The Cost of Living in Austin, Texas
Texas is considered one of the country’s most favorable climes for business due to an absence of state tax. Another reason for the relatively affordable cost of living in Austin is its competitive, regulatory environment. The average costs for utilities and real estate are lower than in most cities in the US.
Austin dwellers do not experience personal or corporate income tax deductions from Texas. This perk places the state as one of the lowest rankings when it comes to tax burdens. Tax paid per capita ranks as the 38th out of 50 states while it is 33rd when measured per $1000 of personal income.
Living in Austin, Texas
The city is attractive not only because it is the state capital, but it doubles as the cultural capital. It also draws in a student population because of the presence of the University of Texas. Austin is acclaimed for its live music scene and Tex-Mex cuisines. Austin City Limits (ACL) and the South by Southwest (SXSW) host music festivals that make the city especially vibrant during Spring and Fall.
Among the main culinary exports of the city are Tex-Mex essentials like breakfast tacos and queso. They also dish out an abundance of locally brewed beer and Texas-style barbecue. It is a booming city, so there is a myriad of food selections at all price points. Austin has you covered if you are more of a street food person or you tilt towards fancy restaurants.
Cost of Housing in Austin
When compared to other large cities in the US, Austin is renowned for its affordable housing. The National Association of Realtors found that the city’s average home price was $295,000 in 2018. Though this figure is higher than the national average of $252,000, the National Association of Home Builders estimated that 60.1% of houses sold in Austin are not listed at prices that the average family living can afford. The median family earns close to 61.6% affordability rate.
Renting is an excellent option in the city since its median rent is $1,800. This would amount to 30.4% of the median monthly income. This value is close to Texas’s general rent of 30.6% and lower than what you would get in Nashville, 31,6%. The US, as a whole, has 34.4% as rent per income.
Getting Around in Austin
Austin is quite spread out, with a population density of approximately 3,400 persons per square mile. Most people in Austin use cars to transport themselves. 83% drive on their own or carpool to work. The second most popular alternative is public transit at 8%. Walking and cycling make up 9%.
Due to cars being the primary means of transportation, the major costs of getting around come from gasoline, car payments, maintenance, and insurance. Worthy of note is that the average price of gas in Austin is cheaper than in the US overall. That is $2.53 compared to $2.76.
Cost of Living in Austin Index, 2019 (U.S.=100)
The Council for Community and Economic Research estimates the living costs in Austin, Texas to be composed of the following:
- Grocery items (13.8%) – 90.9
- Housing (27.53%) – 90.9
- Utilities (9.55%) – 95.7
- Healthcare (4.31%) – 106.1
- Transport (9.20%) – 92.0
- Miscellaneous (35.52%) 101.5
- Composite Index – 99.8