Dallas is home to brands like Gucci, Armani, and BMW, while Fort Worth is home to Wranglers, and Dodge Ram. Dallas is the economic hub of metropolitan life, whereas Fort Worth is a small quintal town with a low crime rate and cost of living. The average annual salary of a Dallas – Fort Worth resident is around $56, 190. 

Niche has rated “B grade” to the quality of school service in Dallas. On the other hand, Fort Worth is home to Texas Christian University and Texas Wesleyan University. The thriving economic sectors are – financial services, IT, health, airlines, and business. Moreover, you can work in Dallas and stay in Fort Worth. 

The home value in the Dallas metroplex (DFW) is around $ 330,000 and the average rent is $1,474 per month. Because of its close access to the city and thriving economy, US News has ranked Dallas #2 in the best places to live in Texas. Dallas is home to the State Fair of Texas and more than 500 companies.

Things to do in Dallas – Fort Worth: 

  • Dance in the music played in Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, Stockyards and Billy Bob’s Texas. 
  • Attend football play at AT&T Stadium, baseball at Globe Life Field in Arlington, and basketball and hockey at American Airlines Center in the heart of downtown Dallas. 
  • Enjoy a live show at AT&T Performing Arts Centre.
AT&T Stadium
AT&T Stadium

4. Corpus Christi

  • Population: 320,393
  • Cost of Living Index: 83.1
  • Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 42.83
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.3 %

Island life and the most budget-friendly places to travel in Texas have to be Corpus Christi. It sits south of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico, with an affordable price tag. It has earned a good reputation for its famous sailing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, fishing poles, and “slow pace of life” attitude. 

Corpus Christi is a great place to live in Texas near the beach as the laid-back relaxed life, low cost of living and ideal outdoor opportunity makes it ideal. However, the weather can be unpleasant, in summer the temperature rises to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Apart from that, it offers chill vibes. 

Niche rated Corpus Christi “B+ grade” in terms of education, nightlife, and diversity. Additionally, its closeness to the port has made many energy companies, and petrochemical companies, to invest in Corpus Christi. The other sectors like tourism and hospitality are very strong offering great income to the residents.

The typical home value in Corpus Christi is around $ 216,500 and the average rent is $1,113 per month with a median household income of $55,564. US News analyzed Corpus Christi, Texas as #8 in best places to live in Texas and #97 in best places to retire. However, after COVID the crime rate has increased. Therefore, take care of your belongings. 

Things to do in Corpus Christi: 

Visit Hurricane Alley, South Texas Botanical Garden & Nature Center, parks, and Padre Island National Seashore. Get a unique perspective at the USS Lexington, Britton-Evans Centennial House, the Art Museum of South Texas, and the Texas Surf Museum. Enjoy abundant local food in the coastal setting at the end of the day.

Padre Island National Seashore
Padre Island National Seashore

5. Houston 

  • Population: 2,345,606
  • Cost of Living Index: 96.5
  • Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 55.87
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.3 %

Houston is the best place to live in Texas with kids as it offers great exposure to your kid for their next career move. It sits northwest of Galveston Bay along the Gulf of Mexico and southeast of Texas. It is the home of many international companies and has earned a huge name in the oil and gas industry in the USA. 

In simple terms, Houston attracts entrepreneurial spirits, health care specialists, and industry manufacturers. Additionally, it is also home to NASA’s astronaut training, flight control complex, and home base for Houston Rockets, Astros, and Texans. US News ranked Houston as #3 in the list of the best places to live in Texas.

However, diverse population and after COVID the crime rate has increased drastically which made US News rank it #15 in terms of most dangerous places. Hence, Houston is a dangerous city to avoid in Texas but in terms of healthcare, and employment opportunities it is one of the big players in America.

The average monthly rent in Houston is around $1,101 and the typical home value is $319,339. Though its present dangerous status it earned its name for its famous sports destinations and healthcare. The Texas Medical Center (TMC) and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo are the biggest in the world. 

Things to do in Houston: 

Shopping at Highland Village, Enjoy strolling at Green Street, River Oaks District, Rice Village, Rice Village, and the Galleria. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts, and attend concerts at the Miller Outdoor Theatre. 

Apartment in Houston
Apartment in Houston

6. Austin

  • Population: 996,147
  • Cost of Living (100 National Average ): 129.4
  • Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 42.91
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.90%

Austin is the beloved capital of the state of Texas which is famous for its relaxed atmospheres, dog-friendly communities, and fantastic job opportunities. The city’s economy has constantly reflected the rise of GDP and GMP over the last few years. I stayed in Allandale with my friend which is beautiful and also one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Austin. 

Austin has been ranked as the 11th safest city in the United States and the 3rd fastest growing city in 2016. It is the best place to live in Texas because it is very diverse in terms of age demographic, and ethnicity.

I find it the most appealing music, culinary, art, and tech destination in the United States. If you are looking for a liberal city in Texas with affordable cost of living, Austin is the place for you.

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Also, Austin has so much of green areas, art galleries, studio walks, and cafes that you will never feel alone in the city. Jackalope is my favorite hanging out spot whereas a walk to Congress Bridge to witness the sunset is so soothing. I think you do not want to miss the chance of visiting Barton Springs Pool, the dog-friendly oasis in Austin. 

For impeccable schools and sports programs, West Lake is suitable for you. West Austin is free from the hustle and bustle and full of natural beauty and peace. East Austin is my favorite; it is bustling with energy, walkable areas, and unique bars with a “hipster” vibe. The median household income in Austin is around $86,530.

Things to do in Austin:

Come to 351-acre Zilker Park, the most popular green space for a lazy afternoon and picnic space. The riverside walking trail is so peaceful. Spend some “family days” at Mexic-Arte Museum, and knowing traditional contemporary Mexican, and Latin American art and culture. Hop for a sightseeing tour on Double Decker. 

7. Killeen

  • Population: 158,129
  • Cost of Living Index: 
  • Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 78.5
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.8 %

Killen is an army town located in the county of Bell which shares proximity to Austin making it one of the fastest growing cities in America. On the other side of Belton Lake, you can hear artillery practices as the economy is dominated by Fort Hood, one of the largest military bases in America. 

Killeen is the best place to retire in Texas as mostly the residents are influenced by the military lifestyle. U.S News has ranked Killen as #80 in best places to retire and #5 best places to live in Texas. There are a lot of parks and open spaces that offer recreation facilities for old people. 

The average salary of the Killeen residents is around $47,990, the median monthly rent is $931 and the median house cost is around $160,950. The city is close to Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin allowing you to work and reside here. 

Every year, Mayborn Science Theatre hosts events to enlighten students about wildlife through various safaris. 

Things to do in Killeen: 

Go for an evening stroll at the Andy K. Wells Hike & Bike Trail and Lions Club Park. Take your four-legged pooch to Mickey’s Dog Park.

Killeen
Killeen

8. Beaumont

  • Population: 114,680
  • Cost of Living Index: 78.3
  • Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 46.28
  • Unemployment Rate: 6.5 %

Beaumont is located in the southeast of Texas along with Louisiana boot, Orange, and Port Arthur making it an amazing place to live with family in Texas. Its geographical position offers a humid subtropical climate making it perfect for outdoor activities and riding enjoying great weather. 

Additionally, the Texas oil boom in 1901 by the oil explorer Anthony Francis Lucas dramatically improved the economy and made the age flourish in growth and development. The average yearly salary is around $50,110 with the median monthly home rent value at $860. The proximity to the verdant parks, and coastal area, made it one of the booming areas for a career.

US News analyzed Beaumont as #6 in best places to live in Texas, and #7 cheapest places to live in America. It is the most desirable place in Texas and one dreams of quite an artistic place. Moreover, Beaumont became one of the largest global working fire hydrants.

Beaumont
Beaumont

Things to do in Beaumont: 

  • Enjoy a live performance at the famous historical Jefferson Theatre. 
  • Enlighten your knowledge at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, and Clifton Steamboat Museum. 
  • Take a horse ride at Tyrrell Park, a romantic walk along the 900-acre Cattail Marsh Scenic Wetland, and 23-acre Beaumont Botanical Gardens. However, the options are countless. 

9. Brownsville

  • Population: 189,082
  • Cost of Living Index: 70.3
  • Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 22.30
  • Unemployment Rate: 6.1 %

Brownsville sits on the bank of the famous Rio Grande River, in the south of Texas, meeting the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico. Its geographical location made it one of the dominating trading hubs in America. Taking advantage of borders, the city enjoys huge amenities that a big city can afford. 

Brownsville is a gorgeous beach town in Texas that is home to the famous Boca Chica Beach which is also known as Brazos Island. The town is influenced by Mexican heritage and has a lot of festivals throughout the year. Charro Days Festival is one of the well-known and oldest festivals in Texas. 

Brownsville’s laid-back vibe has made it ranked #9 in the best places to live in Texas and #98 in the best places to retire. The median salary is just around $36,190 per year, but the average home cost is above $88,000. The median monthly rent is around $746 which is affordable compared to Houston.

For a high standard of living, you can choose the Port Isabel community in Brownsville.

Things to do in Brownsville: 

  • Enjoy the coastal air at the beach, Resaca de la Palma State Park or The Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. 
  • You can take your kids to Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park. 
  • Lose yourself at the Latin Jazz Festival and enjoy every bit of it. 

10. Irving

  • Population: 264,762
  • Cost of Living Index: 100.6
  • Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 28.15
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.1 %

Irving is a famous suburb in Dallas-Fort Worth near to airport and the safest place to live in Texas. Niche has ranked Irving an A+ grade for diversity and ranked #30 in the best cities in America to purchase a house. The median household income in Irving is around $70,000. 

The city is dominated by the entertainment industry as well as corporate companies like Fluor Corporation, Kimberly-Clark, and 500 more. Moreover, it is home to high-star schools ensuring a high standard of education.

As per Zillow, the home value in Irving is around $345,000 and it offers plenty of amenities to enjoy life. However, if you plan to reside in Irving you need to have a car because that’s the easy option to navigate within the city. If you are an artist then Irving is heaven for you as you will be the daily visitor in William’s Square.

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Things to do in Irving: 

  • Explore the Mandalay Canals and sign up for paddle boarding on Lake Carolyn. 
  • Enlighten your knowledge at Irving Arts Center. 
  • Enjoy the nightlife scene at Toyota Music Factory and catch a movie at Alamo Drafthouse Movie Theatre. 
  • For some sweating, activities take part in professional sports like Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks. The list is endless. 

11. Lubbock

  • Population: 262,655
  • Cost of Living (100 National Average): 79.9
  • Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 53.89
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.8 %

Nonetheless, Lubbock might not be appealing in all sectors but it is one of the best cities to live in Texas. It sits at an elevation of 3,200 feet, far from the coastal area to the northwest of Texas. Lubbock has its name for Texas Tech University which is home to more than 36,000 students.

Moreover, prospective educational growth with 0% income tax has increased the population in Lubbock resulting in a high job market of 37.9%. The average rent cost of a home in Lubbock is around $1,061 per month. Niche has graded Lubbock “A-“in terms of city life, education, and standard of living. 

Additionally, if you are in the cowboy town then visit Buddy Holly Center where you can enjoy the vast collection of singers’ personal belongings for Bud Fest celebrations. Also, a tour of Llano Estacado Winery is a must in Lubbock. The crime rate is high compared to other places but other than that everything here is good. 

Things to do in Lubbock

Take a cyclic tour of the Tech Terrace neighborhood, have food at Stubb’s Barbecue and taste beer at TTU stadium. You should not forget to take part in football sports or enjoy spending time at the green hills of Rawls. However, remember that Lubbock has rugged and dusty terrain which can be worse during dust storms. 

12. Cinco Ranch

  • Population: 16,623
  • Cost of Living (100 National Average): 122.2
  • Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 40.92
  • Unemployment Rate: 7.6 %

Cinco Ranch is one of the best small towns to live in Texas where you can enjoy the suburban vibe. It sits in Fort Bend County which itself is not a very populated place. It has many small beautiful parks for all ages and natural walking paths.

However, all public schools are not highly rated and you won’t enjoy all the benefits at your doorsteps. You will find theatres, parks, libraries, dining hotels, and natural outdoor entertainment options. The community is well-planned with a median home value is around $377,200 and the median rent is around $1,552. 

Things to do in Cinco Ranch: 

  • Small hiking trails to River Green Park, Cinco Ranch II Park at Spring Lake, and Buffalo Bayou Nature. 
  • Spend your evening in the beautiful landscape of Malcolm E. Beckendorff Family Park, and socialize more at Splash Pad Park. 
  • Hang out at LaCenterra. The options are endless.

13. The Woodlands

  • Population: 118,554
  • Cost of Living (100 National Average): 112.9
  • Crime Rate/1,000 Residents: 
  • Unemployment Rate: 7.4 %

The Woodlands is a modern community in the midst of gorgeous nature trails, numerous lakes, green trees, and a lot of wildlife. Here, you get the best quality school and opportunities to broaden your horizon. The John Cooper School and the Woodlands High Schools are the best.

Woodlands are not one of those sleepy places but one of the desirable places to settle in Texas. It is a hotspot for many businesses; Exxon Mobil Corp. is one of the latest major businesses in Woodlands. The income of an individual in Woodlands is around 55,401 USD. Its prime location, 30 miles from downtown Houston made it one of the most popular places to live in Texas.

Conclusion

Whether you are a young professional, a kid, or a retiree, Texas, the Lone Star State has a lot to offer. These are some of the best places that have witnessed economic success, real estate growth, and maintained popularity among people. Therefore, if you are relocating, these places in Texas are best suited for all income groups.  

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FAQ – Best Places to Live in Texas

1. Is Texas a safe state?

A: Texas sits in the southern part of the United States with varied food options, friendly people, and a coastal climate in terms of overall risk. Cities like Dallas and Houston have an average high crime rate compared to Irving and Lubbock. 

2. Is Houston a good place to live?

A: Yes, Houston is a good place to live because of the booming economy of oil, healthcare, and aerospace. It is home to more than 2,288,250 people of diverse cultures and is full of entertainment and opportunities. 

3. What is the coolest place in Texas to live?

A: The coolest places to live in Texas are Plano, Fort Worth, Irving, San Antonio and Corpus Christi. These places have a low cost of living and affordable standard of living. As per Heat Index, Fort Worth records the coolest temperature among all the other places.

4. What city in Texas has the lowest cost of living?

A: Brownsville in Rio Grande Valley has the lowest cost of living with the average home price being $83,800. 

5. What’s bad about living in Texas?

A: The bad thing about Texas is its weather. In summer the temperature rises to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. August is the hottest month with hurricanes that cause severe harm to life and property. Also, its geographical location results into flooding, wildfires, and hurricanes.

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