Apr 7, 2023 - News

How much it costs to live in Dallas-Fort Worth

Illustration of a hand fastening a velvet rope in front of a pile of money.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

North Texans without children would need about $65,000 in post-tax annual income to live comfortably in the region, per a new SmartAsset analysis.

Why it matters: While pay has increased year over year nationally, it hasn't been enough to make up for the rising costs of living, the financial advising company says.

Details: SmartAsset used 2022 data from MIT's Living Wage Calculator to determine how much it would cost for one person without kids to live in 25 large metro areas.

  • They used the 50-30-20 rule, where 50% of after-tax income goes toward basic living expenses, 30% toward discretionary spending and 20% toward savings or existing debt.

The big picture: Nationally, salaries increased about 5% between December 2021 and December 2022 — but didn't keep up with inflation, which averaged 8% in 2022, per SmartAsset.

  • On average, people across the 25 metro areas analyzed by SmartAsset need $68,499 after taxes to live comfortably. That's up roughly 20% from a year ago, when people needed $57,013.
  • The regions around San Francisco, San Diego and Boston require the highest salaries for a comfortable lifestyle.

Zoom in: The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area, where people without children need $64,742 to live comfortably, ranks 17th in SmartAsset's list.

  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land ranks 20th with a salary of $62,260 needed.
  • San Antonio-New Braunfels, where you'd need a salary of $59,270, ranks 23rd.

Reality check: The average household size in Dallas is two people, and the average household income in 2021 was $58,231, per Census data. That's before taxes.

  • Around 18% of Dallas residents are living in poverty.

Of note: Men in Texas earn a median $51,300 a year — $10,552 more than the median annual salary for Texas women, according to census figures.

  • Another recent SmartAsset analysis found that Dallas and two California cities have some of the narrowest gender wage gaps in the country. In 2021, the difference between men's and women's annual earnings was $192.

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