Nov 14, 2023 - News

Dallas, Plano among most expensive Texas cities

Cost-of-living index, Q3 2023
Data: The Council for Economic and Social Research; Note: Map only shows urban areas with more than 100,000 people; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Dallas and Plano are the only two Texas cities with a higher cost of living than the U.S. average, according to a new analysis.

Driving the news: Each quarter, the Council for Community and Economic Research assembles a cost-of-living index looking at categories such as housing, utilities, groceries, transportation and health care, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj report.

  • Health care, utilities and the price of goods and services were the primary drivers of high costs locally.

How it works: An index value of 100 represents the national average cost of living across 269 cities.

  • If a city has a value over 100, its cost of living is higher than average. Under 100, lower than average.

The intrigue: Dallas and Plano both have higher overall costs of living even compared to notoriously expensive Austin, which saw all categories analyzed below the national average, except for the cost of housing.

  • Plano's housing index is the highest of the Texas cities analyzed at 127.3. By comparison, Austin's is 104.9.

State of play: Dallas has become one of the most expensive cities in the world for international employees, per consulting firm Mercer's 2023 report.

By the numbers: Dallas' cost-of-living index value, as of the third quarter of 2023, is 102.2. Plano's is 113.3.

  • McKinney (97.1) and Denton (98.9) are both under the national average.

Zoom out: Coastal cities tend to be the most expensive, with a few exceptions.

  • Among cities with more than 100,000 residents, Honolulu (179.2), San Jose, California (171.3) and San Francisco (169.5) had the country's highest relative cost of living as of Q3 2023.

Meanwhile: Texans in McAllen (80.2) and Amarillo (84.4) enjoy the lowest cost of living.

Of note: Because the list of participating cities changes each quarter, the cost-of-living index can't be used to measure inflation — but other indicators suggest that higher prices are certainly sticking around.


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