Texas is a popular destination for working families and retirees for a variety of reasons. Some common motivations include the warm climate, no income tax and plenty of employment opportunities.
If you’re wondering where the best places to live in Texas are, our guide should make it easier to find your ideal community. We analyzed cities by pulling recent data on key lifestyle factors such as the area’s median home price, personal income per capita, and unemployment and crime rate.
The Brownsville-Harlingen metro is in the southeastern part of the state. It borders Matamoros, Mexico and is less than an hour from South Padre Island, which is a popular beach destination.
The city’s largest private employer is SpaceX with over 1,600 employees that help build rockets and spacecraft. Agriculture and international trade are other vital industries for the region.
Brownsville’s median income and estimated living expenses are less than the state’s major cities. As a result, it can be an affordable place for families to live.
Amarillo is the largest economic hub in the Texas panhandle and is conveniently located on Interstate 40. Agriculture and meatpacking are two of the city’s primary industries. However, the city isn’t all about cowboys and the iconic images of “Old Texas.”
Several major industries also have a presence in the city, including a Bell helicopter plant and the Pantex Nuclear Weapons Facility, the nation’s only facility to assemble and disassemble nuclear weapons.
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the Palo Duro Canyon State Park, which is the nation’s second-largest canyon and is only dwarfed by the Grand Canyon.
7. El Paso
Consider El Paso if you want to live in western Texas and along the Mexican land border. Its sister city is Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
The city’s nickname is Sun City because of its year-round sunny, desert climate, which provides the opportunity for plenty of outdoor activities. Sports fans can enjoy a minor league baseball team and the teams at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).
6. Corpus Christi
If you want to live on the Gulf of Mexico or enjoy beach destinations, look no further than Corpus Christi.
There are several beaches to visit, and the area is home to Padre Island National Seashore, the Texas State Aquarium and a naval air station. The city also has plenty of history to accompany the coastal lifestyle.
5. San Antonio
San Antonio is best known for its River Walk and the Alamo. The city also has a vibrant Hispanic culture and is home to an arts district as well as several theme parks.
Nearby New Braunfels and Fredericksburg can also be attractive places to live if you enjoy small-town charm.
4. College Station
College Station is home to Texas A&M University and is part of the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation, which helps provide high-tech jobs in Texas.
The city is also conveniently nestled within the “Texas Triangle” of Austin, Dallas and Houston, so citizens can easily reach these three metros for business or leisure.
3. Fort Worth
Fort Worth is a neighboring suburb of Dallas, but it can be safer and more affordable. The city is home to many major employers and also has plenty of things to do regarding culture, history and entertainment.
If you like big cities, they don’t get much bigger than Houston. The metro area is currently the nation’s fourth-largest and is likely to take the number three spot in the second half of this decade. This city also has plenty of employment and entertainment opportunities.
Despite its size, Houston is one of the most affordable big cities in the U.S. but is still more expensive than smaller cities throughout Texas.
Austin is one of the best places to live in Texas for its diverse culture and outdoorsy activities. It’s also a college town, the state capital, and it has a healthy economy.
The metro area is one of the fastest-growing in the country as companies often relocate their headquarters or core operations to the tax-friendly state. Tesla and John Deere are two of the most recent high-profile examples.
While there is plenty to love about the Austin-Round Rock metro area, the large influx of residents is causing a surge in real estate prices and cost of living, so that’s something to keep in mind.