What's it like to live in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX?


Amanda Casanova

Profile written by local expert:

Amanda Casanova

Offering both big-city excitement and quiet, suburban living, the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area offers an interesting mix of Texas pride and cosmopolitan offerings. The cowboy life still exists in Fort Worth, while Dallasites love the trendy local bars and numerous retail shops. And no matter which part of the metroplex they call home, sports fans rally together behind their professional sports teams.

The small-town feel of Friday night football games and backyard parties exists in the suburbs of Dallas-Fort Worth. In those areas, residents can bump into their friends at the local Tex-Mex restaurant, children ride their bikes and joggers hit the pavement for evening runs. But even in DFW proper, many people exude that Texas friendliness with a wave or a "hello" to strangers.

Those who live in Dallas and Fort Worth tend to be young professionals, while the surrounding suburbs are largely filled with young families who want both a close-knit community and easy access to the cities. People from both demographics are flooding the area, and the population has swelled from about 5.8 million people in 2005 to more than 7.2 million people today. New developments have drawn in both families looking for their dream home and millennials looking to launch their careers.

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.

Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas is ranked:

#18 in Best Places to Live

#9 in Best Places to Retire

7.0

Overall

Scorecard

Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
    6.5
  • Value
    7.1
  • Job Market
    7.0
  • Quality of Life
    7.0
  • Net Migration
    7.7

Read how we rank places

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX Quick Stats

  • 6,957,123

    Metro Population

  • $50,350

    Average Annual Salary

  • 76.6° / 55.8°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 34.5

    Median Age

  • $210,181

    Median Home Price

  • 36.1 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 3.7%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $969

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 27.8 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What's the cost of living in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX?

DFW's housing market is one of the hottest in the nation. As more and more professionals move to DFW, the downtown rental rates have risen. Home prices have also climbed over the past few years.

Value Index

Index Score: 7.1 /10

How we calculate this.


Dallas-Fort Worth offers a better value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs this Year


Dallas-Fort Worth
$210,181

USA
$222,408

Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX.

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What's the weather like in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX?

Come summertime, the weather in this part of Texas can feel unbearable. But during the rest of the year, a mild climate yields an enjoyable atmosphere for attending sporting events, enjoying neighborhood parks or walking around town. 

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)

47.6°F


Winter

65.7°F


Spring

84.1°F


Summer

67.4°F


Fall

Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

2.7 in


Winter

4.9 in


Spring

3.8 in


Summer

4.2 in


Fall

Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

What's the best way to get around Dallas-Fort Worth, TX?

Because most DFW-area residents choose to drive, traffic can be a daily issue in the metroplex, especially during rush hours, but the expanding tollways have helped quicken commutes. As the cities continue to grow and the housing market flourishes, many residents face a commute time between 20 minutes to an hour.

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit system is an alternative to driving, especially if you work in downtown Dallas. The rail system's coverage is limited, however, with only about 60 stations spread out over the area. Its best use is during city events and concerts when riders can take the DART from stations in Plano and Irving to downtown Dallas. Fort Worth's equivalent is the Trinity Railway Express.

The DFW metroplex is home to two airports: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (an American Airlines hub) and Dallas Love Field. Both Dallas and Fort Worth have Amtrak train stations and Greyhound bus stations. 

Commuting in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

Means of Transportation
Driving
91%
Above national average

Bicycling
0%
Equal to national average

Walking
1%
Equal to national average

Public Transit
1%
Below national average
Average Commute Time

27.8 minutes

1.7 minutes more than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

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

Who lives in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX?

The metroplex encompasses 12 counties. Singles or young couples without children fill rentals within the major cities, while families fill the nearby suburban towns. Only about a tenth of the population in both Dallas and Tarrant counties, which include the cities of Fort Worth, Dallas, Arlington and Irving, is older than 65, and quieter living is found in the outer counties, such as Hood County.

In affluent areas such as Trophy Club and Mansfield, home values can tower in the multi-millions. Still, the upper middle class section has boomed, with many families moving to the suburbs to place their children in the excellent school systems.

Megachurches such as The Village Church, T.D. Jakes' The Potter's House and Prestonwood Baptist are also hallmarks of DFW. 

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown


About the same number of single people in Dallas-Fort Worth as national average

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

What is there to do in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX?

Most nights, live music echoes out of bars and theaters across the metroplex. For a truly Texan experience, Fort Worth, also aptly known as Cowtown, offers the annual Fort Worth Stock Show, weekly rodeos at the Stockyards and weekend two-stepping at Billy Bob's Texas nightclub.

Crowds roar for the Dallas Cowboys football team at AT&T Stadium and for the Texas Rangers baseball players at Globe Life Park in Arlington, while the Dallas Mavericks shoot hoops in the heart of downtown Dallas.

Kid-friendly activities include the indoor water park at Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington and zoos in both Dallas and Fort Worth.

Find out more about what there is to see and do in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX