If you’re wondering how so many different kinds of people can love Texas, consider this: as a state large enough to fit 15 other states inside of it, Texas is really more like a country. Its culture and topography vary wildly from top to bottom and side to side, and unlike most other states, Texas contains a rare combination of desert, forrests, plains and coastline. 

Are you curious about the best places to live in Texas? Continue reading to learn about the best place to live in Texas for families, professionals and singles.

Where Is the Best Place to Live in Texas? It Depends on Your Needs

Like every other decision, the best place to live in Texas will depend on your individual needs and values. Whether you’re planning for a family, interested in starting a business or enjoying the single life, Texas has an ideal city for you. 

Best Places to Live in Texas for Families

  • Plano: Also located north of Dallas, this city of 287,000 is consistently rated as one of the best places to live in America, as well as the fifth safest city in the U.S. With 57% of Plano adults having a bachelor’s degree or higher, it’s easy to see why their slogan is “Smart People. Smart Place.” 
  • McAllen: Located at the southern tip of the Rio Grande Valley, McAllen is a subtropical city of about 150,000. Only 70 miles west of the Gulf of Mexico, the city offers plenty of outdoor and nature activities and is ranked the 9th safest city in the U.S.

Best Texas Cities for Professionals

  • Houston: As the fourth largest city in the U.S. and the largest in Texas, Houston is home to nearly 100,000 small businesses and prides itself on having an entrepreneurial spirit, a desire for innovation and worldwide competitiveness. Major oil company employers in Houston include ConocoPhillips, BP and Shell.
  • Austin: Texas’ capital city and home to nearly 1 million people may be primarily known for its music, but as of 2019, Austin outranked Silicon Valley as America’s number one city for startups. Austin serves as headquarters to (or hosts regional offices for) many big tech companies, including Apple, Dell, Facebook and IBM. 
  • Dallas/Fort Worth: The Dallas/Fort Worth area has one of the largest concentrations of corporate headquarters for publicly traded companies in the U.S. And as of 2020, it was home to 23 Fortune 500 companies in the greater metro area. If you’re climbing the corporate ladder, this is one of the best places in Texas to live. 

Best Cities in Texas for Singles

  • Houston: In 2020, a study by WalletHub ranked Houston as the best city in Texas for singles and 44th most single-friendly city in the U.S. Forty-five percent of adult Houstonians are unmarried and have never been married, widowed or divorced. Countless nightclubs and restaurants make it the perfect place for meeting your match. 
  • San Antonio: Alamo City comes in as the 48th best city for single people in the U.S. and the second best in Texas. Attractions like the San Antonio River Walk, Natural Bridge Caverns and the Japanese Tea Garden offer ample opportunities for a romantic adventure. 
  • Lubbock: Coming in at the 49th best city for singles in the U.S. and number three in Texas is the unassuming High Plains city of Lubbock. The city’s median age as of 2019 was 29.9 years old, and it has more Millennial home ownership than any other place in Texas. 

Most Affordable Places to Live in Texas

  • El Paso: In a 2019 study, El Paso was ranked as the most affordable major city in the U.S. with a $1,182 average monthly cost of living. In 2018, the city’s median home cost was $130,900, far below the then national median of $255,000. 
  • Galveston: This is about as cheap as beachfront living gets. In 2018, the city’s median property value was $144,000, much lower than the national median. 
  • Brownsville: The largest city in the Rio Grande Valley, Brownsville is extremely affordable, especially considering its proximity to South Padre Island. If we use 100 to indicate the median cost of housing across the U.S., Brownsville’s cost of housing index comes in at 75.5.

Top Texas Cities

Texas is full of gems, and while many cities offer a unique charm and set of attractions, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin continue to be the best places to live in Texas.

Living in Houston

Whether you’re initially drawn in by attractions like the Space Center, the Museum of Fine Arts, the city’s proximity to the beach or its world-renowned cuisine, Houston will give you plenty of reasons to call it one of the best places to live in Texas. This city is as diverse as it is large and truly offers something for everyone in its nine downtown districts

Living in San Antonio

San Antonio offers the charm of a historic city with all the flash of a large metropolis. Far from tourist-centered, San Antonio’s natives enjoy the River Walk and Missions National Historical Park, as well as the city’s many theme parks. Find your ideal neighborhood by examining the cost of living or looking at the most family-friendly areas.  

Living in Dallas

It’s not all Cowboys football and Real Housewives in this famous southern city. Between the Dallas World Aquarium, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, there are plenty of enriching experiences to go around. Far from exclusive, these hip Dallas neighborhoods will surprise you with their versatility. 

Living in Austin

Don’t let the “Keep Austin Weird” slogan deter you — this city has a ton to offer, even for normies. Not only is Austin the live music capital of the world, hosting festivals such as SXSW and Austin City Limits, but it also offers a plethora of green spaces, parks and nature centers the whole family can enjoy. Check out some of the coolest neighborhoods to call home. 

Moving to Texas

Unlike most states, it’s hard to go wrong in Texas. Whether you’re searching for a home you’ll someday pass down to your children, a city with fresh business opportunities or just a different pace, Texas has a city that’s right for you. 

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