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If you’re looking to move to a state with gainful employment, look to Texas. Texas saw an 8.8% annualized rate of employment growth in September 2021, 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: $39,661 per year
When it comes to expenses in this sprawling state, MERIC data found that Texans enjoy the 15th lowest cost of living in the country.
Other Southwestern states like Arizona (36th) and Utah (31st) have a much higher cost of living, but New Mexico comes in strong as the state with the 10th lowest cost of living.
So how much does it cost to live in Texas? According to 2020 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis the average total personal consumption cost in Texas is $39,661 per year. Here’s how that breaks down.
Average Annual Per-Capita Cost in Texas
Housing and Utilities
Food and Beverages (non-restaurant)
Gas and Energy Goods
All Other Personal Expenditures
That’s $3,305 a month, per person, on average.
Housing Costs in Texas
Average Housing Costs in Texas: $900 to $1,641 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 $267,523 in October 2021, according to Zillow.
Here’s what it looks like to rent or own on a monthly basis in Texas, per 2019 data from the U.S. Census Bureau:
• Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,244
• Median studio rent: $900
• Median one-bedroom rent: $954
• Median two-bedroom rent: $1,083
• Median three-bedroom rent: $1,268
• Median four-bedroom rent: $1,641
• Median gross rent: $1,091
Texas is a huge state. Let’s take a look at housing prices for just 20 cities, courtesy of Zillow data sourced in September 2021.
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; Inspirecleanenergy.com; DoxoInsights, U.S. Cable & Internet Market Size and Household Spending Report 2021; and Rentcafe.com, What Is the Average Water Bill?
Groceries & Food
Average Grocery & Food Costs in Texas: $275.75 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 $3,309 a year on non-restaurant sustenance, or about $276 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 2021. Below, the findings are ranked from lowest to highest.
Average Transportation Costs in Texas: $5,113 to $13,896 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.
Average Annual Transportation Cost
One adult, no children
Two working adults, no children
Two working adults, two children
Average Health Care Costs in Texas: $5,793 per person, per year
Each Texan spends about $5,793 a year on health care, according to the 2020 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.
Average Child Care Costs in Texas: $816 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 costofchildcare.org .
Texas lands 22nd on the list of 50, so it’s neither one of the hardest nor 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 2021) yielded the three most affordable major cities in Texas.
As of 2019, Harlingen had just shy of 65,000 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 77.3. Zillow listed a typical home value in this city near the Mexican border at about $140,000 in late 2021.
With a cost-of-living index of 77.7, 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 $144,301 in late 2021, as noted above.
If you’re looking for cowboy vibes, Amarillo (cost-of-living index of 81.7) 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 $176,800 in late 2021.
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.
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