Cost of Living in Austin, TX
Photo By Bruce Stockwell
The cost of living in Austin is much less than many major cities – and that’s yet another reason companies – and relocating families – are attracted to the area. According to numbers from the ACCRA Cost of Living Index (third quarter 2012), Austin has a composite index of 94.4 – on par with Atlanta (95.0), Dallas (96.4), Charlotte (93.7) and Raleigh (90.9), but far below Boston (142.8), Los Angeles (131.3), and New York (229.5) in terms of the cost of grocery, housing, utilities, transportation and healthcare. (See chart in this section for a full picture of Austin’s ACCRA Cost of Living Index ranking in comparison to other metro areas.)
According to the Austin Board of Realtors, the median home value in Austin was $220,000 as of March 2013, while the national median was $184,300. Texas doesn’t have either a personal or corporate income tax, adding to its relocation appeal. In fact, according to the nonprofit TaxFoundation.org, Texas has one of the lowest state and local tax burdens in the nation at 7.9 percent of income (ranking 45th of 50 states nationally) and below the national average of 9.8 percent.
Because Austin remains an affordable place to live and work, growth in the Austin MSA has skyrocketed – increasing by 17 percent since 2000 and expected to double in the next 25 years – to 2,780,504 by 2030. In particular, Williamson, Hays and Bastrop counties have been consistently ranked among the top 100 fastest-growing counties in the country since 2000 – and all expect double-digit growth for the next 20 years.