Is Amarillo, Texas A Good Place To Live? Evaluating The Pros And Cons

Known for its cowboy culture and famous Route 66 roadway, Amarillo is a distinctive city in the Texas Panhandle region. If you’re considering a move to this western town, you may be wondering: is Amarillo a good place to live? Here’s a quick take: With its low cost of living, access to outdoor recreation, and growing economy, Amarillo offers an affordable lifestyle in the Lone Star state. However, the relative isolation and extremes of weather may not appeal to all.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into Amarillo’s pros and cons across factors like the job market, housing, amenities, weather, and lifestyle to help you determine if relocating to this Texas city is right for you.

Jobs and Economy in Amarillo

Amarillo, Texas is known for its strong job market and thriving economy. With a diverse range of industries, the city offers a variety of employment opportunities for its residents. Let’s take a closer look at the key aspects of the job market and economy in Amarillo.

Top Employers and Industries

Amarillo is home to several major employers, contributing significantly to the city’s economic growth. Some of the top industries in Amarillo include healthcare, education, manufacturing, agriculture, and energy.

Healthcare plays a vital role in Amarillo’s economy, with major hospitals and medical centers employing a large number of professionals in the healthcare sector. Educational institutions, such as Amarillo College and West Texas A&M University, also contribute to job creation in the city.

The manufacturing industry in Amarillo is diverse, encompassing sectors such as aerospace, food processing, and chemical manufacturing. Companies like Bell Helicopter, Tyson Foods, and Pantex are among the major employers in the manufacturing sector.

Agriculture has a long-standing presence in Amarillo, with numerous farming and ranching operations contributing to the local economy. The energy sector, including oil and gas production, also plays a significant role in the city’s employment landscape.

Unemployment and Growth Trends

Amarillo has consistently maintained a low unemployment rate compared to the national average. The city’s strong job market and diverse economy have helped to keep unemployment levels relatively stable over the years.

According to the latest statistics, Amarillo’s unemployment rate stands at X%, significantly lower than the national average of X%. This reflects the city’s ability to attract and retain businesses, creating a favorable environment for job seekers.

Amarillo has also experienced steady economic growth, with key sectors contributing to the city’s overall prosperity. The city’s strategic location, transportation infrastructure, and business-friendly policies have attracted investment and fostered economic development.

It’s important to note that economic trends can fluctuate over time, influenced by various factors such as market conditions and policy changes. Staying informed about the current economic climate is crucial for individuals considering Amarillo as a place to live.

For more information on Amarillo’s job market and economic indicators, you can visit the official website of the City of Amarillo or the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation

Housing Market and Cost of Living

Home Prices and Rent

One of the key factors to consider when evaluating whether Amarillo, Texas is a good place to live is the housing market. Amarillo has a relatively affordable housing market compared to many other cities in the United States.

The median home price in Amarillo is lower than the national average, making it an attractive option for those looking to purchase a home. Additionally, the city offers a variety of housing options, from single-family homes to apartments and condos, catering to different preferences and budgets.

Renting in Amarillo is also relatively affordable, with a range of rental options available throughout the city. The average rental prices in Amarillo are lower compared to other cities in Texas, making it an attractive choice for individuals or families who prefer to rent rather than buy a home.

It is important to note that rental prices may vary depending on location, size, and amenities, so it is always recommended to research the specific area and property before making a decision.

Affordability Compared to Texas and U.S.

When it comes to the overall cost of living, Amarillo offers a favorable comparison to both the state of Texas and the United States as a whole. The cost of living index in Amarillo is lower than the national average, indicating that expenses such as housing, groceries, transportation, and healthcare are generally more affordable in this city.

Compared to other cities in Texas, Amarillo also stands out as a more affordable option. The lower cost of housing, combined with reasonable prices for everyday essentials, can contribute to a higher quality of life for residents.

This affordability factor makes Amarillo an attractive destination for individuals and families looking to stretch their budget while still enjoying a comfortable lifestyle.

According to a study conducted by, Amarillo’s overall cost of living index is 84.7, which is significantly lower than the national average of 100. This data further supports the notion that Amarillo offers a more affordable cost of living compared to many other cities in the United States.

Weather and Geographic Location

Amarillo, Texas is known for its unique weather and geographic location. The city experiences a semi-arid climate characterized by hot summers and mild winters. With an average of over 250 days of sunshine per year, residents can expect plenty of warm and sunny days to enjoy outdoor activities.

Climate Characteristics

Summers in Amarillo can be quite hot, with temperatures often reaching the 90s and occasionally surpassing 100 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the low humidity levels make the heat more bearable compared to other regions with similar temperatures.

Winters are generally mild, with average temperatures ranging from the 30s to 50s. Snowfall is not uncommon during the winter months, adding a touch of winter wonderland to the city.

The unique geographic location of Amarillo also contributes to its weather patterns. Situated in the Texas Panhandle, the city experiences strong winds throughout the year. These winds, often referred to as the “Amarillo Breeze,” can be quite strong at times, creating a unique atmosphere and adding to the charm of the region.

Outdoor Recreation Nearby

Amarillo’s geographic location also offers residents and visitors a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities. Palo Duro Canyon State Park, located just south of the city, is often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Texas.”

With its stunning cliffs, hiking trails, and camping facilities, it provides a perfect escape for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

In addition to Palo Duro Canyon, Amarillo is also in close proximity to Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, where visitors can enjoy fishing, boating, and water sports. The area surrounding Amarillo is also known for its vast ranches, offering opportunities for horseback riding, hunting, and wildlife viewing.

Amenities, Lifestyle and Culture

Dining, Arts and Entertainment

Amarillo, Texas offers a wide range of dining options, arts, and entertainment for its residents. The city boasts a diverse culinary scene with restaurants that cater to various tastes and preferences. From classic Tex-Mex cuisine to international dishes, there is something for everyone in Amarillo.

One popular spot is the Big Texan Steak Ranch, known for its 72-ounce steak challenge, which attracts tourists and locals alike. The city also has a vibrant arts and entertainment scene, with several galleries, theaters, and music venues.

The Amarillo Symphony and the Amarillo Little Theatre are just a few examples of the cultural experiences residents can enjoy.

For those looking for a night out on the town, Amarillo offers a variety of nightlife options. Whether you’re in the mood for a cozy pub, a trendy cocktail bar, or a lively dance club, there are plenty of places to choose from.

Residents can also enjoy live music performances from local bands and artists at various venues throughout the city.

Family-Friendly Activities

Amarillo, Texas is a great place for families, with numerous activities that cater to all ages. The city is home to several parks and recreational areas, providing ample space for outdoor activities such as picnicking, hiking, and biking.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park, known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” is a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and offers stunning views and hiking trails.

One of the highlights for families in Amarillo is the Don Harrington Discovery Center, a hands-on science museum that provides interactive exhibits and educational programs for children. The center aims to inspire curiosity and foster a love for learning in young minds.

Another family-friendly attraction is the Wonderland Amusement Park, which features thrilling rides, games, and attractions for all ages.

Furthermore, Amarillo is home to a number of community events and festivals throughout the year. The Tri-State Fair and Rodeo, which takes place in September, offers fun for the whole family with rides, live entertainment, and traditional fair food.

The Amarillo Zoo is another popular spot, where families can observe a variety of animals and participate in educational programs.


While Amarillo’s remote location and extreme weather may not appeal to all, the low cost of living, economic opportunities, and broad access to outdoor activities make it a viable place to live, especially for lovers of the western lifestyle. Weigh the pros and cons and your own preferences to decide if calling this Texas Panhandle town home is right for you.

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