Last Updated on: 28th February 2024, 11:52 pm

Odessa’s the best! The city was rural and unincorporated land until the Texas and Pacific Railway was built in the 1870s. Odessa TX was founded in 1881 as a water and cattle-shipping stop for the railway. The community expanded during the 1900s after oil was discovered on ranches just outside the city, and Odessa TX became incorporated as a city in 1927.

The city was named after Odesa, Ukraine, as the prairie around the community resembled the countryside of Ukraine. What is Odessa Texas known for? The community is well-known for being featured in Friday Night Lights and for its prominence in the oil industry, even today.

But is Odessa Texas a good place to live? Yes, it’s a great place to live with a low cost of living, beautiful weather, and delicious and family-friendly restaurants.

Living in Odessa Texas is perfect for students, families, and entrepreneurs alike. But before you start moving to Odessa, you should learn more about this vibrant and expanding city. Here’s your quick guide on the benefits of living in Odessa.

Where Is Odessa?

What county is Odessa Texas in? Odessa TX is in Ector County and Midland County. Nearly all of the city is inside Ector County, and Odessa Texas serves as the county seat for Ector. Odessa is the main city in the Odessa metropolitan area, and it borders Gardendale, West Odessa, and Midland. It is 20.1 miles from Midland TX to Odessa TX.

Odessa is not near any major geographic features, and most of the land outside the community is flat, largely undeveloped farms and oil fields. The city itself is well-developed with homes and commercial buildings, though most buildings are small and have only one story.

The Midland Odessa Urban Transit District (EZ Rider) serves all residents living in Odessa TX with bus services. You can use the EZ Rider route map to see where routes and stops go; most routes connect to downtown Odessa Texas, but some neighborhoods do not receive direct services. You can use your car for moving to Odessa and getting around the city. The city contains Interstate 20 and State Routes 191, 338, and 450, all of which connect to cities near Odess, like Andrews and Big Spring.

Odessa Population and Demographics

What is the population of Odessa TX? The Odessa TX population in 2020 was 114,452; the population increased by 14.5% between 2010 and 2020. The Odessa Texas population density is 2,240.1 people per square mile. The area of Odessa is expanding; between 2010 and 2020, the city added nearly ten square miles of land to accommodate the growing Odessa Texas population, so the population density fell by 142 people per square mile in the same time frame.

Odessa TX is the largest city in Ector County, accounting for nearly 70% of the county’s population. Notable people from the city include Barbara Bush, Chris Kyle, and Roy Orbison. Here are the latest Odessa demographics:

  • 7% male, 49.3% female
  • Median age: 30.7
  • Racial and ethnic composition: 62.0% Hispanic or Latino, 58.5% White (28.5% non-Hispanic), 15.2% two or more races, 6.7% Black or African American, 1.9% Asian, 0.8% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
  • Median household income: $71,293 (1.3% lower than the state median)
  • Educational attainment: 81.0% of residents older than 25 have graduated high school, 18.4% have a bachelor’s degree
  • Foreign-born population: 13.8%

Odessa is a hub for the Hispanic and Latino communities of Texas. The Odessa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is based in the city and supports Hispanic business owners and entrepreneurs. The city organizes Hispanic Heritage Month events between September 15 and October 15 every year, including kid-friendly festivals and educational talks.

Here are the latest Odessa crime rates from the FBI:

  • Total Odessa crime rate: 3,312 offenses per 100,000 people (23.1% higher than the Texas crime rate, 41.2% higher than the national average)
  • Violent crime rate: 808 offenses per 100,000 residents (81.0% higher than the state rate, 108.4% higher than the country)
  • Property crime rate: 2,505 crimes per 100,000 residents (11.6% higher than the Texas rate, 27.9% higher than the country)

While Odessa crime rates are high, many areas of the city are safe for families to live in. The Odessa Police Department employs 137 officers who respond to emergencies quickly and patrol the streets, creating a safe place to live.

Cost of Living in Odessa TX

Odessa TX is one of the most affordable cities in Texas. The cost of living index compares the cost of common items in a metro area to the cost of items nationwide. The Odessa cost of living index is 93.9, meaning items in the city cost 6.1% less than the national average. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four would need to earn $80,609 to cover the cost of living in Odessa.

Odessa real estate is also very affordable. According to Redfin, the median sales price of houses for sale Odessa TX is $260,000. According to RentCafe, the average rent in Odessa TX is $1,259 a month.

Typical Odessa TX Living Expenses

  • 1 pound of white rice: $1.55
  • 1 pound of local cheese: $8.43
  • 1 pound of bananas: $0.70
  • 1 gallon of gasoline: $2.87
  • Average Odessa Texas living expenses per month: $238.49
  • 1 pair of jeans: $89.13

Source: Numbeo

Odessa Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Odessa

Odessa does not have official neighborhoods, but it does have gated and master-planned communities you should look at when examining Odessa TX real estate. Here’s what you should know about these communities.

Mission Estates | Best Family-Friendly Odessa Neighborhood

Mission Estates is a master-planned community with nearly 600 homes. The HOA maintains common areas and helps residents during water shortages and natural disasters. Most homes for sale in Odessa TX Mission Estates were built in the 1990s, so they contain modern features like vaulted ceilings and walk-in closets. Properties for sale in Mission Estates contain three bedrooms and over 2,000 square feet of space, making the neighborhood one of the best options for families with young children.

Vista Del Norte | Private, Safe, and Walkable Neighborhood in Odessa

Vista Del Norte was founded in 2002 by Odessa residents, so it has some of the newest houses for sale in Odessa Texas. The community is also known for having perimeter fences and trees around the neighborhood, adding security and privacy. The Vista Del Norte HOA works with developers, so you can hire someone to build a custom-made property on your lot at an affordable price. You can also buy a pre-built home with four bedrooms, a gameroom, and a large corner lot you can put a playground in. Four-bedroom homes for sale with 3,700 square feet of space are available for $675,000.

Odessa Weather and Climate

The Odessa climate is a desert climate, meaning the city has hot and dry summers and mild and short winters. July is the hottest month for Odessa weathe, with an average temperature of 83 degrees and an average high of 94. Odessa TX weather averages stay in the 80s and 90s throughout the summer and gradually decline during the fall. January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 44 degrees and an average low of 34.

Odessa TX weather is consistently clear, with roughly 69% of days being clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy. The community receives 12.9 inches of rain and no snow every year, with only 49.8 days of precipitation annually. The low precipitation means that humidity levels are low, though a few days in July and August can feel muggy or humid. Odessa TX can experience severe weather, especially flooding during the summer, so pay attention to forecasts for weather in Odessa TX.

October is the best month of the year for visiting and moving to Odessa. October is the clearest month, with 74% clear, mostly clear, and partly cloudy days. The average temperature is 65 degrees, so you can wear a long sleeved shirt or a light coat and remain comfortable.

Things to Do in Odessa TX

Odessa is full of unique, kid-friendly, and cool things to do, including indoor attractions you can visit during oppressive summer days. Ask a resident what to do in Odessa, and they’ll tell you to go shopping at the Music City Mall, which contains over 100 businesses. The Chimney Rock Shopping Center is another top shopping mall, containing major stores like Best Buy and Marshalls. If you’re interested in visiting locally run stores, you can go grocery shopping at El Rancho.

Cinergy Odessa

Cinergy Odessa is a movie theater and family-friendly entertainment center with a zipline course, bowling alleys, and a laser tag arena. Cinergy Odessa is a top location for birthday parties, and you can order pizzas, salads, and other meals for groups of children.

8250 TX-191, Odessa, TX, 79765, 432-400-2444

Altitude Trampoline Park

Altitude is the top kid-friendly point of interest in Odessa TX, containing ten different trampoline attractions. You and your kids can play basketball and dodgeball on trampolines and race through obstacle courses.

5161 East 42nd Street, Odessa, TX, 79762, 432-272-6921

Ector County Coliseum

Ector County Coliseum is the best events venue in Odessa Texas, home to sports games, rodeos, trade shows, and other special events. Most events are open to the public for free or at low prices, and you can visit the coliseum during the winter and at night.


4201 Andrews Highway, Odessa, TX, 79762, 432-366-3541

Additional Things to Do in Odessa TX


The Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Odessa manages parks in Odessa TX, and public spaces and helps plan special events throughout the year. You can use the events Odessa TX calendar to see when the next parties and festivals will take place.

Restaurants in Odessa, TX

Texas is well known for its diverse cuisine, with Tex-Mex, Cajun, barbeque, and other specialties at many top restaurants. You can sample from these cuisines and enjoy kid-friendly outings at various affordable and fun restaurants in Odessa Texas.

Rosa’s Cafe

Rosas Cafe is well known for its fresh tortillas, and you get tortillas for free with any dinner you order. Rosas Cafe is also known for its breakfast specials, including platters with 12 different breakfast tacos, making it a good place to take guests and kids for breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays.


1701 North County Road West, Odessa, TX, 79763, 432-337-3122

Mi Piaci Odessa TX

Mi Piaci Odessa TX is the top Italian restaurant in Odessa, known amongst long-time locals for its quaint atmosphere and generous portions. You can order nearly every classic Italian dish, including combo platters with lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo, and chicken parmesan, for less than $25.

2607 North Grandview Avenue, Odessa, TX, 79761, 432-362-8060

La Bodega

La Bodega is a casual cantina that serves Mexican beers and margaritas, making it a suitable place for dates and adult nights out. You can order burritos and tacos as well as authentic Mexican dishes like chile rellenos and ruedas.


1024 East 7th Street, Odessa, TX, 79761, 432-333-4469

Jobs in Odessa TX

54,350 people have jobs in Odessa TX, with oil and gas extraction, retail trade, and health care being the biggest three industries for jobs. Odessa is famous for its oil companies, with companies like Liberty Oilfield Services having offices in Odessa. However, oil and gas extraction accounts for only 13.7% of Odessa jobs, and the industry has shrunk over time.


If you’re looking to make money, you should apply for a finance or insurance job. Finance and insurance is the highest-paying job sector in Odessa, with median annual earnings of $134,497. According to Payscale, the average base salary of Odessa jobs is $73,000 a year, while the base hourly rate is $20.97. Major employers in Odessa TX outside the oil industry include MCH Odessa, 7-Eleven, and Nurse Unlimited. You can use Indeed to search and apply for Odessa TX jobs, and you can apply for City of Odessa jobs on the municipal government’s website.

Odessa Schools

Ector County Independent School District (ECISD) is the main Odessa school district for students living in Odessa Texas. ECISD contains 28 elementary schools in Odessa TX, ten middle schools, and seven high schools in Odessa TX, giving you plenty of options for your children. US News ranks Reagan Elementary Odessa TX in the top 100 elementary schools in the state. 76% of students at Reagan Elementary test at or above the proficiency level in mathematics, 42 percentage points higher than the state average.


US News ranks George H.W. Bush New Tech Odessa School as the top high school in the Odessa metro area. New Tech Odessa has a project-based curriculum, with students completing long-term projects and assignments that give them skills for college and the workplace. Students have various opportunities for internships with Odessa TX businesses and civic groups.


There are a few private schools in Odessa TX, including charter schools. Harmony Science Academy is a STEM-focused charter school for students in grades K-8. Harmony Science Academy has unique learning methods, including two-hour blocks in which students can work independently on personal assignments or receive tutoring.

The University of Texas Permian Basin (UTPB) is the main college in the city. You can take over 50 different undergraduate, graduate, and online programs, including business, psychology, and interdisciplinary studies. Odessa College is a community college known for its affordable classes and business programs, so it’s a good place to get occupational training and certificates.


Ector County Library is the main public library in Odessa Texas. The library offers thousands of books you can take out, as well as numerous free programs and events, including kid-friendly and bilingual story hours.

Odessa Statistics and Information

  • County: Ector and Midland
  • Odessa area: 51.36 square miles
  • Odessa TX zip code: 79760-79769
  • Odessa area code: 432
  • Odessa elevation: 2,900 feet
  • Odessa time zone: Central Time Zone (UTC-6)
  • Closest airport to Odessa: Midland International Air and Space Port (MAF), 11.6 miles from Odessa

Odessa Texas Map

You can find more things to do in Odessa, Odessa restaurants, and homes for sale in Odessa using this Odessa Texas map.

Odessa is about more than oil! Families love the variety of great schools and kid-friendly restaurants and attractions, while businesspeople love the high-paying job opportunities and low cost of living in Odessa TX.


Moving to Odessa can give you a comfortable, safe, and happy life. But before you start living in Odessa TX, you should hire top Odessa movers. Brothers Moving has the most experienced movers in Odessa who have served over 10,000 customers across Texas. Get a free moving estimate by calling 432-219-2829.