Researching the best places to live in Texas? I have you covered.
As a lifelong local, here’s my quick roundup of the best cities to live in Texas, along with interesting facts and stats to point you in the right direction.
You May Enjoy Reading: 20+ HONEST Pros & Cons of Living in Texas (Let’s Talk)
Best Places to Live in Texas
Large Texas Cities to Consider
Texas cities with a population of 1 million residents or more.
|Average Age||33.3 years|
|Median Household Income:||$56K|
|Median Home Price||$262K|
With an impressive population of 2.3 million people, Houston is the most populous city in Texas (and the 4th most populous city in the country). You’ll be in good company if you choose to call this vibrant Texas city home.
Sitting along the coast, Houston is diverse (albeit sprawls like mad) and offers all the amenities big city living is known for. From top-notch restaurants, award-winning breweries, great nightlife and endless opportunities for entertainment, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
The best part? Affordable housing. It’s unusually for a city this size to have affordable housing, but here we are. The median price of a home in Houston currently clocks in at $262,000, which is well below the national average of $428,000.
Likewise, the cost of living in Houston is about 20% below the national average, which means you can expect everything from groceries, entertainment and restaurants to cost less after moving to one of the most affordable cities in Texas.
However, Houston has some of the hottest summers of all Texas cities. You’ll be living off AC nearly half the year, so outdoor recreation (that doesn’t center around water) won’t be feasible for most.
Further Reading: 15 HONEST Pros & Cons of Living in Houston, Texas
|Average Age||33.8 years|
|Median Household Income:||$55K|
|Median Home Price||$262K|
The rich history of San Antonio makes it one of the best places to live in Texas. Heavily influenced by Spanish culture, there’s an undeniable Latin flair that makes living in this Texas city a joy.
Contrary to popular belief, a large population doesn’t always equate to a large price tag. Similar to Houston, locals love San Antonio for its low cost of living, which is 8% lower than the national average.
For perspective, when compared to a similar-sized city like San Diego, living in San Antonio is a whopping 78.5% cheaper. Imagine!
Another perk worth calling out is the great job market. San Antonio has one of the healthiest job markets of all the cities in Texas. Thankfully, it doesn’t show signs of slowing anytime soon.
If you’re not moving to San Antonio for the military sector you’ll find jobs in a wide range of industries, from healthcare, aerospace, bioscience, renewable energy, technology and IT. Some of the largest employers include Toyota, USAA, Wells Fargo, Southwest Research Institute and Valero Energy Corp.
Oh, and I’d also like to share a fact that surprised me about living in this Texas city. In 2017, San Antonio was designated as a Creative City of Gastronomy by UNESCO, becoming the 2nd city in the US to receive such a prestigious designation.
Effectively making this one of the best places to live in Texas for foodies. Take that, Austin! Speaking of Austin, let’s continue on.
You May Enjoy Reading: 20 Honest Pros & Cons of Living in San Antonio
|Average Age||33.7 years|
|Median Household Income:||$69K|
|Median Home Price||$530K|
Admittedly Austin is 35,000 residents shy of having a population of 1,000,000 but the city’s growth over the past 5-10 years makes it feel like one of the largest cities in Texas, so we’re including it on this list.
It’s worth calling out the home prices in Austin. At $530K, Austin is one of the most expensive Texas cities to buy a home in. I mean, median home prices in both Houston and San Antonio are nearly half.
But here’s the thing — there’s a reason why home prices are so expensive in Austin, it’s one of the best places to live in Texas and folks know it. For starters, the city’s artsy vibe can’t be beat.
Full of live music, incredible venues, art galleries, high-quality restaurants and cozy bars, Austin attracts those that want to enjoy the thrill of being alive.
Another huge perk are the friendly locals. I swear, Austin is one of the friendliest cities in Texas, these are some of the happiest and genuine people I’ve ever met. Likewise, if you’re a millennial you may be delighted to learn that millennials make up 31% of Austin’s population.
Yep, if great food, friendly locals and an artsy community speak to you then Austin is undoubtedly one of the best places to live in Texas.
You May Enjoy Reading: 15 Honest Pros & Cons of Living in Austin, Texas
|Average Age||38.8 years|
|Median Household Income:||$71K|
|Median Home Price||$440K|
Dallas is the capital of Texas oil and finance yet Dallas exudes a youthful vibe that is ever-changing by the recent influx of new residents eager to call the city home. Even with the growing pains, Dallas remains true to its rich and storied culture, a common trait among many of the best cities in Texas.
Locals are generally laid back and strive to live a normal, no-frills life which gives daily life in Dallas a pretty easy-going and casual vibe.
Fun Fact: Dallas is the 4th-most diverse city in the country.
Averaging 39 inches of rainfall a year, snow is rare and the sunshine is a blessing for the bones. Which is one of the biggest reasons some locals consider Dallas one of the best cities in Texas for retirement.
But it’s not all sunshine and barbecues in the Big D (yeah, unfortunately that’s the city’s official nickname). The extreme weather conditions (the hottest temperature on record in Dallas clocked in at 113°!) and limited outdoor recreation may give folks pause.
Frankly put, Dallas lacks outdoor recreation. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some outdoor adventure, but nothing that will satisfy the insatiable urge of a nature nut long term. That, and the urban sprawl gets old quickly.
Further Reading: 18 Honest Pros & Cons of Living in Dallas
|Average Age||33 years|
|Median Household Income:||$68K|
|Median Home Price||$308K|
Located in North Central Texas, Fort Worth once served as an important trading post for cowboys. Today, it’s one of the more modern cities in Texas, ripe for exploration by way of internationally renowned art institutions, great restaurants, rodeos and interesting museums.
Locals like the affordable housing, culture and slower pace of life. Even thought Fort Worth is a city, it has a tendency to feel more like a large suburb because it’s a cow-town through and through. The city is spread out (urban sprawl is real in Texas) and the downtown core is pretty small.
My biggest gripe is the lack of outdoor recreation and unbearably hot summers, apart from that the slow way of life is appealing.
Oh, and I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t mention the traffic. Fort Worth (along with Dallas) has some of the worst traffic of all Texas cities.
Mid-Sized Cities in Texas
Texas cities with a population between 250,000 – 500,000 residents.
|Average Age||38.9 years|
|Median Household Income:||$100K|
|Median Home Price||$500K|
Plano is often considered one of the best places to live in Texas due to its location. Found in a prime spot in Texas’ metroplex (the Dallas/Fort Worth metro), this city has access to the busiest reaches of the state. Which means ample job opportunities, entertainment and social events.
My favorite thing about Plano is the extensive park system, one of the best park systems of all the cities in Texas! Indeed, these green spaces make Plano and ideal city in Texas for raising a family. Heck, the worst thing about living in Plano is the nightmarish traffic, which isn’t all that bad in the grand scheme of things.
|Average Age||32.9 years|
|Median Household Income:||$65.5K|
|Median Home Price||$315K|
Arlington was more akin to a suburb of Dallas but has grown so large it’s become a city in its own right. Home to a great dinning scene and shopping opportunities galore, Arlington is one of the best cities to live in Texas.
The housing costs are reasonable when compared to median household income, plus the schools are great too! The location is prime to keep you connected to Texas’ larger cities like Dallas and Fort Worth.
Admittedly the traffic is becoming worse every year, but that’s par for the course in Texas. Also, the nightlife leaves much to be desired, so if that’s important to you then you may want to consider other Texas cities to live in.
|Average Age||35.3 years|
|Median Household Income:||$60K|
|Median Home Price||$210K|
Corpus Christi appeals to those searching for the best coastal cities in Texas. In my opinion, the city has a rather industrial vibe because of the refineries, but it’s a good place to live in Texas regardless (made evident by the 318K folks that call it home).
The beaches are a huge draw. I mean, how often do you get an opportunity to live in an affordable beach town? That’s unheard of in most of the country! Additionally, for such a large city, Corpus Christi has a way of feeling like a small town.
Locals are friendly and there’s plenty to do. The downtown core has great artwork, a handful of interesting museums and tons of great restaurants. All told, this is one of the best places to live in Texas and you should make time to visit for yourself to get a feel of the area before making a decision.
|Average Age||33 years|
|Median Household Income:||$38K|
|Median Home Price||$204K|
Sitting on the border with Mexico, few realize that El Paso runs on a different timezone than the rest of Texas. Yep, that’s how huge the state is. Like many of the other Texas cities on this list, El Paso is a large city with a small city vibe.
The city overall is fairly progressive (66% of residents identify as Democrats), though some assume it leans republican. Traffic is bad, but nowhere near as terrible as the larger cities but the unbearable summer heat is worth calling out.
It’s not unusual to get multiple weeks of 100°F weather during the summer (imagine!). Regardless, many folks consider this one of the best places to live in Texas. Restaurants and bars are easy to come by, as are indoor and outdoor activities.
But word to the wise, learning Spanish will go a long way (there’s a large Hispanic community here).
Small Cities in Texas
Texas Cities with a population up to 250,000.
|Average Age||37.4 years|
|Median Household Income:||$134K|
|Median Home Price||$700K|
Let’s address the elephant in the room, Frisco is one of the most expensive cities in Texas to live in. The reason? High paying jobs that bring the median household income to a whopping $134K.
Many locals consider Frisco one of the best places to Texas to raise a family because of the great schools. Likewise, the city’s infrastructure is top-notch. For the most part, everything is in proper working order (roads, buildings, etc.) and seems to be humming along smoothly.
The biggest disadvantage of living in Frisco are the terribly hot summers (feels like living in an inferno) and the lack of outdoor recreation. Seriously, you’ll need to drive 4 hours in any direction for any reasonable nature.
|Average Age||29.5 years|
|Median Household Income:||$65K|
|Median Home Price||$360K|
Denton is the only college town mentioned on this list of the best places to live in Texas. I had some readers reach out and mention they prefer living in college towns and you know I love to give the people what they want!
Located within the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area, the town’s center features a beautiful courthouse surrounded by charming local shops, museums, cafes and restaurants. Tons of parks, marinas and ample outdoor recreation — not to mention the youthful vibe that accompanies college towns.
|Average Age||36 years|
|Median Household Income:||$77K|
|Median Home Price||$380K|
Known for housing two striking rivers, the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers, New Braunfels is close to San Antonio but with less than 100K residents, is one of the best small cities in Texas to live in.
Tons of leafy parks (visit Cypress Bend!) and German buildings are well preserved, giving the town an irresistable charm. There’s also a lot of walking paths that meander through some incredible natural wonders (like limestone caves!).
List of Best Places to Live in Texas
In sum, here’s a quick list of the best places to live in Texas.
- San Antonio
- Fort Worth
- Corpus Christi
- El Paso
- New Braunfels
Map of the best cities to live in Texas