What's it like to live in Corpus Christi, TX?


Whitney Noble

Profile written by local expert:

Whitney Noble

Tucked away in southern Texas, Corpus Christi is a place where you're much more likely to see bicyclers in flip flops than dirt-kicking, spur-wearing cowboys on horses. This is the Florida of Texas, sans the price tag – where windsurfers, fishing poles and sailboat masts create the skyline. Nestled on Corpus Christi Bay, the greater Coastal Bend is surrounded by water, folks in their convertibles, and a bustling and efficient community juxtaposed with an "I'll get to it tomorrow" attitude.

But don't be fooled – the Coastal Bend is much more than a beach. Those who live in the area do so not only for the "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" mentality, but also for its thriving economy, largely attributed to the Port of Corpus Christi. Many energy companies have invested in developments near the port in order to facilitate transportation.

Meanwhile, the local art scene is growing, the farmers markets are plentiful and the history is unique. The region's maritime culture is on display at the USS Lexington and the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, while natural areas like the Padre Island National Seashore and the Hans & Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge showcase the metro area's beautiful coastal setting. Speaking of, the local food scene is unbeatable thanks to the abundance of fresh Gulf seafood.

Rankings

U.S. News analyzed 125 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Corpus Christi, Texas is ranked:

#106 in Best Places to Live

6.0

Overall

Scorecard

Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
    5.6
  • Value
    6.2
  • Job Market
    5.4
  • Quality of Life
    6.3
  • Net Migration
    6.5

Read how we rank places

Corpus Christi, TX Quick Stats

  • 447,102

    Metro Population

  • $43,810

    Average Annual Salary

  • N/A

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 35.6

    Median Age

  • N/A

    Median Home Price

  • N/A

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 5.9%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $905

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 20.4 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What's the cost of living in Corpus Christi, TX?

The cost of living in Corpus Christi is lower than in similarly sized metro areas across the country; that is true for both renters and homeowners. The dollar goes a bit further in Corpus Christi when it comes to housing and health care. However, taxes (both sales and property) are a bit higher than the national average. But at the same time, Texas is one of just a handful of states that does not have an income tax.

Value Index

Index Score: 6.2 /10

How we calculate this.


Corpus Christi offers a lower value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Corpus Christi, TX.

What's the weather like in Corpus Christi, TX?

The sun shines most of the year in Corpus Christi, so there's plenty of time to enjoy the Gulf Coast's natural attractions. Although the summers see high average temperatures and humidity that can turn straight hair to ringlets, the Gulf breeze keeps the climate more bearable than in other Texas areas. Winter, on the other hand, is quite pleasant and mild, and snow and ice are rare. Still, the temperatures can feel brisk after months of heat.

What's the best way to get around Corpus Christi, TX?

Although Corpus Christi does have a bike-share program, taxis and a few ride-hail services, most residents rely on their own cars to get around. Residents drive from the city proper to the suburbs to the Island on highways that are well-maintained. The metro area does not have a train station, but it does have bus transit.

Downtown Corpus Christi is designed to be pedestrian-friendly thanks to the Corpus Christi Bay Trail that runs the length of the Corpus Christi Bay from downtown to Oso Bay, offering 8 miles of views and popular tourist attractions.

Corpus Christi has an airport, where getting through security is easier and quicker than the Texas two-step. The airport is serviced by Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines, which offer direct flights to major metro areas like Dallas and Houston.

Commuting in Corpus Christi, TX

Means of Transportation
Driving
93%
Above national average

Bicycling
0%
Equal to national average

Walking
2%
Equal to national average

Public Transit
1%
Below national average
Average Commute Time

20.4 minutes

5.7 minutes less than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Corpus Christi, TX?

Corpus Christi is home to many families and retirees, and those who can afford it prefer to live on the South Side and Padre Island thanks to their low crime rates and access to the water. Retirees in particular are drawn to the city for its affordable and laid-back lifestyle. Meanwhile, Texas A&M University's Corpus Christi campus draws a younger demographic, as does the Naval Air Station with its aviation program.

When it comes to faith, more than half the population is religious, with the majority of them identifying as Catholic. 

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown


About the same number of single people in Corpus Christi as national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

What is there to do in Corpus Christi, TX?

Corpus Christi is ideal for those who love the outdoors. The metro area features miles of beaches that are great for surfing, kiteboarding, snorkeling, kayaking and fishing. Hunting is also a popular pastime here.

Families can cool down at Corpus Christi's two water parks – Hurricane Alley and Schlitterbahn – or get up close to the sharks at the Texas State Aquarium. Meanwhile, the USS Lexington, the Art Museum of South Texas, the Texas Surf Museum and the Britton-Evans House (also known as the Centennial House) each provide a unique perspective on Corpus Christi history. As for culture, residents can find it at the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, the Harbor Playhouse community theater or one of many annual festivals such as the Texas Jazz Fest in Heritage Park.

The metro area is quickly stepping up its game with some serious eats. Seafood is king in Corpus Christi, but residents also find restaurants serving Texas staples like Tex-Mex and barbecue, as well as global cuisines.