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


Alexis Garcia

Profile written by local expert:

Alexis Garcia

It's easy to write El Paso, Texas, off 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 and the KLAQ International Balloonfest 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.

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.

El Paso, Texas is ranked:

#110 in Best Places to Live

#24 in Best Places to Retire

6.0

Overall

Scorecard

Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
    5.5
  • Value
    5.8
  • Job Market
    5.4
  • Quality of Life
    7.3
  • Net Migration
    4.4

Read how we rank places

El Paso, TX Quick Stats

  • 838,527

    Metro Population

  • $38,610

    Average Annual Salary

  • 77.4° / 51.6°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 31.9

    Median Age

  • $151,300

    Median Home Price

  • 9.7 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 4.3%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $789

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 23.4 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

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.

Value Index

Index Score: 5.8 /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 2018-12


El Paso
$151,300

USA
$226,500

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 a little less than 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 at El Paso and residents using the downtown SunCycle bike-share program. 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 American Airlines, Delta, United, Frontier Airlines, Southwest and Allegiant. Greyhound provides charter 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

23.4 minutes

3.0 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, with more than 30 percent of the population younger than 20 years old. Many residents in their early 20s reside on the west side of town, near the University of Texas campus. However, pleasant weather makes El Paso a viable choice for those looking to retire, so about 11 percent of residents are 65 and older.

El Paso generally earns high marks from working parents who 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.

When it comes to spirituality, more than half of the population affiliates with a religion, and the majority of these residents are Catholic.

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.

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 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, Michelob Ultra El Paso Marathon and the Chile Pepper Challenge cycling event. A lineup of festivals like the Sun City Music Festival, Neon Desert Music Festival and the Plaza Classic Film Festival also bring the community together, as do sports teams like the Rhinos (amateur hockey) and the Chihuahuas (minor league baseball). The Hyundai Sun Bowl is a major college football event every winter.

El Paso also caters to culture hounds with art galleries, performing art venues (like the historic Plaza Theatre) and museums.