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Best Places to Live in Texas in 2022

Wishing you could live in a state where wearing a cowboy hat and boots every day was part of the norm? Longing to live in a land of Whataburgers and those Buc-ee’s gas stations with spotless bathrooms? Well then, Texas is for you.

Whether you’re moving the whole family, scoping out a new young-professionals scene, or looking for your dream retirement destination—we’ll help you narrow down the best places to live in Texas.

Saddle up!

10 Best Places to Live in Texas

First, let’s admit all “best places” lists are subjective. Still, they can inspire you with ideas on where to live. With that said, let’s dig into some of the most popular places in Texas so you can compare their stats and features to see if any stand out to you.1

Let’s count ‘em down!

10. Brownsville

With its year-round subtropical climate, Brownsville kicks us off as one of the best cities to live in Texas. Located on the southern tip of Texas and bordering Mexico, the city has a strong Hispanic influence. Like to kayak or pedal boat? With close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, Brownsville offers lots of fun activities on the water.

Metro Area Population*

421,666

Average Salary

$35,050

Median Monthly Rent

$7332

Median Home Price

$300,0003

Average Annual Rainfall

26"4

*For each city, the Metro Area Population numbers include the
city together with the surrounding urban and suburban areas.

9. McAllen

A little west from Brownsville, McAllen is also located in southern Texas along the Rio Grande Valley. Thousands of Texans travel to the Valley to escape their cold winters (yep, it can even snow in some parts of Texas). The influx of people boosts McAllen’s economy and makes for a great quality of life.

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The city borders Mexico and has year-round sunshine, 80-degree winters, and rare rainfalls. Just a warning—once you try McAllen’s incredible street tacos, you’ll never be able to eat at a sit-down Mexican restaurant again!

Like bird-watching? The Rio Grande Valley will give you lots of opportunities to enjoy nature. Like to read? Check out the McAllen Public Library—possibly the largest single floor public library in the nation at 123,000 square feet!

Metro Area Population

855,176

Average Salary

$37,530

Median Monthly Rent

$734

Median Home Price

$219,733

Average Annual Rainfall

22"5

8. El Paso

El Paso is a great city if you like being outside in the sun. Located in the far western corner of Texas, El Paso also borders Mexico and features many mountain trails with beautiful views. If you’re a water person, the Rio Grande is nearby and has great fishing, canoeing and whitewater rafting opportunities. If you’re more of a land person, you may enjoy attending one of the many festivals or watching the numerous marathons and bike races El Paso hosts. Also, be sure to check out the Abraham Chavez Theatre that’s shaped like a sombrero.

Metro Area Population

840,477

Average Salary

$40,460

Median Monthly Rent

$837

Median Home Price

$203,064

Average Annual Rainfall

10"6

7. Corpus Christi

Tucked into a bay along the Gulf of Mexico, Corpus Christi could be another excellent choice as your new home in Texas. The city offers more of a flip-flop and cycling Florida vibe than the typical Texan boots and horses feel. Its windy waters make it a great place to go windsurfing, kiteboarding and sailing. And when you’re feeling more land bound, you can make like Mary Poppins and go fly a kite!

Metro Area Population

428,548

Average Salary

$44,540

Median Monthly Rent

$1,0147

Median Home Price

$332,4458

Average Annual Rainfall

32"9

6. Beaumont

In the southeast corner of Texas, near the heel of the Louisiana boot, Beaumont makes the list for one of the best cities to live in Texas. At Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum you can experience what life was like in the early 1900s during the Texas oil boom. Explore old-style print shops, saloons, general stores and a replica gusher (no—not the fruit snack, silly).

Metro Area Population

395,174

Average Salary

$48,830

Median Monthly Rent

$85710

Median Home Price

$215,00011

Average Annual Rainfall

55"12

5. Killeen

Among the best places to live in Texas is Killeen. Located in central Texas, Killeen is known as an army town due to its close proximity to the Fort Hood military base. Some say you can even hear their artillery practice on the other side of Belton Lake. The city is also close to Austin, which is causing a ton of growth and making Killeen a metroplex of its own.

Metro Area Population

444,716

Average Salary

$45,190

Median Monthly Rent

$921

Median Home Price

$160,95013

Average Annual Rainfall

35"14

4. San Antonio

Home of the Alamo, the city of San Antonio is full of history and Hispanic culture—not to mention great food for Tex-Mex and barbecue lovers. The entertainment options in San Antonio range from the arts to sports and many activities in between. Want to see a show? You can enjoy one at the Tobin Center for Performing Arts. Want to go to a game? See the Spurs play at the AT&T Center.

But with 300 days of sunshine each year, you might just spend all your time outside at festivals, fairs and wineries. Speaking of which, San Antonio’s annual Fiesta is the city’s signature event with multiple parades. And no doubt you’ll find yourself strolling through the beauty of San Antonio’s River Walk to enjoy boat rides, restaurants and mariachi bands.

Metro Area Population

2.5 million

Average Salary

$47,220

Median Monthly Rent

$1,024

Median Home Price

$282,218

Average Annual Rainfall

32"15

3. Houston

Houston is another one of the best cities to live in Texas. It’s known for being a big player in the oil and gas industry (remember the Houston Oilers?). Located about an hour’s drive inland of the Gulf of Mexico, Houston isn’t far from Galveston’s charming beach towns. But with plenty else to enjoy in Houston, you might find yourself too busy for the beach!

NASA nerds can marvel at the space initiatives of the nearby Johnson Space Center. Sports fans can cheer on pro teams like the Astros, Texans and Rockets. Southern culture enthusiasts can “get their country on” at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo—the largest livestock exhibition and rodeo on the globe! And that’s not the only thing Houston offers as the largest in the world—the Texas Medical Center (TMC) is basically a city in itself at 1,345 acres!

Metro Area Population

6.9 million

Average Salary

$54,490

Median Monthly Rent

$1,101

Median Home Price

$319,339

Average Annual Rainfall

55"16

2. Dallas-Fort Worth

Coming in second place is the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. While only an hour's drive away from each other, Dallas and Fort Worth are worlds apart! Dallas is Mercedes and BMWs, while Fort Worth is F-150s and Dodge Rams. Dallis is Armani and Gucci, while Fort Worth is Tecovas and Wranglers. You get the idea.

Dallas is very posh—there’s a joke that everyone there is a $10,000 millionaire. Dallas hosts the Texas State Fair, where you can be greeted by Big Tex—a 55-foot cowboy figure. The state fair offers some of the craziest fried food you can think of, including lemon pie balls, gumbo balls and shrimp etouffee.

Meanwhile, Fort Worth is lovingly referred to as “Cowtown.” You can take a trip to the past at Fort Worth Stockyards and walk red cobblestone roads surrounded by old saloons, longhorns and cowboys on horseback. Fort Worth is also home to Billy Bob’s Texas—known as the “World’s Largest Honky-Tonk.” At Billy Bob’s, you can gush over celebrity cement handprints, much like at Hollywood’s Chinese Theater, but for country music stars.

Metro Area Population

7.3 million

Average Salary

$53,800

Median Monthly Rent

$1,139

Median Home Price

$341,464

Average Annual Rainfall

36"17

1. Austin

Drum roll please—the best place to live in Texas (at least according to this subjective list) is its own state capital: Austin! Located in the heart of Texas, Austin is known first for being “weird”—and the hippy, grungy locals that make up this cultural melting pot want to keep it that way.

Named the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin has an impressive live music scene that centers around rock, country and blues. This city also has 250 parks for outdoor activities and is home to the world’s largest urban bat colony (if that’s your kind of thing).

Film festivals, conferences and events—like the famous SXSW festival—continue to grow in scope and size every year. The area is also becoming quite a tech hub with a growing presence from giants like Tesla, Google and Apple.

Metro Area Population

2.1 million

Average Salary

$55,190

Median Monthly Rent

$1,273

Median Home Price

$377,693

Average Annual Rainfall

32"18

Where Is the Cheapest Place to Live in Texas?

If you’re anything like us at Ramsey, you know one of the most important things to do before moving to a new area is to make sure you can actually afford living there.

One way to know you can afford it is to research the cost of living in Texas. The biggest factor that’ll determine whether you can afford living there is the cost of housing.

Here are Texas areas that rank high for affordable housing:

  • Cottonwood Creek South (Richardson)
  • Arapaho (Richardson)
  • Heights Park (Richardson)
  • Shady Hollow (Austin)
  • Timberbrook (Plano)19

Keep in mind, these locations may be above or below your own housing budget. To figure out your housing budget, use the 25% rule—never buy or rent a home that comes with a monthly payment that’s more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay.

If you’re getting a mortgage, that 25% limit includes principal, interest, property taxes, home insurance, private mortgage insurance (PMI) and don’t forget to consider homeowners association (HOA) fees. Use our mortgage calculator to enter your down payment amount and try out different home prices within your budget.

If you want a mortgage you can pay off fast, talk to the home loan specialists we trust at Churchill Mortgage about getting a 15-year fixed-rate conventional loan. Any other type of mortgage will drown you in interest and extra fees and keep you in debt for decades.

Ready to Move to Texas?

If you’re ready to move to Texas and finally be among locals who know what kolaches are—instead of being surrounded by people who think they’re pigs in a blanket (rude) . . . the next step on your relocation journey is to find a real estate agent.

For a fast and easy way to find Texas agents we trust, try our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program. The agents we recommend have earned the right to be called RamseyTrusted by always serving with excellence.

Find a Texas real estate agent we trust!

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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