In this article, we will take a look at the 16 best places to live in Texas. If you want to see more places in this selection, go to the 5 Best Places to Live in Texas.
Texas is the second most populous state in the US and also happens to be the second biggest state in the US in terms of area. The state is generally known for its warm and sunny climate, diverse culture, and strong economy. Texas is also one of the cheapest states to live in. The overall cost of living in Texas is 7.7% lower than the national average. According to the data released by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), the state is the cheapest for groceries as they are priced 9.7% lower than the national average. Furthermore, Texas is the 11th most economical state for transportation, with prices being 7.6% lower than the national average. In addition to this, the Lone Star state is the 12th cheapest for health facilities in the US, with prices being 5.2% lower than the national average.
Overall, the average home value in Texas stands at $289,255 as of the end of February 2023, according to Zillow. This reflects a 6.9% increase compared to the previous year. However, the average home value in Texas is currently 11.7% lower than the national average home value of $327,514. Furthermore, Texas has the distinction of being one of the nine states in the US with no state-level income taxes. With a state sales tax of 6.25% and a maximum local sales tax rate of 2%, the state has a combined average state and local tax rate of 8.2% only. This makes Texas the 13th most tax-friendly state in the US, according to the 2023 State Business Tax Climate Index compiled by Tax Foundation.
A report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed Texas added more than 650,000 nonfarm jobs between December 2021 and December 2022. Texas was the only state to achieve a 5% increase and led the nation in job growth. In comparison, California and Florida added 621,400 and 440,000 jobs, respectively. By the end of 2022, the number of Texans in nonfarm jobs reached 13.7 million, an increase of around 700,000 from the end of 2021, when the number stood at 13 million. In December 2022, the state saw a record 14 months of employment growth, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The unemployment rate declined to 3.9%, marking the first time it has gone lower than 4% since the pandemic forced businesses to close. According to The Texas Employment Forecast, the state will observe a 1.4% increase in jobs in 2023. The forecast is based on four models that take into account national GDP projections, oil futures prices, and both Texas and U.S. leading indexes.
With 54 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the state as of 2022, Texas is renowned globally as a leader in economic development. Some of the popular companies headquartered in the state include Dell Technologies Inc (NYSE:DEL), Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM), and Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY).
We used a consensus opinion-based rankings approach for this article and researched over 20 reliable sources to find out what are the best places to live in Texas based on key metrics like affordability, healthcare, law & order, transportation, environment, education, jobs, among other factors. The sources we consulted include Reddit threads where Texans have shared their reviews on best places to live in the state, Quora, Forbes, Up Homes, and Livability. Each place was assigned an average score out of 10 across the aforementioned factors based on the recommendations from the sources we used. The highest attainable score a location could secure was 70. We have ranked the 16 best places to live in Texas in ascending order of their total score.
Best Places to Live in Texas
Total Score: 15
Beaumont is a city situated in Southeast Texas, near the border with Louisiana. The city is located near several outdoor recreation areas, including the Big Thicket National Preserve, a unique forest ecosystem that is home to a variety of plants and animals. The city also has several parks and recreational facilities, including Riverfront Park and Tyrrell Park. Beaumont has several cultural and entertainment options, including the Jefferson Theatre, which is a historic theatre that hosts concerts and live performances. The metropolitan is also home to the Texas Energy Museum and the Art Museum of Southeast Texas.
Total Score: 16
McAllen is a city situated in the southernmost part of the state, near the border with Mexico. The City of Palms has a warm and sunny climate, with mild winters and hot summers. This makes it an ideal place for people who enjoy spending time outdoors. The town has several shopping centres and malls, including La Plaza Mall, which is one of the largest malls in Texas. The metropolis also has a variety of restaurants and cafes, offering a range of cuisines to suit any taste.
Total Score: 18
Midland is part of the larger Permian Basin region, which is known for its oil and gas production. The Ostrich Capital of Texas also has several cultural and recreational attractions, such as the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, the I-20 Wildlife Preserve, and the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center. Midland is also known for its connection to former President George W. Bush, who lived in the city during his childhood and early adulthood. The George W. Bush Childhood Home Museum is located in Midland and showcases the former president's early life and family history.
Total Score: 18
Denton is a city located in the north-central part of the state, about 40 miles north of the Dallas–Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex. The Redbud Capital of Texas is home to two major universities, the University of North Texas and Texas Woman's University. These institutions provide a variety of educational opportunities and contribute to the city's vibrant cultural scene. The town is known for its thriving music scene, with several live music venues and festivals throughout the year. The municipality has produced several well-known musicians, including Norah Jones and Eli Young Band.
Total Score: 18.5
Irving is a small city with a population of nearly 260,000 people. It is located in the heart of the DFW Metroplex, making it an ideal location for people who want easy access to both cities. It is also located near the DFW International Airport, making it a convenient location for travel. The metropolitan area is home to several major employers, including Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM), Kimberly Clark Corp (NYSE:KMB), and Fluor Corporation (NYSE:FLR). Irving has several parks and recreational facilities, including the Mandalay Canal Walk at Las Colinas, which is a scenic walking and biking trail, and Lake Carolyn, which is a popular spot for boating and fishing.
11. Round Rock
Total Score: 20.5
Round Rock is a part of the Greater Austin metropolitan area and is located about 20 miles north of downtown Austin. The Daffodil Capital of Texas is known for its vibrant downtown area, which is home to many shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. It is also home to the Dell Diamond, a minor league baseball stadium, and the Round Rock Express, a Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The city's economy is driven by a variety of industries, including technology, healthcare, retail, and education. Major employers in the area include Dell Technologies Inc (NYSE:DEL), International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM), and St. David's Round Rock Medical Center.
Total Score: 24.5
McKinney is a city located in Collin County, about 30 miles north of Dallas. The city has several excellent schools, including the McKinney Independent School District and Collin College. The metropolitan is also located near several major universities, including the University of Texas at Dallas and Southern Methodist University. The town has a historic downtown area that is known for its beautiful architecture. The town has several cultural and entertainment options, including the McKinney Performing Arts Center and the McKinney Repertory Theatre, and also hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the McKinney Oktoberfest and the McKinney Holiday Tour of Homes.
9. El Paso
Total Score: 28.5
El Paso is a city situated in the westernmost part of the state, bordering Mexico. The city has a strong Hispanic influence and is also home to several military installations and a large military community. Also referred to as Chuco Town, the metropolitan has several parks and recreational facilities, including the Franklin Mountains State Park and the Hueco Tanks State Park.
8. Corpus Christi
Total Score: 30.5
Corpus Christi is known for its beautiful beaches, with miles of pristine sand and clear blue waters. The city is also home to several parks and outdoor spaces, including the Padre Island National Seashore and Mustang Island State Park. The urban area, also known as Sparkling City by the Sea, is a coastal city located in the southern part of Texas on the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to its beaches, Corpus Christi offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, such as fishing, boating, kayaking, and paddle boarding. The town is also home to several golf courses and nature trails.
Total Score: 37.5
Frisco is a city located in the north-central part of the state, about 25 miles north of Dallas. The city, also known as Sports City, USA, is home to several professional sports teams, including FC Dallas soccer and the Frisco RoughRiders minor league baseball team. The metropolitan has the distinction of being consistently ranked among the top places to live in the US, thanks to its strong economy, excellent schools, and low crime rates. The town also offers a variety of housing options, from single-family homes to high-rise apartments.
Total Score: 48
Dallas is the ninth biggest city in the country and the third largest in the state of Texas, after Houston and San Antonio. The city is home to several cultural attractions, including the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. The metropolitan is also known for its sports teams, including the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), the Dallas Mavericks (NBA), and the Texas Rangers (MLB). Dallas is also a hub for transportation, with two major airports and several major highways connecting it to other cities and regions across the country.
Popular companies like Dell Technologies Inc (NYSE:DEL), Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM), and Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY) are also headquartered in Texas.
Click to continue reading and see the 5 Best Places to Live in Texas.
Disclosure: None. 16 Best Places to Live in Texas is originally published on Insider Monkey.