What's it like to live in El Paso, TX?


Alexis Garcia

Profile written by local expert:

Alexis Garcia

It's easy to write off El Paso, Texas, as another Southern cow town. Sure, you'll find an overwhelming number of steakhouses here, and you're bound to come across someone sporting a wide-brimmed cowboy hat. But gone are the days when old El Paso was known as the "Six Shooter Capital" – a place known for its outlaws and vices.

Today, El Paso attracts a wide variety of residents with its array of recreational and cultural offerings. Festivals like the Hueco Rock Rodeo bring the community together, and outdoorsy residents are quick to join their peers in marathons and bike races. Meanwhile, El Paso's rich Mexican heritage is on display in its local restaurants and the sombrero-shaped Abraham Chavez Theatre.

El Paso gets a bad rap for its proximity to Juarez, Mexico, but the metro area is safer than you might think, and its economy is thriving. Job opportunities can be found in a number of fields, from government to health care.

See all the best places to live in Texas.

Rankings

U.S. News analyzed 150 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.

El Paso, Texas is ranked:

#130 in Best Places to Live

#31 in Best Places to Retire

#8 in Best Places to Live in Texas

6.0

Overall

Scorecard

Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
    6.4
  • Value
    5.5
  • Job Market
    5.6
  • Quality of Life
    7.1
  • Net Migration
    4.8

Read how we rank places

El Paso, TX Quick Stats

  • 841,752

    Metro Population

  • $39,100

    Average Annual Salary

  • 77.4° / 51.6°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 32.0

    Median Age

  • $146,450

    Median Home Price

  • 9.7 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 3.8%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $812

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 23.5 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What is there to do in El Paso, TX?

El Paso is a great place to live for those who like the outdoors. The metro area's proximity to the Rio Grande provides opportunities to whitewater raft, canoe and fish, while Franklin Mountains State Park and Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site are great hiking and rock climbing spots.

The area holds a number of active events, including the Mighty Mujer Triathlon, Franklin Mountains Trail Runs, Eagle in the Sun Triathlon and the Michelob Ultra El Paso Marathon. A lineup of festivals like the Neon Desert Music Festival and the Plaza Classic Film Festival also bring the community together, as do sports teams like the Rhinos of the North American 3 Hockey League and minor league baseball's Chihuahuas, a Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The Sun Bowl is a major college football event every winter.

El Paso also caters to culture hounds with art galleries, performing art venues and museums.

What's the cost of living in El Paso, TX?

The cost of living in El Paso is lower than the national average, while the cost of housing is well below that of other major metropolitan areas, including Houston and Austin, Texas. The Central, Cielo Vista and Mesa Hills areas offer more affordable rental properties, while neighborhoods in the northwestern and eastern parts of the metro area have some of the more expensive housing inventory. The amount residents spend on everyday expenses, such as food and transportation, is slightly less than what the average American pays.

Looking for financial advice? Find a local financial advisor in El Paso, Texas.

Value Index

Index Score: 5.5 /10

How we calculate this.


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

Housing Costs 2019


El Paso
$146,450

USA
$232,933

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 El Paso, TX.

What's the weather like in El Paso, TX?

El Paso experiences all four seasons, but there's a reason it's called the Sun City: The region sees about 300 days of sunshine each year. In the summer, the desert heat is dry but not humid. The area has also been known to see snow. 

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)

46.7°F


Winter

65.0°F


Spring

81.9°F


Summer

64.5°F


Fall

Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

0.8 in


Winter

0.5 in


Spring

2.0 in


Summer

1.5 in


Fall

Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

What's the best way to get around El Paso, TX?

El Paso is sometimes prone to traffic backups – especially during the rush hours – due to construction aimed at improving the roadways. Still, the majority of residents prefer to get around by car.

Cycling is growing in popularity, especially for students at the University of Texas--El Paso and residents using the bike-share program in the city. Meanwhile, Sun Metro provides bus service throughout downtown El Paso and into the nearby suburbs.

The El Paso International Airport is less than a 15-minute drive from downtown and is serviced by Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. Greyhound provides bus service to nearby destinations, and Amtrak's Texas Eagle route connects El Paso to Chicago; San AntonioTucson, Arizona; Los Angeles; and many cities in between.

Commuting in El Paso, TX

Means of Transportation
Driving
91%
Above national average

Bicycling
0%
Equal to national average

Walking
2%
Equal to national average

Public Transit
1%
Below national average
Average Commute Time

23.5 minutes

3.1 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 El Paso, TX?

El Paso's population is fairly young. Many residents in their early 20s reside on the west side of town, near the UTEP campus. But pleasant weather makes El Paso a viable choice for those looking to retire, so a portion of the city's population is 65 and older.

Working parents in the area generally praise the cost of living, child care and quality of education. In general, families tend to settle down in the suburbs on the outskirts of El Paso. Single people who prefer the urban life take advantage of studios downtown and in the historic districts.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown


About the same number of single people in El Paso as national average

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