Texas Cost of Living Rankings - 2014

Which cities in Texas are best for your budget and lifestyle—both personally and professionally? By carefully analyzing nine unique sets of demographics and realistic living situations, Fixr calculates affordability hyperlocally to give you the most applicable results for your bottom line. Our personalized rankings can help you quickly project your annual income and cost of living in 32 cities across Texas. Plus, our interactive maps let you easily explore the affordability of specific neighborhoods in each city. To get started, simply customize the following options according to your preferences.

Cost of Living ranking

Husband is an interpreter, age 26; and his wife is a personal care aide, aged 27. They have one child who is 2, and a Low-Cost Food Plan. They are seeking 1,750 square. feet with two or three bedrooms.

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Income:
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Young Family Affordability Rankings

Supported by emerging careers, our young family is headed by an interpreter and a personal care aide—a 26-year-old husband and his 27-year-old wife, respectively. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that over the next years, personal care aides and interpreters will remain two of the nation's fastest-growing careers, which suit the young parents who run our household. The family includes a 2-year-old child and maintains a Low-Cost Food Plan. In order to rank the cities according to annual affordability, we consider our young family's preferred housing characteristics: a house or an apartment that's 1,750 square feet, including two (or three) bedrooms, is a desirable home for our young family. Results are applicable to other households whose annual incomes fit within the range of earnings for the demographic.

We rank each city by calculating the percentage of affordable housing preferred by our young family. Cities are grouped into affordability brackets, based on the demographic's annual household income and realistic cost of living, and then sorted by discretionary income, which is the yearly amount remaining from earnings after covered expenses. Annual household income draws on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; and the realistic cost of living derives from our formula of seven factors—housing, food, utilities, child care, taxes, health care and transportation. Our full methodology is available here.

Analysis of the Rankings for All Cities in Texas

For our young family, housing affordability varies significantly between 32 cities in Texas with populations of 100,000 or more. Our calculations show that the demographic earns an annual household income from $50,680 (Waco) to $81,210 (Austin), generates a cost of living of between $54,937 (Waco) and $75,644 (Austin), and ends with a discretionary income of up to $12,429 (El Paso) or an annual loss of as much as $10,663 (Midland).

Our young family's annual expenses exceed earnings in 19 midsize cities, where affordability is less than 60%. Austin, one of 10 large cities, offers the highest income, but El Paso, where the affordability is more than 90%, provides the largest discretionary income, which derives from annual earnings after covered expenses. As a result, El Paso tops our rankings, and has an edge over Round Rock, Pasadena, Killeen, Wichita Falls and Abilene, all of which are midsize cities with housing affordability of more than 90%. The costliest cities—Odessa, Amarillo, Waco and Carrollton—have less than 10% of affordable housing units.

You can explore which neighborhoods are affordable and desirable to our target demographic by clicking on the names of each city above.

City Income Expenses Money left % affordable houses
#1 Lindale $80,420 $67,099 $13,322 90% - 100%
#2 Elgin $81,470 $68,335 $13,136 90% - 100%
#3 El Paso $78,823 $66,394 $12,429 90% - 100%
#4 Tyler $79,682 $67,307 $12,375 90% - 100%
#5 Taylor $81,470 $70,408 $11,063 90% - 100%
#6 Spring $74,640 $63,864 $10,777 90% - 100%
#7 Georgetown $80,825 $70,749 $10,076 90% - 100%
#8 Round Rock $81,062 $71,181 $9,882 90% - 100%
#9 Humble $74,640 $64,888 $9,753 90% - 100%
#10 Magnolia $74,640 $65,316 $9,325 90% - 100%
#11 Rio Grande City $64,820 $55,608 $9,213 90% - 100%
#12 Bryan $73,670 $64,594 $9,077 90% - 100%
#13 Dayton $74,640 $65,591 $9,050 90% - 100%
#14 Cleveland $74,640 $65,617 $9,024 90% - 100%
#15 Angleton $74,640 $65,960 $8,681 90% - 100%
#16 El Campo $64,820 $56,160 $8,661 90% - 100%
#17 Missouri City $74,640 $66,008 $8,633 90% - 100%
#18 Baytown $74,420 $66,083 $8,338 90% - 100%
#19 Katy $74,640 $66,509 $8,132 90% - 100%
#20 Freeport $71,410 $63,327 $8,083 90% - 100%
#21 Pearland $74,640 $66,586 $8,055 90% - 100%
#22 College Station $73,670 $65,627 $8,043 90% - 100%
#23 Conroe $74,640 $66,878 $7,763 90% - 100%
#24 La Porte $74,640 $66,963 $7,678 90% - 100%
#25 Henderson $67,960 $60,603 $7,358 90% - 100%
#26 Pasadena $74,146 $66,813 $7,334 90% - 100%
#27 Richmond $74,640 $67,732 $6,909 90% - 100%
#28 Seabrook $74,640 $67,789 $6,852 90% - 100%
#29 Athens $64,820 $58,722 $6,099 90% - 100%
#30 Gilmer $67,960 $62,250 $5,711 90% - 100%
#31 Jacksonville $64,820 $59,423 $5,398 90% - 100%
#32 Sugar Land $74,640 $70,113 $4,528 90% - 100%
#33 Galveston $74,387 $70,014 $4,373 90% - 100%
#34 Texarkana $62,880 $58,617 $4,264 90% - 100%
#35 Killeen $63,003 $59,033 $3,970 90% - 100%
#36 Longview $67,517 $63,686 $3,831 90% - 100%
#37 Wichita Falls $63,240 $59,417 $3,824 90% - 100%
#38 Gatesville $62,820 $59,070 $3,751 90% - 100%
#39 Abilene $64,544 $60,832 $3,712 90% - 100%
#40 Huntsville $64,820 $61,118 $3,703 90% - 100%
#41 Brownwood $64,820 $61,306 $3,515 90% - 100%
#42 Red Oak $62,440 $58,932 $3,509 90% - 100%
#43 Kingsville $64,820 $61,487 $3,334 90% - 100%
#44 Universal City $69,970 $66,730 $3,241 90% - 100%
#45 Houston $74,576 $68,204 $6,373 80% - 90%
#46 Austin $81,210 $75,644 $5,566 80% - 90%
#47 Bay City $64,820 $60,203 $4,618 80% - 90%
#48 San Antonio $69,924 $67,118 $2,806 80% - 90%
#49 Beaumont $64,370 $61,649 $2,722 80% - 90%
#50 Temple $62,978 $61,029 $1,949 80% - 90%
#51 Edinburg $59,060 $57,543 $1,518 80% - 90%
#52 Vidor $64,370 $61,993 $2,378 70% - 80%
#53 Weslaco $59,060 $57,607 $1,454 70% - 80%
#54 Fort Worth $62,465 $61,496 $970 70% - 80%
#55 Mesquite $62,440 $61,508 $933 70% - 80%
#56 Weatherford $62,603 $62,037 $567 70% - 80%
#57 Port Arthur $64,370 $61,988 $2,383 60% - 70%
#58 Marshall $64,820 $62,703 $2,118 60% - 70%
#59 Victoria $64,820 $63,879 $942 60% - 70%
#60 Arlington $62,454 $61,777 $678 60% - 70%
#61 New Braunfels $69,970 $69,364 $607 60% - 70%
#62 San Benito $55,190 $55,127 $64 60% - 70%
#63 Port Lavaca $64,820 $67,349 - $2,528 60% - 70%
#64 Alice $64,820 $61,729 $3,092 50% - 60%
#65 Del Rio $64,820 $64,236 $585 50% - 60%
#66 Grand Prairie $62,481 $62,515 - $34 50% - 60%
#67 McAllen $59,060 $59,379 - $318 50% - 60%
#68 Garland $62,440 $62,798 - $357 50% - 60%
#69 Mercedes $59,060 $58,637 $424 40% - 50%
#70 Laredo $63,681 $63,729 - $48 40% - 50%
#71 Harlingen $56,109 $56,457 - $347 40% - 50%
#72 Mission $59,060 $59,577 - $516 40% - 50%
#73 North Richland Hills $62,440 $63,028 - $587 40% - 50%
#74 Dallas $62,451 $64,502 - $2,051 40% - 50%
#75 San Angelo $63,180 $63,579 - $398 30% - 40%
#76 Fredericksburg $64,820 $65,644 - $823 30% - 40%
#77 Brownsville $55,308 $56,502 - $1,194 30% - 40%
#78 McKinney $62,440 $64,086 - $1,645 30% - 40%
#79 Irving $62,647 $64,866 - $2,219 20% - 30%
#80 Denton $62,440 $65,182 - $2,741 20% - 30%
#81 Robstown $62,660 $79,560 - $16,899 20% - 30%
#82 Lubbock $52,430 $55,207 - $2,776 10% - 20%
#83 Corpus Christi $62,716 $65,851 - $3,135 10% - 20%
#84 Richardson $62,440 $65,987 - $3,546 10% - 20%
#85 Plano $62,440 $66,290 - $3,849 10% - 20%
#86 Midland $64,830 $75,494 - $10,663 10% - 20%
#87 Flower Mound $62,440 $64,861 - $2,420 0% - 10%
#88 Lewisville $62,440 $64,867 - $2,426 0% - 10%
#89 Carrollton $62,440 $65,384 - $2,944 0% - 10%
#90 Amarillo $52,297 $56,271 - $3,973 0% - 10%
#91 Waco $50,680 $54,937 - $4,256 0% - 10%
#92 Odessa $63,655 $73,800 - $10,145 0% - 10%