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Dallas vs Austin Which city is best to live in for 2023

Dallas vs Austin: Which city is best to live in for 2023?

Dallas is overall the better city to live in. It’s got more job opportunities, cheaper groceries, and healthcare is more accessible.

However, Austin is safer, offers cheaper meals, has more tech jobs and opportunities, and the weather is sunnier. 

Job Opportunities in Dallas vs. Austin

Job Opportunities in Dallas vs. Austin

Austin has a lower unemployment rate of 3.6% compared to Dallas’ 2.7%, but Austin mostly caters to the tech industry. Dallas has more options for job seekers.

Both counties are filled with corporate and regional HQs for big industries. Unless you work in tech, Dallas is a better overall choice.

Dallas ranks fourth among American metros with the most corporate headquarters. The city’s top employers include Baylor Scott & White, Bank of America, Lockheed Martin, AT&T, Texas Instruments, and JP Morgan Chase. 

Austin’s job market is dominated by Big Tech. Tesla, AMD, Apple, IBM, Facebook, and Indeed are some of the biggest tech companies with corporate and regional headquarters in the city. 

If you’re interested in a career with Big Tech, both Dallas and Austin are viable options but Austin is slightly more attractive. If you want to enter healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, or national defense, then Dallas is for you.

Crime Rate in Dallas vs. Austin

Crime Rate in Dallas vs. Austin

Austin is a much safer place than Dallas. It has a total crime index of 42.91 while Dallas is at 45.35.

Neither Austin nor Dallas are completely safe cities since their crime rates are above the state and national crime indexes, which are 27.12 and 23 respectively.

Most of Austin’s crimes in 2021 were property crimes, with 36,586 total crimes and a 38.04 crime index per 1,000 residents. Violent crimes totaled only 4,692 cases and a 4.88 crime index, bringing the total crime to 42.91.

Dallas’ crime rates follow a similar pattern to Austin’s, but with a higher violent crime index and a lower property crime index. The total number of victims, however, is thousands more than in Austin.

Dallas’ violent crimes totaled 11,534 total cases with an 8.84 crime index, while property crimes are at 47,626 with a crime index of 36.51. The total crime adds up to 45.35 per 1,000 residents.

Austin is a much safer place compared to Dallas because the total crime rate is lower and violent crimes are less frequent. 

Austin may have a higher property crime index, but it has 11,040 fewer overall property crime reports and 6,842 fewer violent crime reports than Dallas.

To give you a better look, here are the individual crime statistics for both Dallas and Austin from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Type of CrimeDallas Crime Index (2021)Austin Crime Index (2021)
Motor Vehicle Theft8.004.24

Healthcare System in Dallas vs. Austin

Healthcare System in Dallas vs. Austin

On average, Dallas healthcare is pricier than Austin’s. Dallas residents spend $6,374 a year while Austin residents spend $6,160. 

Dallas also has fewer doctors per 100,000 people than Austin. There are 229 doctors per cap in Austin compared to only 210 in Dallas.

While Austin is denser with doctors and healthcare is generally cheaper, there aren’t as many hospitals compared to Dallas. Austin only has 16 hospitals compared to Dallas’ 44.

Prices also wildly vary per city, sometimes having a difference of hundreds of dollars. You can find the most common medical services along with their uninsured prices below.

ServiceDallas Average Price (Without Insurance)Austin Average Price (Without Insurance)
Ambulance Ride (Resident)$1,578$1,011
Ambulance Ride (Non-Resident)$1,678$1,076
Wellness Visit (1 Session)$120$100
Doctor’s Appointment$129.78$100
Dentist’s Appointment$130.42$230
Optometrist Appointment$116.56$59
Physical Therapy (1 Home Visit)$87$169
Therapy (Individual, 50 Minutes)$185$150

Education in Dallas vs. Austin

Education in Dallas vs. Austin

Dallas’ primary and secondary schools are ranked higher than Austin’s by The Private School Review and perform better at the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness exams. 

Meanwhile, Times Higher Education ranks Austin’s top university much higher than Dallas’ at 50th vs 351-400th. 

For preschools, The Private School Review ranks 8 Dallas schools among the best in Texas while Austin has just 6.

There are more excellent elementary schools in Austin, with three top public schools compared to Dallas’ two top schools, one private and public. These schools were ranked on student performance and student-teacher ratio.

Among the top 10 high schools in Texas, Dallas has four high schools compared to only one in Austin. These schools were ranked based on student performance in the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness end-of-course exams.

The University of Texas has campuses in both Austin and Dallas, with Austin hosting the main campus. Being the main campus, you can expect higher quality education at UT Austin compared to UT Dallas.

The Times Higher Education rankings put UT Austin at the 50th spot globally, while UT Dallas is further down the list at the 351-400th range. 

UT Dallas is also 22% more expensive than its Austin counterpart for in-state students and 2.7% for out-of-state residents.

If we’re to conclude anything from this, it’s that Dallas dominates Austin in primary and secondary education, while Austin has far better higher education. 

Level of EducationNumber of Top Schools in DallasNumber of Top Schools in Austin
High School41

Food in Dallas vs. Austin

Food in Dallas vs. Austin

Dallas and Austin have similar food cultures. Tex-Mex, barbecues, and soul food are staples in all households and restaurants. 

Groceries are more expensive in Austin than in Dallas, costing $17 more for a week’s worth of food. However, Dallas restaurants charge $6 more per meal than in Austin. 

For comparison, here are the prices for the most common grocery items.

Grocery ItemDallas PriceAustin Price
Milk (1kg)$0.8$1
Bread (500g)$2.8$2.6
Eggs (one dozen)$2.2$2.9
Cheese (1kg)$9.9$14
Water (1.5L)$2$2.2
Domestic Beer (500mL)$2.7$3.1
Imported Beer (330mL)$2.8$1.8
Cigarettes (one pack)$7.6$8.8
Chicken Breast (1kg)$9.6$13
Apples (1kg)$4.3$4.8
Oranges (1kg)$4.2$3.7
Potatoes (1kg)$2.9$2.7
White Rice (1kg)$3.6$3.2
Tomato (1kg)$3.3$2.6
Bananas (1kg)$2.1$1.8
Onions (1kg)$2.6$2.1
Beef Steak (1kg)$17$13
Pears (1kg)$5.1$5.8
Cucumber (1kg)$1.8$1.4
Sausages (1kg)$22$29

Austin’s restaurants typically offer modern takes on traditional dishes, usually by fusion. It has food trucks on every street offering ramen, brisket tacos, and elevated barbecues.

Dallas is a bigger city than Austin, meaning its restaurants are slightly more diversified. You can find cuisine from all over the world: Asian, Italian, French, and of course, Tex-Mex.

Nightlife in Dallas vs. Austin

Nightlife in Dallas vs. Austin

In general, Dallas has better nightclubs and strip clubs, with 133 total clubs while Austin has only 108. 

However, Austin has better live music venues and relaxed bars with over 250 venues compared to Dallas’ 200.

Aside from having the most live music venues in one area, Austin also has the most highly-rated venues. Among the more than 250 venues, 88% are rated at least 4 stars on Google and Yelp, the highest percentage in the country.

Dallas’ good venues, on the other hand, only comprise 35% of the total venues. It’s easy to see why Austin is dubbed the Live Music Capital of the World.

Which city has better bands comes down to your taste in music. Austin’s live bands mostly play alternative and electronic music while Dallas’ is mostly R&B.

If you’re looking for something wilder, then Dallas is where you should be. It has more nightclubs and strip clubs than Austin, probably because of its more urbanized culture.

Which city has better nightlife comes down to what you’re looking for. For chill nights with live music, Austin is a great choice. If you want something more NSFW, Dallas is a better choice.

Outdoor Activities in Dallas vs. Austin

Outdoor Activities in Dallas vs. Austin

Dallas doesn’t have as many opportunities for outdoor activities compared to Austin. Austin has 92 more parks than Dallas while being a much smaller city.

Dallas is also more urban. Whereas in Austin you’d be able to get deep into the countryside with a few-minute drive, Dallas will take you hours.

Another reason why Austin is better for outdoor activities is you can find a dozen more state parks here than you would in Dallas, which only has two. State parks are great for hiking, offroad biking, camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing.

Sports in Dallas vs. Austin

Sports in Dallas vs. Austin

In major league sports, Dallas rules over Austin. It has teams in every sport while Austin only competes in soccer.

However, Austin has better collegiate teams, with the UT Texas Longhorns dominating the Division I scene. Meanwhile, the UT Dallas Comets struggle to remain competitive in Division III.

Both counties have great sports cultures too. Despite their teams not being the best in everything, the fans are absolutely rabid and will support them through all the ups and downs.

You can find hundreds of sports bars in both counties playing the biggest games of the day. The passionate fans you find here are also more than willing to educate newbies on both the teams and the game itself.

Check the table below for a better overview of sports in Dallas and Austin.

LeagueDallas TeamChampionships WonAustin TeamChampionships Won
Major League Baseball (MLB)Texas Rangers0 MLB Titles
7 Division Championships
National Football League (NFL)Dallas Cowboys5 Super Bowls
10 Conference Championships
24 Division Championships
National Basketball Association (NBA)Dallas Mavericks1 NBA Championship
2 Conference Titles
4 Division Titles
National Hockey League (NHL)Dallas Stars1 Stanley Cup
3 Conference Championships
8 Division Championships
Major League Soccer (MLS)FC Dallas0Austin FC0

Weather in Dallas vs. Austin

Weather in Dallas vs. Austin

Dallas is colder and less humid than Austin, often reaching a low 32°F in winter while Austin’s coldest sits at 45°F. In the summer, Dallas averages 88°F while Austin sits at 90-100°F.

Both cities have similar rainfall patterns, but Dallas experiences an average of 0.46 inches more rain than Austin.

On average, Austin is at least 14% more humid than Dallas annually. Austin’s average sits at 84% while Dallas floats at 60-70%.

Dallas vs Austin: Comparison

For a better overview of how Dallas and Austin compare, here’s a table with all the information you need.

Factor DallasAustin
Job Opportunities– Has HQs for healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, aeronautics, and national defense companies
– 2.7% unemployment rate
– Fourth American metro with the most corporate HQs
– Has HQs for Tesla, AMD, Apple, IBM, Facebook, and Indeed
– 3.6% unemployment rate
Crime Rate– Lower property crime index
– 45.35 crime index
– Lower violent crime index
– Lower total property crime victims
– 42.91 crime index
Healthcare System– $6,374 on average annual expenses
– 66 total hospitals
– 210 doctors per cap
– $6,160 on average annual expenses
– 16 total hospitals
– 229 doctors per cap
Education– Good primary and secondary schools– Great universities
Food– More culturally diverse food profile
– Cheaper groceries
– More traditional food profile, but with modern twists
– Cheaper restaurant meals
Nightlife– More nightclubs and strip clubs– More live music venues and chill bars
Outdoor Activities– Few state parks
– Far from the surrounding nature
– Plenty of state parks
– Surrounded by hills and forests
Sports– Multiple major league teams
– Lackluster university teams
– Great sports fans
– Only one major league team
– Good university teams
– Great sports fans
Weather– 32°F in winter
– 88°F in summer
– Denser rainfall
– 45°F in winter
– 90-100°F. in summer
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