Is Texas Cheap To Live In?

The cost of living in Texas compared to other states is a common question for people considering a move to the Lone Star State. With its sprawling cities, low taxes, and ample job opportunities, Texas seems like an affordable place to set down roots. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Overall, yes Texas does offer a relatively low cost of living compared to much of the country, especially major coastal cities. However, expenses can vary dramatically between different Texas metros and neighborhoods.

In this comprehensive guide, we will analyze data and local insights to break down the true cost of living in different Texas cities and regions. Key factors weighed will include housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, healthcare and taxes. We’ll also look at how salaries compare, and profile some of the most budget-friendly areas. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of how affordable Texas really is.

Housing Costs in Texas Cities and Suburbs

When it comes to the cost of living, housing expenses are a major factor to consider. In the Lone Star State, there are various cities and suburbs that offer a range of housing options to suit different budgets and preferences.

Overview of Texas Home Prices

Texas is known for having a relatively affordable housing market compared to other states. The median home price in Texas is lower than the national average, making it an attractive destination for those looking to buy a home or invest in real estate.

However, it’s important to note that housing costs can vary significantly depending on the location within the state.

According to recent data from the Texas Association of Realtors, the median home price in Texas is $250,000. This figure can fluctuate based on factors such as the city, neighborhood, and property type.

Most Expensive Metro Housing Markets

While Texas overall may offer affordable housing options, there are some metropolitan areas where housing costs are higher. Cities like Austin, Dallas, and Houston have experienced significant growth in recent years, leading to increased demand and subsequently rising home prices.

In Austin, for example, the median home price is above the state average at around $400,000. This can be attributed to factors such as the city’s booming tech industry, desirable lifestyle, and limited housing supply.

More Affordable Housing Cities

On the other hand, there are cities in Texas where housing costs are more affordable. For instance, San Antonio has a median home price of around $230,000, making it a more budget-friendly option compared to the larger metropolitan areas.

Other cities that offer relatively affordable housing include Fort Worth, El Paso, and Corpus Christi. These cities provide a range of housing options at various price points, making them attractive to individuals and families looking to settle down without breaking the bank.

Cheapest Small Towns and Rural Areas

For those seeking an even more affordable housing option, small towns and rural areas in Texas can be attractive choices. These areas typically have lower home prices and a slower pace of life, which may appeal to individuals looking for a quieter and more affordable lifestyle.

Some of the cheapest small towns and rural areas in Texas include towns like Jasper, Brady, and Pampa. These areas offer a cost of living that is significantly lower than the state average, allowing residents to stretch their budgets further.

It’s worth noting that the affordability of housing in small towns and rural areas can vary depending on factors such as proximity to urban centers, amenities, and local economic conditions.

Cost of Living Comparison Between Texas and Other States

Texas vs California Cost of Living

When it comes to the cost of living, Texas offers significant advantages over California. The overall cost of living in Texas is considerably lower than in California. Housing costs in particular are much more affordable in Texas compared to California.

According to the Numbeo, the average rent in California is about 55% higher than in Texas. This means that those living in Texas can enjoy a higher standard of living without breaking the bank.

Texas vs Florida Cost of Living

When comparing the cost of living between Texas and Florida, Texas once again comes out as the more affordable option. While both states boast a relatively low cost of living compared to the national average, Texas edges out Florida in terms of affordability.

According to the Expatistan, the overall cost of living in Texas is about 4% lower than in Florida. This means that residents of Texas can stretch their dollars further and enjoy a higher quality of life.

Texas vs New York Cost of Living

Texas is often seen as a more affordable alternative to New York in terms of cost of living. The price of housing in particular is much lower in Texas compared to New York. According to the Best Places, the average home price in Texas is about 60% lower than in New York.

Additionally, other expenses such as groceries and transportation tend to be more affordable in Texas as well. So, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly place to live, Texas is definitely worth considering.

Texas vs National Average Cost of Living

When comparing the cost of living in Texas to the national average, it becomes clear that Texas offers significant savings. According to the Missouri Economy, the overall cost of living in Texas is about 10% lower than the national average.

This means that residents of Texas can enjoy a more affordable lifestyle, with lower expenses across the board. From housing to groceries, Texas offers great value for money.

Groceries, Utilities and Other Costs

Grocery Costs in Texas

When it comes to grocery costs, Texas offers a variety of options to suit different budgets. The Lone Star State is known for its affordable food prices, with a wide range of supermarkets, discount stores, and farmers’ markets available.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average cost of groceries in Texas is slightly below the national average. This means that residents can enjoy a great selection of fresh produce, meats, and other essential items without breaking the bank.

Utility Costs in Texas

When it comes to utilities, Texas offers a mix of prices depending on the city and provider. The cost of electricity, water, and gas can vary, so it’s important to research the rates in the specific area you’re considering.

However, overall, Texas has relatively low utility costs compared to other states. The abundance of natural resources, such as oil and gas, contributes to the state’s affordability in this area. Additionally, Texas benefits from a deregulated energy market, allowing residents to choose from a variety of providers and find the most competitive rates.

Gasoline Prices in Texas

Texans can also enjoy lower gasoline prices compared to many other states. This is partly due to the state’s proximity to major oil refineries and production centers. According to the AAA, the average price of gasoline in Texas is consistently below the national average.

This means that residents have more flexibility when it comes to commuting, traveling, or simply enjoying a road trip within the state.

Healthcare Costs in Texas

When it comes to healthcare costs, Texas has a mixed landscape. While there are affordable options available, it’s important to note that healthcare expenses can vary significantly depending on factors such as insurance coverage, location, and specific medical needs.

According to a study by the Commonwealth Fund, Texas ranks among the states with higher uninsured rates and lower access to healthcare. However, there are also many healthcare providers and facilities that offer affordable care options, making it possible to find quality healthcare at a reasonable cost.

Taxes in Texas

Texas is often praised for its lack of state income tax, which can be a significant advantage for residents. However, it’s important to note that the absence of state income tax is offset by other taxes, such as property and sales taxes.

Property tax rates can vary depending on the county and city, while sales tax rates are generally around 6.25%, with additional local taxes in some areas. Overall, Texas has a relatively low tax burden compared to many other states, which contributes to its reputation as an affordable place to live.

Texas Salaries and Job Opportunities

When considering the affordability of living in Texas, it is important to take into account the salaries and job opportunities available in the state. Texas is known for its strong economy and diverse industries, which provide a range of employment options for residents.

How Texas Salaries Compare Nationally

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary in Texas is slightly below the national average. However, it is important to note that the cost of living in Texas is generally lower than in many other states.

This means that even with slightly lower salaries, residents can still enjoy a high standard of living.

In addition, Texas does not have a state income tax, which can make a significant difference in the amount of money residents take home each month. This tax advantage, combined with the lower cost of living, can make Texas an attractive place to live for individuals seeking a good balance between income and expenses.

Top Paying Jobs in Texas

Texas offers a wide range of job opportunities across various industries. Some of the top paying jobs in the state include:

  • Surgeons and physicians
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • Petroleum engineers
  • Architectural and engineering managers

These professions often come with high salaries and excellent benefits, making them attractive options for individuals looking for well-paying jobs in Texas.

Job Growth in Texas

Texas has consistently shown strong job growth over the past decade. The state has a diverse economy that includes industries such as energy, technology, healthcare, and manufacturing, among others. As a result, job opportunities are abundant in Texas, with many companies actively hiring and expanding their operations.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the state has experienced consistent job growth, adding thousands of new jobs each year. This growth is expected to continue in the coming years, further bolstering the employment prospects for residents.

It is worth noting that the job market can vary across different regions of Texas. Cities like Houston, Austin, and Dallas have particularly strong job markets, while rural areas may have fewer employment opportunities.

Therefore, individuals considering a move to Texas should research the job market in their desired area to ensure they have access to the career opportunities they desire.

Most Affordable Places to Live in Texas

When it comes to finding an affordable place to live, Texas offers several options for residents. Whether you prefer the charm of a small town, the convenience of a suburb near a major city, or the amenities of a bustling metro area, there is something for everyone.

Here are some of the most affordable places to live in Texas:

Small Towns with Low Cost of Living

For those who enjoy a slower pace of life and a tight-knit community, small towns in Texas can be a great option. These towns often offer a low cost of living, making it easier to stretch your budget. Places like Fredericksburg, Gonzales, and Lampasas have a charming atmosphere and affordable housing options.

Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the Texas countryside.

Affordable Suburbs Near Major Metros

If you prefer the convenience of living near a major city but want to avoid the high cost of living, there are several affordable suburbs in Texas. Suburbs like Pearland near Houston, Round Rock near Austin, and Plano near Dallas offer a lower cost of living compared to their nearby metropolitan areas.

These suburbs provide easy access to job opportunities, entertainment options, and excellent schools while offering more affordable housing options.

Cheapest Major Metro Areas

If you want to live in a major metro area without breaking the bank, Texas has some of the cheapest options. Cities like San Antonio, El Paso, and Fort Worth offer a lower cost of living compared to other major cities in the United States.

Housing, transportation, and overall expenses tend to be more affordable in these cities, making them attractive options for those seeking an urban lifestyle on a budget.

According to a study conducted by Numbeo, the cost of living index in Texas is lower than the national average. This means that Texans generally spend less on housing, groceries, and transportation compared to residents in other states.

It’s important to note that affordability may vary within each city or town, so it’s a good idea to research specific neighborhoods and consider factors such as amenities, crime rates, and proximity to job opportunities before making a decision.

Overall, Texas offers a range of affordable options for those looking to make the Lone Star State their home.


While some major Texas metros like Austin and Dallas are seeing home prices climb closer to coastal city levels, overall Texas continues to maintain a relatively low cost of living compared to national averages. Smaller metro areas and rural Texas regions are generally the most affordable places to find cheap housing, groceries and utilities.

Factors like taxes, gas prices and healthcare costs also remain low in Texas versus other states. Job and salary growth continue rising as people and businesses flock to the Lone Star State. Just be sure to research different areas thoroughly, as expenses can vary widely even within the state. For those on a tight budget, small towns and far-flung suburbs generally offer the most wiggle room.

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