Cost of Living in Dallas, TX 2021
Big things happen when you move to Dallas. Whether it is dining on an oversized plate of delicious Tex-Mex or cheering on the Cowboys to their next win, everything in this city is done in a larger-than-life way.
The good news is that when it comes to the cost of living in the Big D, the big city shouldn’t break the bank. The cost of living in Dallas is significantly lower than other comparable large cities across the nation. Read on to learn more about how your most common living expenses will shape up in this Texas city.
Texas Housing Costs
Housing is normally your biggest expense anywhere you live, so let’s start there with evaluating the cost of living in Dallas. The city typically enjoys some of the fastest job growth in the country, although the coronavirus pandemic has slowed the marketplace just about everywhere.
The city’s year-over-year rent growth has increased by 1.1% in comparison to last year's average. Currently, a median one-bedroom in Dallas rents for $1,318 per month. A median two-bedroom will cost you $2,055 a month. The good news is this is still only slightly above the national average of $1,137, and still affordable compared to many other US metro areas.
As a big city, knowing how to get around Dallas, and how much it is going to cost you, is key to life here. Expect to spend approximately $5,113 a year on transportation as a single adult. If you are a family of three (two working adults and a child), your transportation cost will increase to $11,672 a year. You can also hop on DART—Dallas public transit system. Prepare to pay $96 a month for a local monthly pass, or $2.50 for a single one-way trip.
In accordance with MIT living wage estimates, a single full-time working adult that cooks his or her own meals (including snacks) spends around $3,519.36 a year on food. However, if you want to take advantage of all the delicious restaurants Dallas has to offer, to say nothing of the plethora of frozen margaritas offered across the city, then plan to spend on average $15 for a meal at an inexpensive restaurant. A meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant will cost around $60. The city is celebrated for its incredible food, though, so plan your cost of living in Dallas accordingly.
MIT used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to estimate typical health expenditure for Dallas residents. The estimates for healthcare amount to $2,760 per year for a single full-time working adult and $8,554 per year for a family of three.
A basic utility bill that includes electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage for a 915 sq ft apartment averages around $162.30 a month. Beyond the average utility bill, Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) will increase the total monthly cost of utilities by approximately $60.60, totaling $222.90 a month.
Fitness and Entertainment
If you are a gym-goer, be prepared to shell out another $40.69 on monthly membership fees. If your preferred type of entertainment is going to the movies, it will cost you about $12 per ticket, excluding money spent at the concession stand.
The recommended household income for a one-bedroom in Dallas is about $35,280 a year, or $17 an hour. In order to rent a two-bedroom in Dallas comfortably, you need to earn $42,480 a year, or $20 an hour.
The “living wage” is defined as the minimum amount of money needed to live above the poverty threshold. For Dallas, the living wage is $15.21 an hour for a full-time employed single individual. It excludes expenses on restaurants, entertainment, and vacations, and doesn’t allow for savings. The estimated median household income in Dallas at the end of 2019 was around $52,580 a year.
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