What's it like to live in Killeen, TX?

Britni Rachal

Profile written by local expert:

Britni Rachal

Located in the heart of central Texas, Killeen is a family-friendly city with a thriving economy fueled by Fort Hood, one of the largest military bases in the country. Killeen residents have access to down-home barbecue, an abundance of outdoor and recreational activities, and fun music joints.

Named for Frank P. Killeen, an employee of the Santa Fe Railroad in the late 1800s, Killeen's roots are tied to the railroad. Killeen was officially formed May 15, 1882, after the first train stopped in town. Decades later, during World War II, Camp Hood formed in 1942, pushing the population from 1,200 to 30,000 people within just one year. It was later renamed Fort Hood. 

The military lifestyle and presence is still a major part of Killeen's identity. Throughout the metro area, residents will find flags and historical landmarks with mentions of the military. The area is home to thousands of veterans and active-duty soldiers, and you're bound to see groups of soldiers  eating at restaurants during weekday lunch hours.

Killeen provides easy access to major metro areas like Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin.

See all the best places to live in Texas.


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.

Killeen, Texas is ranked:

#110 in Best Places to Live

#107 in Best Places to Retire

#5 in Best Places to Live in Texas




Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
  • Value
  • Job Market
  • Quality of Life
  • Net Migration

Read how we rank places

Killeen, TX Quick Stats

  • 438,265

    Metro Population

  • $43,990

    Average Annual Salary

  • N/A

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 31.3

    Median Age

  • $153,133

    Median Home Price

  • N/A

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 3.8%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $909

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 21.6 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What is there to do in Killeen, TX?

Killeen and its surrounding areas work hard to promote an active lifestyle for families. The numerous parks throughout the metro area feature plenty of playground equipment for children. Killeen is also home to a family recreation center with facilities for sports and other activities. The metro area also contains public pools, a spray pad and a Family Aquatics Center. Waterslides and a 25-meter lap pool offer something for everyone during those hot summer months.

Meanwhile, the Andy K. Wells Hike & Bike Trail and the Lions Club Park hike and bike trail provide nice settings for walking, running and biking. Races are also popular in Killeen, with multiple 5K and 10K events taking place throughout the year.

The Bob Gilmore Senior Center and the Lions Club Park Senior Center offer a variety of activities for those who are young at heart. And man's best friend won't feel left out in Killeen. Dog owners can take their pups to Mickey's Dog Park, which includes several toys and small tunnels for dogs to run through, along with separate gated areas for big dogs and small dogs.

Educational attractions are also available in Killeen, including the Mayborn Science Theater, a planetarium and science museum that hosts events throughout the year. In nearby Copperas Cove, families can go on a safari adventure at the Topsey Exotic Ranch & Drive Thru Safari, home to roughly 50 species of wildlife, including camels and zebras.

What's the cost of living in Killeen, TX?

With a cost of living that's lower than the national average and that of other large Texas metro areas, Killeen residents are able to stretch their dollar further than the average American. The median home value and the median monthly rent are both lower in Killeen than they are in other major metro areas around the country.

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

Value Index

Index Score: 6.9 /10

How we calculate this.

Killeen offers a better value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs 2019



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 Killeen, TX.

What's the weather like in Killeen, TX?

Killeen is a great place for those who don't like colder weather. It's common to see people wearing shorts in the middle of winter. At the same time, the region is no stranger to freezing temperatures.

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

Most people in Killeen rely on their cars as their primary mode of transportation, but a car is not totally necessary. The HOP bus system, operated by the Hill Country Transit District, covers more than 9,000 square miles and nine counties surrounding Killeen. Service is also open to residents with disabilities through the Special Transit Service. However, HOP service is not available on weekends or holidays. 

Arrow Trailways of Texas offers bus service to nearby cities including Austin and Houston

American Airlines and United Airlines service Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport.

Commuting in Killeen, TX

Means of Transportation
Above national average

Equal to national average

Equal to national average

Public Transit
Below national average
Average Commute Time

21.6 minutes

5.0 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 Killeen, TX?

People come from all over the world to live in Killeen. A major draw is the military base, with thousands of soldiers and their families moving in and out of Killeen each year. Almost everyone in the community has ties to the armed forces, whether through personal service, family members or friends. The transiency of the military population creates a warm, welcoming environment in Killeen, and newcomers are well-received.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown

Fewer single people in Killeen than
national average

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