Everyone is moving to the Lone Star State, but what are the best places to live in Texas? As a state, Texas has a ton of things going for it.

From Austin to Dallas and Houston to San Antonio, Texas weather is awesome year-round.

Likewise, the top Texas cities offer more affordable real estate compared to most states in America.

In this list, we’ll cover the 12 best cities to live in Texas for families looking for more land and square footage. Find out how to measure square footage like a professional contractor!

best places to live in texas 2023

Moreover, we’ll compare the cost of living, median household income, and home values in each Texas city.

Looking for the best places to live in Texas near water? We will also dive into the best cities for families, young adults, or retirees who want to live near lakes or beaches. Certainly a consideration for those moving to Texas because of the warm weather year-round.

Ultimately, we want to provide insights to help you decide which Texan city offers the best quality of life for you.

Top Cities In Texas Criteria

Our criteria for ranking the best cities to live in Texas include the area’s popularity, economic growth rate, and crime rates.

We prioritized the safest and best cities for families as well as access to culture and entertainment for young professionals and entrepreneurs. Additional city ranking factors are highlighted at the end of this list.

Texas Crime Rates

Though big cities have the reputation of being more unsafe, Texas does offer options that provide the contrary. You don’t have to give up the luxuries of city life to feel at ease or raise a family.

Areas like Plano and Dallas, TX have surprisingly low crime rates for their size. Accordingly, both places have been ranked very highly for growing families.

As a result, we considered crime rates when creating this list. Safety is important to young adults and growing families. This is why we prioritized cities that experienced fewer crimes than the national average.

Certainly, the Lone Star State is vast in both size and popular cities to choose from for new homeowners or visitors.

We hope that you’ll find something that catches your eye in this quintessential list of the best 12 cities to live in Texas in 2023.

1. Dallas

Dallas, TX is one of the best cities for families in Texas and is our #1 best place to live in the state of 2023. Indeed, Dallas is North Texas’s economic and cultural hub.

Despite being a major city, it has lower crime rates than the national average of other large cities. This Texas city offers affordable real estate and a growing job market, and it ranks as America’s 13th-best city for overall healthcare.

Fort Worth, Dallas, and Arlington combine to make up the entire Dallas metroplex, also known as DFW. With a population of 7,637,387 Texans, DFW is the most populous metropolitan area in Texas and the Southern United States.

dallas texas top place to live

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City Of Dallas, TX Stats:

  • Zillow Dallas Home Value: $302,809 (+21.3% over last year)
  • Dallas Population (City): 1,304,379 (2020)
  • Monthly Mortgage Payments: $1,870 (Median)

Not to mention, Dallas is the fourth-largest metro in the entire US, right behind Chicagoland. The massive DFW metro area spans across Dallas County into Collin, Denton, Kaufman, and Rockwell Counties.

Similar to Austin, this part of Texas isn’t what you might expect.

Accordingly, the city doesn’t fit into the rural cowboy stereotype. Now, if you aren’t looking for the big city feel, it has plenty of surrounding suburbs to choose from.

Here are two of the most popular Dallas suburbs, perfect for families or young professionals looking for a house.

Let’s help you find the perfect DFW neighborhood for your family. We ranked the top Dallas suburbs this year to make it easy for you to compare!

Plano, Texas

One notable Dallas suburb is Plano, TX. With a population of 284,467 residents, this neighborhood ranks as one of the safest places to live in all of Texas. The area is very family-friendly for several reasons.

First, it has highly-rated public schools and wonderful parks or bike trails to entertain kids and adults alike. It also has its downtown feel with restaurants, shopping, and entertainment.

As a result, this city has a little bit of everything to offer for any age group.

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plano texas top city for families

Southlake, TX

You may have never heard of our next Dallas suburb, Southlake. This area is more rural than Plano, which may give more of a small-town feel.

Similar to Plano it has great schools, a low crime rate, and good nightlife.

As a result, you just have to ask yourself how much space you are looking for. Southlake, TX has more land to offer which appeals to those looking for spacious real estate.

Contrary to Plano, Southlake is one of the most expensive areas to live in Texas. The average home price is just over one million dollars.

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2. Austin

Next on our list is Austin, the capital of Texas. Austin is located inland in central Texas, just over a 3 hour’s drive south of Dallas. Notably, it is the fastest-growing city in the US and the live music capital of the world.

Likewise, the city is home to the University of Texas, whose nationally recognized athletic program is part of the Big 12 Conference.  

This metro area offers lively nightlife, beautiful river walks, and great biking paths. As a result, Austin is a popular destination for many young professionals and young families.

Furthermore, this city is considered to be the next Silicon Valley, drawing a large population of homeowners and renters from California.

austin texas fastest growing city

Austin, Texas Stats:

  • Average Home Value: $543,380 (Zillow 2023)
  • Economic Mobility: 21% (households that have moved in or moved out in the previous year)
  • Median Monthly Mortgage: $1,909

Although Austin is a very popular Texan city, you will find that the rest of the state is very different from its city limits. This isn’t surprising as Austin has the youngest average homeowner age (47.58 years old) across the 50 largest metro areas in the US.

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3. Houston

Third, on our list is Houston, TX. Not only is this the largest city in Texas, but it’s also home to the second most Fortune 500 companies in America. Similar to Austin, this city is very popular among first-time entrepreneurs and young professionals.

This major Texas city is also home to NASA’s astronaut training and flight control complex. Love culture and the arts? While relatively compact, Downtown Houston is known for its Historic District and renowned Theater District.

houston texas favorite cities

Area Stats For Houston:

  • US Census Population: 6,884,138
  • Typical Home Price: $319,339
  • Average Monthly Rent: $1,101

No question, Houston offers a promising job market and a bustling metro area. On the other hand, this big Texas city comes with humid summers and a higher cost of living. Also, if you are an avid sports fan, you will likely feel at home here. There are six professional sports teams to follow all year round. This includes the Astros (MLB) and the NFL’s Houston Texans.

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4. San Antonio

Next up on our list, is San Antonio, which is the home of the Alamo.

If you are unfamiliar with the Alamo it is an 18th-century Spanish mission preserved as a museum that marks an infamous 1836 battle for Texan independence from Mexico. Located in south-central Texas, this city has a bit more of a Hispanic influence. As a result, Mexican food tastes more authentic here.

san antonio river walk top attraction

Unlike other big cities in Texas, San Antonio is more appealing to every age demographic. First, it offers above-average public schools and Six Flags Fiesta Texas for family fun. Secondly, it offers a variety of restaurants, bars, and entertainment making it a great place for young adults.

About San Antonio, TX:

  • 2022 Average House Price: $281,301
  • San Antonio City Population: 1,598,964
  • Monthly Mortgage Payment: $1,038.47 (Average)

Why Are People Moving to Texas?

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and its recent population growth is no different. Indeed, Texas ranks as the second most moved-to state in the United States. More specifically, people are relocating in droves from states like California, Florida, and Illinois.

According to Texas census data, geographic mobility (or percentage of move-ins or move-outs) in the state has hit 15%. This means that a higher percentage of the population has relocated in the last year than the national average of 13.7%. Given these stats, here are some of the top reasons why people are moving to Texas.

  1. Moving Closer To Family and Friends: With over 30 million people in Texas, chances are you have a friend or family member who calls the Jumbo State home
  2. Texas Weather: With a normal average temperature of 65.3 degrees Fahrenheit across the state
  3. Job Opportunities: Texas has recently experienced an influx of Fortune 500 companies which bring new jobs and economic opportunities
  4. Affordable Houses in Texas: Housing is cheap and the cost of living is relatively low in the Longhorn State

No doubt, there are tons of pros and cons to moving to any state in North America. However, the benefits of moving to Texas far outweigh the drawbacks for many out-of-towners.

If you are looking for a major city that isn’t as big as Dallas or Houston but still offers diversity and attractions, San Antonio is a great option.

5. Arlington, TX

If you can’t decide between Dallas or Fort Worth then Arlington is the Texas city for you. Arlington, TX is right in between these two big cities and will likely give you a small-town feel in comparison.

It still offers its own University of Texas and beautiful river walks while having a significantly smaller population. As a result, the cost of living is lower here than in other parts of the state. Home of the Dallas Cowboys and Six Flags, Arlington has some big perks for a small city.

arlington texas great place to live

More Arlington, TX Information:

  • Estimated Population: 395,477 (2019)
  • Typical Home Value: $309,486 (+27.8% one-year change)
  • Median Monthly Mortgage: $1,517

All in all, if you are looking for a place close to a bigger city that still offers some privacy you may want to look into Arlington. This spot ranks as a top place to live on more lists than ours.

Speaking of big cities, if you are moving to the Midwest, check out our favorite Chicagoland suburbs list.

6. Fort Worth

The other half of Texas’s metroplex is Fort Worth, Texas. Unlike its counterpart, Fort Worth can cater to cowboys and city folk alike. As a result, it has a variety of unique restaurants, coffee shops, and shops.

fort worth texas tourist attraction

City of Fort Worth, TX:

  • Population: 43,212
  • Annual Property Tax (Median): $8,561
  • Median Household Income: $115,951
  • Average Home Value: $332,300

Unlike Austin, you’ll run into ranchers and cowboys enjoying the area as well. This is a great place if you want to experience a taste of what living in a southern community is like. Moreover, the city’s real estate market offers great options for renters and first-time homeowners as well. Unquestionably, there are tons of styles and architectural designs to choose from in Forth Worth, TX.

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7. Irving, Texas

Another popular in the Lone Star State is Irving, Texas. Notably, Irving ranks as one of the top 30 cities in the US to buy a home for several reasons. First, it is 15 minutes away from all that the big city of Dallas has to offer.

Second, it is a very suburban area with highly-rated public schools. Altogether, you can enjoy a more private suburban life without having to sacrifice proximity to food and entertainment options. Irving residents enjoy a higher quality of life making it another fast-growing Texan city.

irving tx best places for families

More About Irving, TX:

  • Irving Population: 239,783 (2019)
  • House Value: $317,855 (+20.7% year-over-year)
  • Residents Born Outside of the County: 38.4%

A great perk of living here is its cultural diversity. Irvine, TX ranks as the 2nd best city for diversity throughout the US. As a result, you can enjoy the many benefits of various cultures all in one spot. You’ll find more authentic food, different types of artistic expression, and expansive education.

8. Corpus Christi

Are you looking for a hint of island life? Corpus Christi, TX is just that! Specifically, it is located on the Gulf of Mexico and is a very popular spot for spring breakers. Not to mention, there is a vibrant nightlife to pair with some of the best weather Texas has to offer.

corpus christi tx water town

More Corpus Christi Info:

  • Corpus Christi TX Population: 325,780 (2019)
  • Typical Home Value: $206,153 (+14.4% change year-over-year)
  • Median Household Income: $55,564

The breeze from the water keeps this area a bit cooler than inland. The summer highs usually don’t exceed 90 degrees and winter doesn’t usually drop below 62 degrees. Whether you are a young professional or looking to settle down with your family, Corpus Christi is a great option.

9. Beaumont, TX

Next, we have Beaumont which is one of the most affordable Texas cities on this list. Accordingly, Beaumont’s housing expenses are 10% lower than the national average.  As the smallest city on our list, this is a great spot to live for art lovers. It features art museums, live music, and live performances at the historic Jefferson Theater. Additionally, there are parks and gardens to enjoy the fresh air and great tourist attractions.

beaumont texas popular city

Local Data for Beaumont, Texas:

  • 2019 Population: 118,151
  • Average Home Value: $139,746 (+6.7% one-year trend)
  • Cost of Living Index: 78.3 (22.6% more affordable than TX state avg)

Whether you are looking for a weekend getaway or a place to settle down, Beaumont has great Texas weather without the big city feel.

A fun fact that many may not know about Beaumont, is that oil was discovered here. It is also home to the original world’s largest working fire hydrant. Beaumont may be small but it is a mighty Texan city!

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10. Frisco, TX

A city that has been overshadowed in the last year by Austin is Frisco, TX. Make no mistake Frisco, Texas is still a top place to live. In 2018, Money Magazine named it the number-one destination to live in America.

Indeed, Frisco is the second safest city in Texas, right after Plano. In fact, Frisco, Texas is the 14th overall safest city in the entire United States. As a result, many families seek to take advantage of the real estate available.

Additionally, Frisco is one of the wealthiest cities in the country but has one of the lowest costs of living.

frisco texas top cities to live in

Comparing Frisco, Texas Stats:

  • Frisco Population: 177,020 (2019)
  • 2022 Home Value: $643,488 (+38.4% one-year change)
  • Typical Household Income: $124,829

Now, Frisco is more expensive than your average city in Texas. Likewise, it’s one of the hottest real estate markets. This makes buying a house in Frisco is very competitive. Not surprisingly, home prices have risen over 30% since last year.

This suburb of Dallas is near all of the action and nightlife, without being right in the center. If you aren’t against a short commute for a day or night out, Frisco will prove to be an appealing option.

11. Denton, TX

Another quickly growing hot spot near Dallas is Denton, Texas. This college city has all of the Texan charms with a vibrant cowboy scene and popular live music festivals. Notably, it offers a great higher education system with two colleges in the city. It is home to the University of North Texas and Texas Women’s University.

Additionally, it has preserved its historic downtown area while making it a popular destination for shopping, entertainment, and restaurants. Specifically, Denton has a very lively Jazz community that attracts tourists.

denton texas towns near dallas

Area Stats For Denton Texas:

  • Population: 136,195 (2019)
  • Value of Average Home: $362,912 (+30.5% 1-year change)
  • Denton Crime Rates: Higher Than 73% of Cities in Texas

In addition, because Denton is a college city the average age is a bit younger than the rest of Texas. This is a popular place for students to stay for a few years after college. As a result, the average age is 29 in Denton, TX. Lastly, compared to all other cities and towns in Texas, Denton is a bit more dangerous.

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12. El Paso

Last but not least we have El Paso, TX. A number of reasons that set this city apart from the rest of the cities on our list. First, El Paso is only 9 miles from the Mexican border making it the furthest South. Secondly, it is the only city that runs on Mountain Time.

el paso texas popular area

About El Paso, TX:

  • Population: 679,813 (2019)
  • El Paso Home Values: $184,424 (+18.6% year-over-year)
  • Poverty Rate: 18.6% (13th highest among all large U.S. cities)

The cost of living is also very affordable in comparison to the rest of Texas. The average rent price comes in at $917, almost half as in other more expensive cities. If you are looking for open space to buy land along with a home, El Paso is the city for you. The tradeoff is that you may just have to deal with hotter summers than you are used to.

More Texas City Ranking Factors

In addition to the ranking criteria outlined at the beginning of our list, we have a few other factors we considered.

First, diversity and subsequent cultural expression are important ranking factors for the cities that made our list. Many cities not only offer ethnic restaurants but also art galleries and live performances. Most importantly, the Texas towns that made our list are working to provide equal access to opportunities and resources for all residents.

Popular For Tourism

Secondly, we looked at cities that have had an uptick in tourism. Certain areas have become more popular vacation destinations than others.

First, COVID caused a lot of families to seek out locations with more outdoor entertainment options.

Whether you are looking for a scenic bike ride or river walk, or you’re hoping for authentic cuisine and lively nightlife there is something on this list for you.

Trending Texas Cities

In terms of popularity, we looked at how many are moving into the city and recent search trends on Google.

Next, we looked at economic growth rates and found that Elon Musk isn’t the only entrepreneur moving to Texas. Many Fortune 500 companies have made various cities in Texas their new headquarters. Subsequently, there have been more job opportunities, salary competition, and roles for employees to grow into.

Starting A Business In Texas

We also considered what business growth might look like for entrepreneurs in these cities. High populations, fewer regulations or taxes, and a lower cost of living make these cities great for new business owners. Young professionals have flocked to the potential economic success that these Texan cities have to offer.

Lastly, cities that have had more development and invested in the upkeep of their area have also attracted more tourists and newcomers. As a result, we factored in which Texas metros have prioritized real estate growth and maintenance which has increased their popularity.

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Favorite Texas Cities FAQs

What are the most expensive areas to live in Texas?

If you are looking at cost of living then Dallas-Fort Worth and the surrounding areas may be the most expensive. Austin is also growing very rapidly. Accordingly, the cost of living is rising as more people move here. We also looked at the average cost of homes and the number of millionaires per capita. Using these as a ranking factor, the top three most expensive cities are Southlake, Bellaire, and Fredericksburg, TX.

Why are homes less expensive in Texas?

There are a number of reasons why houses are less expensive in Texas. First, the state taxes are low in Texas. Next, certain building materials, such as sand and concrete, are more readily available and thus cheaper. Thirdly, Texas has relaxed building codes and a milder climate that allows for faster home building. With a higher supply of homes, the cost goes down. Making homes in Texas less expensive compared to other states.

What big companies are moving to Texas and why?

You may have heard that many big companies, especially in tech, are moving their headquarters to Texas. A few of those companies are Oracle, Hewlett Packard, Venture, Amazon, and Tesla. Similar to why homeowners have made the move to Texas, taxes are lower. Likewise, the cost of living is significantly lower in comparison to other big cities in the United States outside of Texas.

What is the nicest city in Texas?

When moving to Texas, people love to move to Dallas, Austin, or Houston. But what are some other “underrated” cities that people also love? People think Corpus Christi is the most luxurious city to live in Texas. Corpus Christi is a wonderful city filled with a beautiful beach town aesthetic as well as brilliantly designed homes. Here, people love a plethora of ocean activities such as kiteboarding, windsurfing, kite flying, and sailing.

What are the top attractions in Texas?

If you are planning a trip to Texas, there is a lot to see and do. One of the most popular attractions is the San Antonio River Walk. It is lined with restaurants and twinkling lights at night. Many tourists like to enjoy a sailboat cruise if they aren’t up for the walk. Next on the list, is The Alamo, which became famous during the Texas Revolution. This historic site has been restored beautifully and attracts tourists throughout the year. The list continues with the Space Center in Houston, Big Bend National Park, and Padre Island.

How much is it to buy a house in Texas?

If you are looking to buy a house in Texas, the average price ranges from $224,500 to $339,900.

A photograph of the author Andre Kazimierski
Written by
Andre Kazimierski
Founder, Improovy
Years Painting Experience
Houses Painted
More about the author
I have been building and scaling successful home service businesses for the past 17 years. Growing up in Chicago, I saw the struggles of contractors and small business owners first-hand. Having spent most of my life in home improvement, I founded Improovy to help bring trust back to the trades.

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