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The Best places to live in Texas
Texas is big, and boy, do we do mean big. It is the second-largest state in the U.S. – both in terms of size AND population. The state is so large that it can fit 15 other states inside of its borders. And if it were as packed as New York City, it could house the entire world population.
With its big size comes big benefits like low cost of living, strong employment, and a healthy blend of city and rural living to suit any lifestyle. This article covers the top benefits of living in the great state of Texas and lists some top-rated cities and smaller neighborhoods. Some of these locations are famous nationwide, while others may be new to you and worth a closer look.
Reasons to Live in Texas
All areas of Texas share some key benefits:
No Income Tax
That’s right; there is no income tax in Texas. The state makes its money through other taxes like sales and use taxes. Still, if you plan things right, you can benefit financially here.
Cost of Living / Affordability
Texas has a lower cost of living compared to other areas of the country and lower median home costs. Both are 8% below the national average.
Low Cost per Square Foot
If you plan to buy or build a home here, you can pay as low as $129 a square foot!
Texas is known for its quality education ranging from public schools up to colleges and universities.
Compared to the national average, Texas has average violent crime rates, but the crime risk drops significantly based on the type of city.
This State Has a Love for the Public Park
Texas is massive with no shortage of land, but developed areas also offer ample parks and recreation areas, making city life a pleasant place to be.
Powerful Businesses and Job Growth
Texas has always been a solid place to find a job, but job growth has been given a serious boost thanks to the departure of tech companies from California. The state is home to big-name businesses in every major city. With the new jobs comes population growth – especially in Austin, but Texas is massive. You will be able to enjoy nature and the state’s wide, open spaces.
A Strong Sense of Community
Southern hospitality lives large here, and it will give you the warm-and-fuzzies. People are kind, neighborly, and strangers say “hi” on the street.
A Blend of Big Cities and Expansive Rural Land
Texas has some of the country’s biggest American cities. Thanks to cheap land and job growth, Texas has some of the fastest growing cities and most affordable cities to live in. At the same time, outlining areas allow for ample urban living.
Top Cities to Live in Texas
Now that you have a general snapshot, let’s dive into some top areas to consider:
The greater Dallas-Fort Worth area in North Texas contains two gems you won’t want to miss, and the region’s name gives them away. Let’s look at each.
Dallas is the ninth-largest city in the country, and with its size comes a range of benefits – especially for families and students. Nearly 40 colleges and universities are here, and the public schools average a B- grade from Niche. And there is ample employment in sectors ranging from financial services to IT and health services. The city is home to 18 companies on the Fortune 500 list, and DFW airport is a key employer. The airport is as large as the area of Manhattan. Southwest Airlines is based here, and American Airlines is based nearby in Fort Worth.
Housing costs and rental rates range and can be pretty affordable and lower than other areas such as Houston. Dallas is also known for its foodie scene as diverse as its population. But be sure to get a car. Commute times aren’t the best.
This city is the 12 largest city in the US and sits next to Dallas. You enjoy the benefits of Dallas, but with more cowboy culture and a small-town feel – even as a big city. You can be all business during the day and then catch a rodeo or dance at a honkey-tonk at night.
You still enjoy an affordable cost of living. The city is popular with young professionals, families, and singles, but if you are looking for quality schools, you may want to consider Dallas instead.
Austin is the capital of Texas but is equally known for its music and its creative scene and, more recently, as a booming tech hub. Its creative and more liberal pulse combined with the state’s tax savings is turning this city into the next Silicon Valley. A lot is happening here, which has made Austin one of the country’s most beloved cities.
Austin has a reputation for live music and is known as the “live music capital of the world.” Here you can find the world-famous music events South by Southwest and Austin City Limits.
Austin loves its creativity, resulting in its other slogan of “Keep Austin Weird.” Even the area’s liberal politics is unconventional in Texas terms. Individuality and expression have resulted in a wide range of people, art, activities, and interests, all inside and around a backdrop of beautiful nature. And the creativity has put it near the top of foodie cities in Texas, all while being on the FBI’s list of safest cities to live. It is also environmentally conscious and known as the greenest city in Texas.
Austin is experiencing tremendous growth, and an already low supply of housing and increased population with high incomes are creating an inflated housing market, so be sure to shop here early.
Cedar Park is just thirty miles from Austin, offering plenty of job opportunities. Still, the average cost of living around this area is around 9% cheaper than the rest of the United States.
Cedar Park also excels as a home for outdoor activities, such as hiking, horseback riding, and kayaking. There are also many entertainment venues to take part in, such as championship golf courses, parks with museum experiences, theaters, and more. If you enjoy the arts, you can find galleries showcasing all types of artwork.
There are a wide variety of different types of restaurants to keep you entertained. You can find any food you want here. And the city is safe and has low crime rates.
Sugar Land is a master-planned community best known for its proximity to Houston and thriving job market while offering a small-town feel. It is rapidly developing into an attractive destination for families with an excellent school district, low crime rate, access to healthcare facilities, and a wide range of amenities and outdoorsy attractions. Sugar Land has over 100 parks, including eight recreation centers with pools, two waterparks, six tennis courts, various trails, and a wide range of other amenities.
Residents also enjoy a high quality of life with access to over 500 annual cultural events, including the nation’s second-largest indoor theater production company.
Sugar Land is a fast-growing healthcare sector. There are more than 40 hospitals located in Sugar Land, including Texas Medical Center, a renowned healthcare and research center ranked among the top academic medical centers in the country. Sugar Land is also home to one of the largest US exporters of oil & natural gas, helping to further establish the city as a leading center for the energy industry.
College Station is a booming college town that provides a great community for anyone to live in. In the last few years, College Station has been recognized as one of the top housing markets to buy a home, and it also features many different types of restaurants where you can get any food you want. The school district here is also some of the best in the state and has received many awards recently.
If you’re looking for a small-town feel but close to a large city, College Station is perfect for you. It also has a low crime rate, making it an attractive place to live. The median home price here is about $10,000 less than the rest of the state. College Station’s ties to Texas A&M University have made its atmosphere and active community perfect for college students.There are many different attractions throughout College Station, including First Street, where you can find cafes, restaurants, and shops. There are also over 30 public parks located throughout the city that provide many different recreational activities for visitors.
San Antonio is a beautiful city and one of Texas’ most famous cities for tourists. It is the home of the Alamo and other missions and receives 26 million visitors a year. It’s located right on the Guadalupe River with a walking trail that people can enjoy. There are museums and parks for families to visit, or they can walk around downtown San Antonio and enjoy places like La Villita to shop or eat at one of the many restaurants.
San Antonio is a great place to live if you want to work in tourism, and it is safe enough for families.
Delicious Mexican Food, Hispanic culture, and low cost of living set this city apart. In fact, the city itself ALSO sets itself apart. The next big city is 8 hours away. Still, this oasis has above-average schools and a thriving nightlife and community, but employment isn’t strong here compared to other cities. The top industries center around food, government, trade, and transportation.
Frisco is a suburb north of Austin and is the fastest-growing city in Texas, and for good reasons. Here residence has a high median income, and the city is one of the safest areas of Texas, making it perfect for raising a family. At the same time, the cost of living here is also low, especially because of the many different jobs available in Frisco that pay well.
Frisco is home to the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium, which hosts events throughout the year and draws visitors from all over the area.
Houston sits at the top of the biggest cities in Texas and is also the 4th largest in the U.S. With its size comes great diversity. Many museums, parks, and restaurants to visit make it a tourist destination. It is also a cultural melting pot with 150 nationalities.
Houston is home to many major corporations and offers job opportunities that range from blue-collar work to white-collar jobs. Other than New York, no location has more Fortune 500 countries. NASA is also based here.
The employment, big city vibe, and diverse population are the most appealing aspects of Houston, but it does suffer from high crime. It is the most dangerous city in Texas. Still, it is highly ranked for its employment, food, and tourism thanks to its Museum District and hip-hop culture. It is also known as a sports destination, hosting the Rockets basketball team and the Astros baseball team.
Arlington is located within the Dallas Fort Worth metropolitan area but is not as big or crowded as Dallas. Still, there are enough attractions and entertainment venues right at home. People love how much there is to do right in their backyard. The city is also well-known for its outstanding school district and low crime rate.
The easier way of life, variety of homes, and size make Arlington a highly sought-after suburb in the Dallas Fort Worth area.
Like Arlington, Irving packs a lot in a small package. The city is close to Dallas and Fort Worth, also small enough that the streets are easier to navigate. People love the diversity of Irving. There is something for everyone here, and this city is especially popular as a suburban home for young professionals thanks to its schools, nightlife, art community, and affordable homes. And DFW is just 15 minutes away.
Plano is a hot-spot area in Dallas for people who want to start families and find homes in the middle of established suburban areas. You get all that the big city has to offer, and still, there are many beautiful parks and convenient amenities such as restaurants, gyms, theaters, and museums within walking distance. Many couples like this accessibility because they can walk to work or school with their kids rather than drive around town.