What is the cost of living in Dallas?

1 min readLast updated January 18, 2024by Rachel Carey

Delving into taxes, housing, utilities, transportation, groceries, healthcare, and childcare, this article provides a general overview of the cost of living in Dallas.

Summary 

  • The average cost of living in Dallas is 3% higher than the national average and 11% higher than the Texas average. 

  • The average homeowner pays taxes at an effective rate of 2.22%, and the combined state and city sales tax rate is 8.25%. 

  • Food and groceries cost 10% more in Dallas than they do in other parts of the US. 

  • Speak to a financial advisor about getting and staying on top of your finances. 

What is the average cost of living in Dallas? 

Knowing what the average cost of living in Dallas is will only give you the most basic idea of living costs in the city.  

One of the Lone Star State’s most iconic cities, Dallas is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the US. The comforts and conveniences of this modern city come at a price, as the cost of living in Dallas is 3% higher than the national average and 11% higher than the state average.  

Your actual costs depend on your personal preferences, your location, whether you rely on public transportation or have your own vehicle and numerous other factors. 

According to Numbeo, the average monthly cost of living in the city, also known as Dallas, is $1,310.60 for a single person (without rent) and $4,645.30 for a family of four (without rent). 

It’s important to understand living costs if you want to create an effective financial plan. A financial advisor can help you create this plan and stay on top of your finances.  

How much will I pay in taxes in Dallas? 

While there’s no state income tax in Texas that you need to pay if you live in the DFW metroplex, there are a couple of local taxes that do contribute to the cost of living in Dallas, Texas.  

If you are a homeowner, you pay a percentage of your home’s value in property taxes based on a rate set by the City Council. The average homeowner pays taxes at an effective rate of 2.22% - this works out to approximately $4,306 annually.  

Sales tax is collected on most of your purchases (food is one of the exceptions). The state levies a 6.25% sales tax, and the city levies a further 2% sales tax for a total sales tax of 8.25%.  

Do you need help managing your taxes? Let Unbiased match you with a financial advisor who can provide assistance when you need it. 

How much does housing cost in Dallas? 

Housing can be one of the biggest expenses that contribute to your monthly cost of living in Dallas.  

Housing options and prices vary considerably by location, with outer suburbs offering more affordable and varied options than you will find in the city center.  

The average apartment is 848 square feet in size, and the average rent is $1,592. The below tables offer an idea of rental and property purchasing costs: 

Apartment typeRent per month
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre $1,969.14
Apartment (1 bedroom) outside of Centre $1,665.29
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre $4,212.44
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre $2,963.82
Apartment locationPrice per square feet
Price per square foot to buy an apartment in the City Centre $634.09
Price per square foot to buy an apartment outside of Centre $363.52

Source: Numbeo

How can I manage the cost of living in Dallas? 

Dallas is not the cheapest city in Texas. Knowing how to manage the cost of living in Dallas allows you to plan and budget in a way that leads to fewer worries about making it to the end of the month. Follow these tips to get started: 

  • Keep track of your expenses so that you can create a budget with as much detail as possible. Look for ways to lower your costs so that you can free up funds and channel them into more important goals. Additionally, see if you can find ways to increase your monthly income.  

  • Aim to spend a maximum of 25% of your monthly take-home income on monthly mortgage or rent payments. If you spend more than 25% of your pay on housing, you might struggle to save for emergencies, short- and long-term goals, or retirement. Consider moving to a more affordable ZIP code if that will help you decrease your housing costs. 

  • Seek the advice of an SEC-regulated financial advisor and learn how to gain control of your finances. 

What is the average cost of utilities in Dallas? 

The noticeably high cost of living in Dallas, Texas, is seen in almost every aspect of life in the metroplex, utilities included. The average cost of utilities in Dallas is approximately 14% higher than the national average.  

Take a look at the average cost of water, gas, and other utilities: 

UtilityAverage monthly bill
Water $104
Gas $114.06
Electricity $146.55
Cable/internet $85 cable + $60 internet

What are the average grocery and food costs in Dallas? 

Even though food is exempt from sales tax, the average cost of food and other groceries is approximately 10% higher than the national average. It’s important to be aware of how these higher prices can impact the cost of living in Dallas per month and/or per week if you’re planning on moving to the city.  

Take a look at the average cost of a few different groceries: 

Food itemAverage cost in Houston
Milk (1 gallon) $3.63
Bread $3.05
Apples (1 lb.) $2.19
Potatoes (1 lb.) $1.76
A head of lettuce $2.08

What are the average transportation costs in Dallas? 

The city of Dallas covers an area of 385.9 square miles (999.2 square kilometers), while the DFW metroplex covers 8,675 square miles (22,468 square kilometers). The city is big, and car ownership is common, although the DART system offers an alternative to facing traffic congestion.  

Remember to include transportation when you work out what the average cost of living in Dallas is for you.  

Find out about average annual transportation costs: 

ScenarioAnnual transportation expenditure
One adult, no children $5,477
One adult, one child $9,851
One adult, two children $12,045
Two adults (one working), no children $9,851
Two adults (one working), one child $12,045
Two adults (one working), two children $14,484
Two adults (two working), no children $9,851
Two adults (two working), one child $12,045
Two adults (two working), two children $14,484

How much does healthcare cost in Dallas? 

Healthcare is a vital part of life in Dallas, which has renowned medical facilities and resources.  

On average, healthcare services cost 12% more than the national average. However, the healthcare costs that impact the cost of living in Dallas, Texas, may be higher or lower for you, depending on your health, circumstances, and type of health insurance.  

Discover the average annual healthcare costs for various scenarios in the table below: 

ScenarioAnnual healthcare expenditure
One adult, no children $3,058
One adult, one child $9,474
One adult, two children $9,484
Two adults (one working), no children $7,097
Two adults (one working), one child $9,484
Two adults (one working), two children $9,409
Two adults (two working), no children $7,097
Two adults (two working), one child $9,484
Two adults (two working), two children $9,409

What is the average childcare cost in Dallas? 

Dallas offers a wide range of childcare options, giving you flexibility in terms of how your children are cared for and how much you spend on childcare. These expenses might not impact your cost of living in Dallas, as you might be eligible for state resources such as the Texas Workforce Commission’s child care subsidy program for low-income families.  

Get an idea of average annual childcare costs in this table: 

ScenarioAnnual childcare expenditure
One adult, no children $0
One adult, one child $9,089
One adult, two children $18,179
Two adults (one working), no children $0
Two adults (one working), one child $0
Two adults (one working), two children $0
Two adults (two working), no children $0
Two adults (two working), one child $9,089
Two adults (two working), two children $18,179

How much does it cost to live in Dallas? 

There is no ignoring the fact that the cost of living in Dallas is high. 

On average, you can expect to pay more for almost everything in Dallas than you would in many other cities and towns in Texas. However, your personal preferences and purchasing choices may allow for a slightly lower or higher cost of living than the average resident. 

The amount of money that you need to live comfortably in Dallas depends on where in the city you live, and many other factors. Knowing the median income can give you a rough idea. According to the US Census Bureau, the median household income in 2021 was $58,231, and the median per capita income in the same period was $37,719. 

Learn more about the cost of living and get expert financial advice that you can use to budget and plan for the future effectively. Let Unbiased match you with the best SEC-regulated financial advisor for your needs. 

Senior Content Writer

Rachel Carey

Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.