Cost of Living in Texas

cost of living in Texas 2021

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    (Last Updated – 03/2023)

    If you’re looking to move to a state with gainful employment, look to Texas. Texas jobs are predicted to increase 1.4% in 2023, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

    From Dallas to Austin, there are plenty of great cities to grow a career in. Alongside employment opportunities, the second-largest U.S. state offers a worldly menu that goes beyond barbecue.

    To learn more about what it will cost you to live in the Lone Star State, keep reading for a breakdown of the Texas cost of living.

    What’s the Average Cost of Living in Texas?

    Average Cost of Living in Texas: $45,114 per year

    When it comes to expenses in this sprawling state, MERIC data gathered in 2022 found that Texans enjoy the 15th lowest cost of living in the country.

    Other Southwestern states like Arizona (37th) and Utah (30th) have a much higher cost of living, while New Mexico comes in second to Texas as the state with the 19th lowest cost of living.

    So how much does it cost to live in Texas? According to 2021 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis the average total personal consumption cost in Texas is $45,114 per year. Here’s how that breaks down.


    Average Annual Per-Capita Cost in Texas

    Housing and Utilities


    Health Care


    Food and Beverages (non-restaurant)


    Gas and Energy Goods


    All Other Personal Expenditures


    That’s $3,760 a month, per person, on average.

    Housing Costs in Texas

    Average Housing Costs in Texas: $1,025 to $1,867 per month

    With more than 11 million housing units, according to U.S. census data, you’ll find plenty of places to live in Texas. The big question is, how much will it cost you to find your home sweet home? Texas’ typical home value was $290,863 in February 2023, according to Zillow.

    Here’s what it looks like to rent or own on a monthly basis in Texas, per 2021 data from the U.S. Census Bureau:

    •  Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,747

    •  Median studio rent: $1,025

    •  Median one-bedroom rent: $1,026

    •  Median two-bedroom rent: $1,155

    •  Median three-bedroom rent: $1,381

    •  Median four-bedroom rent: $1,725

    •  Median five-bedroom (or more) rent: $1,867

    •  Median gross rent: $1,167

    Texas is a huge state. Let’s take a look at housing prices for just 20 cities, courtesy of Zillow data sourced in January 2023.

    Texas City

    Typical Home Price



    (Houston Housing Market Trends)


    San Antonio(San Antonio Housing Market Trends)


    (Austin Housing Market Trends)




    El Paso




    Corpus Christi














    College Station












    Utility Costs in Texas

    Average Utility Costs in Texas: $402 per month

    Even though they aren’t the most fun bills to pay, we all need our utilities.


    Average Texas Bill





    Cable & Internet




    Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Sales, Revenue, and Average Price, 2021;; DoxoInsights, U.S. Cable & Internet Market Size and Household Spending Report 2022; and, What Is the Average Water Bill?

    Groceries & Food

    Average Grocery & Food Costs in Texas: $289.25 per person, per month

    How much you spend on food depends on many things, including the state you live in. The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that the average Texan spends $3,471 a year on non-restaurant sustenance, or about $289 per month.

    The specific area of a state that you live in can also affect grocery spending. The Council for Community and Economic Research , which ranks food costs in major American cities, compared grocery spending among some Texas cities for the second quarter of 2022. Below, the findings are ranked from lowest to highest.

    Texas City

    Grocery Items Index









    Cedar Park


    Corpus Christi








    San Antonio




    Wichita Falls












    Fort Worth








    (Dallas Housing Market Trends)




    El Paso



    Average Transportation Costs in Texas: $5,477 to $15,530 per year

    You’ll need to hit the open road from time to time, and your family makeup can affect how much you need to spend to get everyone where they need to go. MIT’s Living Wage Calculator estimates what you can expect to spend on transportation, based on data for the first quarter of 2023.

    Family Makeup

    Average Annual Transportation Cost

    One adult, no children


    Two working adults, no children


    Two working adults, three children


    Health Care

    Average Health Care Costs in Texas: $6,593 per person, per year

    Each Texan spends about $6,593 a year on health care, according to the 2021 Bureau of Economic Analysis Personal Consumption Expenditures by State report.

    Of course, factors like specific needs and coverage affect how much any one person spends on health care.

    Child Care

    Average Child Care Costs in Texas: $719 to $1,258 or more per child, per month

    Child care is a large but necessary expense for most parents, though there is some wiggle room depending on what kind of care you’re seeking.

    State resources can help make financing child care easier. For example, the Texas Workforce Commission has a program that subsidizes child care for low-income families so parents can work or pursue an education.

    These are the average child care costs you can expect to encounter in Texas, according to 2021 data from .

    Type of Child Care

    Average Cost Per Month, Per Child

    Infant Classroom


    Toddler Classroom


    Preschooler Classroom


    Home-based Family Child Care



    State Tax Rate: None

    Texas doesn’t charge any state income tax, as noted by the Tax Foundation’s State Individual Income Tax Rates and Brackets for 2023 . Florida, Tennessee, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nevada, New Hampshire, Washington, and Alaska also don’t charge state income tax.

    If you’re moving from a state with high income taxes like New Jersey (top marginal rate, 10.75%) or California (top rate, 13.3%), then Texas might look like a pretty smart move.

    Miscellaneous Costs

    You’ve paid for the basics, and now it’s time to have a little fun. The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that every Texan spends $26,312 a year on personal expenditures.

    These are a few examples of what it can cost to check out Texas pleasures (costs are as of March 2023).

    •  Tickets to the Space Center Houston: $0 to $29.95, depending on age of visitor

    •  Family membership to the Houston Zoo: $189 or more, depending on pass type

    •  Dinner at fan favorite Goldee’s Bar-BQ: $16 for a half-pound brisket

    And remember the Alamo, in San Antonio. Church entry is free unless you want to book a tour.

    Recommended: What are the Average Monthly Expenses for a Single Person?

    How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Texas?

    Only you can decide what it truly means to live comfortably by your standards, but U.S. News & World Report’s Affordability Rankings , can give you a pretty good idea of how affordable a state is to live in.

    Texas lands 22nd on the list of 50, so it’s neither one of the hardest or easiest places in which to live comfortably. MERIC identified Texas as one of the more affordable states to live in, so depending on your lifestyle choices, Texas can be easy to live in comfortably.

    You’ll want to create a budget to make sure moving to Texas works out in your bank account’s favor.

    What City Has the Lowest Cost of Living in Texas?

    Digging through the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index (for the second quarter of 2022) yielded the three most affordable major cities in Texas.


    As of 2021, Harlingen had about 72,000 residents, yet it houses a major convention center and plenty of dining and shopping options. The research council found Harlingen to be Texas’ most affordable major city, with a cost-of-living index of 77.1. Redfin listed a typical home value in this city near the Mexican border at about $260,000 in early 2023.


    With a cost-of-living index of 79.3, McAllen is the second-most-affordable city in Texas. People travel from around the world to check out the more than 540 bird species and 330 butterfly species that live in this border city. There are also plenty of art and nightlife opportunities. Zillow gave a typical home price of $161,690 in early 2023, as noted above.


    If you’re looking for cowboy vibes, Amarillo (cost-of-living index of 84.2) might just be the perfect place for you to call home. This historic city is located where the southern plains meet the desert and is full of both working Western ranches and modern businesses. As noted above, Zillow listed a typical home price in Amarillo of about $192,835 in early 2023.

    SoFi Home Loans

    The Texas cost of living is lower than that of most other states. Good Tex-Mex, no state income tax, and moderate home prices beckon newcomers. Looking to make a move?

    Although there are many home loans on the market to choose from, SoFi offers a range of fixed-rate home loans at competitive interest rates and with as little as 5% down.

    You can check your rate in just two minutes.

    Learn More

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