Anyone who has ever relocated to another city knows that understanding the cost of living and crunching numbers are the very first steps. After all knowing how far your paycheck can stretch once you’re in your new city is an important consideration for any relocating family or individual. If you’re used to affordable housing prices reasonable grocery bills and inexpensive health care you don’t want to be surprised if your new city is much pricier. The good news for relocating families is that the Austin area still ranks among one of the most affordable large metropolitan cities to live work play and do business.


When compared to cities that are similar – in terms of major industries and population among other factors – your hard earned dollar stretches much further here. In fact you’ll likely pay less for transportation utilities healthcare and other critical goods and services like groceries (Texas does not tax unprepared food items) and housing – and we’ve got the stats to prove it.

ACCRA is a national organization dedicated to economic development and policy research and it publishes an annual Cost of Living Index that ranks a range of living expenses in major cities. The index measures differences between areas in the cost of consumer goods and services minus taxes and non-consumer expenditures.

It also measures relative price levels for consumer goods and services in participating areas. The average for a participating place—both metropolitan and non-metro—is 100 and each city’s index is read as a percentage of the average for all places. See the chart on the opposite page to see how Austin ranks against other large metro areas and you’ll see that it’s much less expensive in just about every category measured to hang your hat right here.

For example when comparing the ACCRA Cost of Living Index for the last several years housing in the Austin Texas area has consistently been one of the most affordable metropolitan markets in the U.S. With an average 2016 housing score of 96.3 the Austin area is below the U.S. average of 100.

Whether you’re thinking about moving here or have just made the move it’s easy to see that the Austin area is a thriving community that measures up not only with its quality of life – but also with its affordability. And that’s good news from any perspective.