Are you thinking about relocating to Dallas? It seems like everyone is moving to Dallas thanks to the city’s affordable cost of living, plentiful jobs, and world-class attractions. Dallas, also known as the Big D, is at the heart of the DFW Metroplex and known for the Dallas Cowboys, cultural attractions like the Sixth Floor Museum and Dallas Arboretum, and its urban arts district. Dallas living isn’t just affordable – it’s one of the best cities for sports with exciting nightlife, a great zoo and aquarium, and dozens of amazing museums with a very active art scene.
Here’s a look at the top living in Dallas pros and cons plus everything you have to look forward to in the DFW area!
Table of Contents
Where Is Dallas?
Dallas is in North Texas mostly in Dallas County with portions in Rockwall, Kaufman, Denton, and Collin counties. The city was founded on the Trinity River at a “white rock crossing” where wagons could cross easily before bridges and ferries were built.
- Dallas to Houston: 240 miles
- Dallas to Austin: 195 miles
- Dallas to Shreveport, LA: 188 miles
Dallas Quick Facts
- Counties: Dallas, Denton, Collin, Kaufman, and Rockwall
- Area: 386 square miles
- Zip codes: 84 Dallas zip codes between 75201 and 75398
- Area codes: 214, 469, 945 & 972
- Elevation: 430 feet
- Time zone: UTC-06:00 (Central Standard Time)
- Airports: Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL)
Dallas Population & Demographics
How many people live in Dallas TX? The population of Dallas is 1,304,379 according to the 2020 Census, up from 1.197 million in 2010. That’s an impressive 8.9% population gain in just 10 years, but Dallas suburbs saw even more substantial growth. Dallas is the largest city in Dallas County, the third largest city in Texas after Houston and San Antonio, and the 9th largest city in the U.S.
Dallas is the largest city in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex, the country’s 4th largest metro area. The DFW metroplex population is 7.637 million. About 1 out of every 4 Texans live in the DFW area. It was the fastest growing metro area in the country between 2020 and 2021, according to the Census Bureau, with the DFW areas of Kaufman and Rockwall counties growing by more than 37%! The Dallas Fort Worth area grew by more than 1.2 million people in a single decade.
The North Texas area isn’t just growing; it’s also becoming more diverse. Dallas is the 4th most diverse city in the United States in terms of religious, household, economic, cultural, and socioeconomic terms. Dallas has one of America’s largest LGBT communities. It’s a minority-majority city with a racial and ethnic composition that’s 42.3% Hispanic of any race, 28.1% non-Hispanic white, 22.9% Black or African American, and 3.7% Asian. The Dallas population is 35.5% Mexican followed by Puerto Rican (0.4%) and Cuban (0.2%).
Dallas has a large population of Russian speakers estimated at 70,000 in 2012. The DFW area is home to a large Asian American population as well. The suburb of Plano has the 6th largest population of Chinese Americans plus about 30,000 Iranian Americans. The city gained more Black and African American residents between 2000 and 2010 than any other city besides Atlanta with many immigrating from Ethiopia, Somalia, and Eritrea.
Additional Dallas demographics:
- Median age: 33
- Sex ratio: 50% female, 50% male over 18
- Median household income: $54,747
- Poverty rate: 18%
- Homeownership rate: 41% (65% nationwide)
- Educational attainment: 35% bachelor’s degree or higher
- Foreign-born population: 23.9% (13.5% nationwide)
Getting Around Dallas | Airport, Major Highways & Dallas Public Transportation
After moving to Dallas, TX, you’ll get around mostly by car with four major interstate highways serving the city: Interstates 45, 20, 30, and 30E. The greater Dallas area is encircled by the tolled President George Bush Turnpike with the I-635 loop around downtown.
Dallas has a good public transportation system. The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system is the fastest growing rapid transit network in the country and the largest light rail operator. It’s the 7th busiest light rail system in the U.S. with 4 light rail lines and a commuter line.
DART provides heavy bus and light rail service to downtown and surrounding neighborhoods with service to many Dallas suburbs. It connects to the DFW International Airport and the Trinity Rail Express (TRE) which then connects to The T for the Fort Worth area.
While living in Dallas, Texas, you will be served by the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, an American Airlines hub and the 2nd busiest airport in the world with 62.5 million passengers per year. The Dallas Love Field Airport is the city-owned public airport just outside downtown and a major Southwest Airlines base.
Dallas Cost of Living – How Much Does it Cost to Live in Dallas?
What is the cost of living in Dallas Texas? Before moving to Dallas, you’ll want to know what to expect.
The Dallas Texas cost of living index is 103.5 or 3.5% above the national average. By comparison, the Texas cost of living index is 92. Dallas is an affordable place to live, especially for a large city! Groceries and utilities are close to the national average while transportation costs are 10% lower.
According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, a family of four would need to earn $22.95 per hour with two wage-earners or $36.50 an hour with one working adult. The cost of living in Dallas for single person is $17.03 an hour.
Another helpful tool is the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator which estimates the typical family of four would need to earn $6,851 or $82,000 per year to afford a modest Dallas lifestyle.
Doxo reports the cost of living in Dallas Texas based on average monthly bill costs using vast user data:
- Average monthly bills in Dallas: $2,013 (0.5% higher than national average)
- Average utilities in Dallas Texas: $261 per month ($328 national average)
- Average rent in Dallas: $1,095 ($1,129 national average)
- Average mortgage payment: $1,845 ($1,368 national average)
- Average car insurance premium: $122 per month ($196 national average)
Dallas Cost of Living Comparison
|Dallas vs Houston Cost of Living||Austin vs Dallas Cost of Living||Dallas vs Atlanta Cost of Living|
|Median home price||$455,000||$330,000||$630,000||$420,000|
Housing plays a huge role in the cost of living in Dallas which we’ll explore in more detail.
DFW Housing Market – Average Rent & Dallas House Prices
Planning to buy a house after relocating to Dallas, Texas? Be prepared for competition in the Dallas real estate market.
The average home price in Dallas is $455,000. That’s up 13.5% year-over-year, but doesn’t compare to the shocking price jump in 2021. Homes sell in a median of 15 days on the market with 63% of homes selling above list price.
In 2021, Dallas home prices experienced the fastest growth on record with the typical home price rising from $275,500 at the start of the year to $345,000 by the end of 2021.
Don’t forget to consider Dallas Texas property tax before buying a home. The average effective property tax rate was 1.36% in 2021 with an average property tax bill of $6,033. Collin County homeowners paid even more with an average bill of $7,107.
You can see Dallas homes for sale here to get an idea of what you can get with your budget.
Planning to rent? The average rent in Dallas is $1,475 according to RentCafe, below the national average! Of course, average rent varies significantly by neighborhood with rent below $1,000 in dozens of neighborhoods and as high as $2,900 in desirable Dallas neighborhoods like Grammercy Place and Brighton Lofts.
Best Neighborhoods in Dallas – Where to Live for Families & Young Professionals
Ready to explore where to live in Dallas? You’ll find something for everyone from family-friendly neighborhoods and master-planned communities with great amenities to exciting and walkable communities for millennials and young professionals.
Here are some of the best places to live in Dallas you’ll want to explore!
White Rock – Nicest Neighborhood in Dallas for Outdoor Recreation
Want to be close to the best outdoor recreation in Dallas? The White Rock neighborhood is adjacent to White Rock Lake, the only lake in the city, with biking and jogging trails and water recreation. You’ll find many beautiful Tudor and Craftsman homes as well as waterfront homes that sell for millions. As an added bonus for families, the White Rock neighborhood is in one of the best school districts in Dallas.
Preston Hollow – One of the Top Dallas Upscale Neighborhoods
Located in one of the best areas of North Dallas Preston Hollow is home to some of the richest and most famous people in Dallas with homes priced at more than $20 million – as well as modest ranch homes. The neighborhood is near some of the best private schools in Dallas and excellent shopping including NorthPark Center and Preston Center. The neighborhood is served by Hillcrest High School, one of the best public high schools in America.
Oak Cliff – One of the Best Neighborhoods in Dallas for Young Professionals
Oak Cliff was once an independent city southwest of downtown Dallas. Now a large district of the city, it has a population of 275,000 with many diverse neighborhoods including some of the trendiest Dallas neighborhoods and one of the best schools in the United States.
The Bishop Arts District is one of the hippest places to live in Dallas with a walkable neighborhood, street art, small boutiques, and mid-century homes.
Uptown – Great Neighborhood for Dallas Nightlife
Uptown is a Central Dallas neighborhood and the most walkable place to live, work, and play. It boasts new luxury apartments in gorgeous high rises, trendy bars and restaurants, and great shopping. The northern section near Knox Street has many townhomes and a large population of young professionals in their 30s while the McKinney Avenue stretch is the center of nightlife with lots of 20-something singles.
Commuters can appreciate the community’s strategic location along Spur 366, U.S. 75, I-345, and I-35E.
Lake Highlands – One of the Best Dallas Neighborhoods for Families
Located in northeast Dallas, Lake Highlands is close to White Rock Lake and comprised of dozens of subdivisions in the Richardson Independent School District. It’s one of the top Dallas neighborhoods if you want to be close to the amenities of the city while enjoying the space, safety, and great schools of the suburbs.
The community boasts 870+ acres of trails and parks with large pecan and oak trees. It’s also one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Dallas for families with a median home price of $533,000 but many homes priced under $300,000.
Dallas Climate & Weather – Winter in Dallas, Extreme Weather & More
The Dallas, Texas climate is humid subtropical (Cfa), typical of the Southern Plains region. Summers are humid and very hot with low humidity. During July and August, the average daily high temperature is 96°F but the heat index often exceeds 105°F. The record high temperature is 113°F set in 1980.
Dallas in winter is usually cool with mild temperatures but occasional very cold weather. January has an average daytime high temperature of 57°F with a nighttime low of 37°F. When northers affect the region, daytime highs drop below 50°F. A few winter days come with freezing rain and dangerous driving conditions.
The average temperature in Dallas is a daily high of 77°F and a daily low of 57°F.
Dallas is at the southern end of Tornado Alley. The region is prone to extreme weather which includes tornadoes, hail, flooding, drought, and storms from hurricanes on the coast.
Does it snow in Dallas?
Snow in Dallas, Texas does happen, but rarely. The city gets an average of 1” of annual snowfall, but it does not snow every year. Dallas winters that do get snow usually only get snowfall on one or two days during the season. On February 11, 2010, Dallas experienced record snowfall of 11.2”.
Does Dallas Texas get hurricanes?
Dallas is 300 miles inland and has never been hit directly by a hurricane. However, North Texas is affected by severe storms caused by hurricanes and tropical storms.
Does Dallas get tornadoes?
Dallas is in Tornado Alley with tornado season from March to June. Texas gets over 120 tornadoes per year on average and North Texas is high-risk. North Texas gets about 25 tornadoes per year.
Best Dallas Fort Worth Restaurants
Life in Dallas means enjoying iconic cuisine like Tex-Mex, barbecue, Southern cuisine, and frozen margaritas which were invented here! You’ll find everything from upscale, award-winning restaurants for fine dining to comfort food, family-friendly eateries, and hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Dallas, TX that are always crowded.
- Meso Maya Comida y Copas. Right next to the Perot Museum is this Mexican restaurant that receives rave reviews for its Puebla- and Oaxaca-inspired dishes. They’re known for their hand-ground tortillas and homemade adobos and sauces! Meso Maya Comida y Copas, 1611 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75202 (214) 484-6555
- Town Hearth. This upscale Dallas steakhouse from local chef Nick Badovinus features an impressive cocktail menu and a raw bar. Reservations are recommended for dining in this swank eatery with chandeliers and vintage décor. Town Hearth, 1617 Market Center Blvd, Dallas, TX 75207 (214) 761-1617
- CBD Provisions. Located in the upscale Joule hotel, this stylish restaurant serves fun cocktails and creative takes on Texas comfort food. CBD Provisions, 1530 Main St STE 100, Dallas, TX 75201 (214) 261-4500
Things to Do in Dallas TX
Dallas living means enjoying world-class attractions, museums, and entertainment at your fingertips. It’s home to the country’s largest arts district with more shopping centers per capita than any other city in the country! From catching a Cowboys game in the city where the term “Super Bowl” was termed and experiencing a rooftop drive-in theater to enjoying the Dallas Texas nightlife, visiting the zoo, or enjoying a day on the lake, you’ll absolutely love living in Dallas.
Here’s a look at some of the top things you’ll want to check out if you’re new to Dallas.
- Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a gorgeous 66-acre nationally recognized garden with 19 named gardens including a pocket rose garden with 200 hybrid tea roses.
- Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is a walled garden that helps kids connect with nature through age-specific galleries and indoor and outdoor exhibits.
- Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth is the fastest track on NASCAR’s circuit!
- AT&T Stadium in nearby Arlington is home to the Dallas Cowboys.
- Topgolf Dallas is a fun and high-tech driving range. This massive entertainment venue boasts an upscale lounge, bar, restaurant, and interactive games fun for the whole family.
- The Dallas World Aquarium features replica exhibits and many endangered and threatened animals including the only display of Antillean manatees and three-toed sloths in the U.S. and a rainforest aviary.
- Dallas Zoo boasts more than 2,000 animals and a nationally renowned children’s area.
Dallas Entertainment & Arts
- Cidercade Dallas is an action-packed arcade venue for adults with a wine and cider bar and more than 170 traditional pinball and arcade games.
- The Bomb Factory is one of the best live music venues in Dallas with a 4,300-person capacity and local and national acts.
- AT&T Performing Arts Center is a huge entertainment center and theater featuring plays, concerts, and operas.
- Bahama Beach Waterpark is one of the best things to do in Dallas with kids! This family-friendly water park has slides, a lazy river, an interactive waterscape for kids, and more.
Museums in Dallas
- Dallas Museum of Art is one of America’s largest art museums and located in the Arts District in downtown Dallas.
- The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is one of the most visited Dallas attractions and it chronicles the legacy and assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
- Perot Museum of Nature and Science is an interactive museum with educational and multimedia exhibits and one of the best kid-friendly museums in Dallas.
- Frontiers of Flight Museum is a fun aerospace museum chronicling the history of aviation and pioneers of the 1920s through modern day.
- Klyde Warren Park is near the Dallas Museum of Art and an oasis connecting Downtown and Uptown with frequent community events.
- Bachman Lake Park is on Bachman Lake near Love Field with a paved cycling and running trail around the water.
- White Rock Lake Park is a popular destination for bird watching and boating on the artificial White Rock Lake.
- Trammell Crow Park is a gorgeous riverside park with sculptures, trails, a lake, and a view of the Dallas skyline.
Shopping in Dallas
- The Shops at Park Lane is a popular urban shopping complex and outdoor mall with a bowling alley and grocery store.
- NorthPark Center is an upscale shopping center featuring a movie theater, library, and public art displays.
- Cityplace Market is an Uptown mall with popular retailers and dining options.
Map of Fun Things to Do in Dallas
Dallas Sports Teams
Dallas is one of the best sports cities in America and dominates in Texas. There are five major league sports teams in Dallas Fort Worth:
- The Dallas Cowboys (NFL) play in Arlington. They are the most financially valuable sports franchise on earth with 5 Super Bowl wins.
- The Dallas Mavericks (NBA) play at the American Airlines Center.
- The Texas Rangers (MLB) play in Arlington.
- The Dallas Stars (NHL) have 8 division title wins, a Stanley Cup, and 2 President’s Trophies.
- FC Dallas (MLS) play in Frisco.
Dallas Crime Rate – Is Dallas Safe?
Before moving to Dallas, you probably want to know about crime in the city and whether it’s a safe place to live. The Dallas Texas crime rate is 4,184 total crimes per 100,000 people. You have a 1 in 24 chance of being the victim of crime. This crime rate is 49% higher than Texas and 69% higher than the U.S. average.
The violent crime rate is 863 violent crimes per 100,000 people. The murder rate in Dallas is 15 homicides per 100,000 people. That’s 3x higher than the U.S. average.
The high crime rate is one of the worst things about living in Dallas, but keep in mind there are many safe places to live in the city! There are dozens of safe neighborhoods like University Park and Highland Park with crime 60% lower than the city average and well below the national average.
Dallas residents are served by the Dallas Police Department which has a force of 3,075 sworn officers and 549 civilian employees. Use their interactive dashboard to see a Dallas crime map and crime by neighborhood and offense type.
Jobs in Dallas TX – Major Companies in Dallas & Average Salary
Dallas has a strong, diverse economy that’s only strengthening each year. There are 24 Fortune 500 companies in Dallas; only New York and Chicago have more. The region continues to grow in terms of population and economic diversity thanks to its low cost of living, affordable housing, strategic location, and cost advantages for corporations.
Dallas Fort Worth is the third largest financial center in the country with a telecommunications industry going back to the end of WWII. Defense, healthcare, technology, manufacturing, aviation, and oil and gas are also major industries in the DFW area.
Major employers in Dallas include:
- American Airlines (careers)
- Dallas ISD (jobs)
- Texas Health Resources
- Baylor Scott & White (careers)
- Bank of America
- Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
- Medical City
- City of Dallas
- Texas Instruments
- JP Morgan Chase
- UT Southwestern Medical Center (jobs)
- HCA North Texas
- Fort Worth ISD
- Parkland Health and Hospital
- Southwest Airlines
- Raytheon Company
According to Payscale, the average salary in Dallas is $73,000 or $19.49 per hour. The BLS reports an average weekly wage of $1,483 in the DFW area, higher than the national average. The average hourly wage for all occupations is $27.89 according to the BLS. Registered nurses earn $39.55 on average while accountants earn $42.17 and HR managers earn $66.77 per hour.
Healthcare & Best Hospitals in Dallas
You’ll enjoy top-notch healthcare while living in Dallas, TX with several nationally ranked hospitals among the best in the country. Many of the top hospitals and research facilities are located in the Dallas Medical District. The Southwestern Medical District employs over 35,000 people with more than 3 million patients visiting the hospitals and clinics each year.
Here are some of the best healthcare facilities in the city.
UT Southwestern Medical Center is frequently ranked as the best hospital in DFW and among the top 25 in the U.S. in eight specialties including neurosurgery, nephrology, heart surgery, geriatrics, pulmonology, orthopedics, and diabetes.
Children’s Medical Center Dallas provides pediatric health care with seven specialty centers and 19 pediatric clinics in the DFW area.
Parkland Memorial Hospital is the public Dallas hospital and ranks as one of the best DFW hospitals.
Baylor University Medical Center, part of Baylor Scott & White, is nationally ranked in three specialties and high performing in 11 procedures and 4 specialties. It’s the most award-winning not-for-profit health system in Texas.
Dallas Schools – Public & Private Schools + Colleges in Dallas Texas
There’s no shortage of options for getting a good education in the DFW area. There are more than 335 public schools in Dallas plus around 90 private schools and almost 40 colleges and universities!
While living in Dallas, Texas, you will likely be served by the Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD), the second largest school district in Texas and the 12th largest in the country with 161,000 students. Several Dallas high schools are ranked among the best in the country. Here are the best high schools in Dallas:
- School for the Talented and Gifted in Oak Cliff
- The Science and Engineering Magnet in Cedar Crest
- Woodrow Wilson School
- Hillcrest High School
- W. T. White High School
Some areas of the city extend into other school districts like Highland Park, Plano, Garland, and Carrollton-Farmers Branch.
Here are just some of the major Dallas Texas universities and colleges:
- Dallas College, public community college with 7 campuses and 70,000 enrolled students
- UT Southwestern Medical Center or UTSW, a prominent medical center with six Nobel laureates among the faculty and ranked #1 worldwide among healthcare institutions in biomedical science
- Southern Methodist University, a nonsectarian and nationally ranked private university and #3 in Texas
- University of Texas at Dallas has over 140 degree programs
- University of North Texas with an acclaimed College of Music
- University of Dallas, a private Catholic university
Dallas Utilities & DMV Change of Address
Ready for living in Dallas? Ahead of your move, make sure you know what to expect when setting up utilities, changing your address, and getting a Texas license.
The city is served by Dallas Water Utilities and the Sanitation Services department. Electricity is deregulated in Texas with many options for electric providers including Oncor Electric Delivery, Cirro Energy, and Stream Energy. You can visit Power to Choose from the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to help you choose an electric provider. Natural gas in Dallas is provided by Atmos Energy.
If you’re going to move to Dallas from elsewhere in Texas, you will need to submit the Change of Address for Texas Motor Vehicle form to the DMV. If you’re moving from another state, you will need to transfer your license to Texas within 90 days. You must apply for a new Texas driver’s license in person and provide proof of identity, residency, citizenship or legal presence, Social Security number, proof of insurance, and proof of Texas Vehicle Registration.
Ready to find out for yourself why everyone is moving to Dallas? Give us a call at Brothers Moving & Storage for a free moving quote from our 5-star Dallas movers to get started!