Cost of Living in Texas

cost of living in Texas 2021

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    (Last Updated – 11/2021)

    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.

    Category

    Average Annual Per-Capita Cost in Texas

    Housing and Utilities

    $7,257

    Health Care

    $5,793

    Food and Beverages (non-restaurant)

    $3,309

    Gas and Energy Goods

    $812

    All Other Personal Expenditures

    $22,490

    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.

    Texas City

    Typical Home Price

    Dallas-Fort Worth

    $326,597

    Houston
    (Houston Housing Market Trends)

    $267,794

    San Antonio(San Antonio Housing Market Trends)

    $260,466

    Austin
    (Austin Housing Market Trends)

    $520,898

    El Paso

    $170,463

    McAllen

    $144,301

    Corpus Christi

    $197,681

    Brownsville

    $137,073

    Killeen

    $207,500

    Beaumont

    $147,310

    Lubbock

    $177,420

    Waco

    $216,293

    Amarillo

    $176,854

    Laredo

    $171,315

    College Station

    $236,851

    Longview

    $168,275

    Tyler

    $212,977

    Abilene

    $160,499

    Wichita Falls

    $130,541

    Odessa

    $175,427

    Midland

    $266,152

    Utility Costs in Texas

    Average Utility Costs in Texas: $395 per month

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

    Utility

    Average Texas Bill

    Electricity

    $132

    Gas

    $111

    Cable & Internet

    $115

    Water

    $37

    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.

    Texas City

    Grocery Items Index

    Harlingen

    78.2

    Waco

    78.6

    Temple

    80.0

    Cedar Park

    83.8

    Nacogdoches

    84.6

    McAllen

    84.9

    Corpus Christi

    88.0

    Odessa

    89.6

    San Antonio

    90.0

    Wichita Falls

    90.3

    Midland

    90.7

    San Marcos

    91.0

    Abilene

    91.1

    Austin

    91.1

    Tyler

    91.3

    Seguin

    91.6

    Conroe

    92.2

    Lubbock

    92.3

    Houston

    93.2

    Longview

    93.4

    Amarillo

    93.6

    Plano

    96.3

    Dallas
    (Dallas Housing Market Trends)

    98.1

    Texarkana

    98.2

    El Paso

    100.0

    Fort Worth

    102.7

    Transportation

    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.

    Family Makeup

    Average Annual Transportation Cost

    One adult, no children

    $5,113

    Two working adults, no children

    $9,378

    Two working adults, two children

    $13,896

    Health Care

    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.

    Child 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 .

    Type of Child Care

    Average Cost Per Month, Per Child

    Infant Classroom

    $1,254

    Toddler Classroom

    $816

    Home-based Family Child Care

    $1,258

    Taxes

    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 2021 . Florida, Tennessee, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nevada, 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 $22,490 a year on personal expenditures.

    These are a few examples of what it can cost to check out Texas pleasures (costs are as of Nov. 3, 2021).

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

    •  Family membership to the Houston Zoo: $179 or more, depending on pass type

    •  Dinner at fan favorite Goldee’s Bar-BQ: $10 for a chopped brisket sandwich

    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 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.

    Harlingen

    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.

    McAllen

    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.

    Amarillo

    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?

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