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Cost of Living Comparison

Houston offers a low cost of living while maintaining a high quality of life with the amenities expected in a world-class city.
Published on 6/3/20
Cost of Living Comparisons Q1 2020

*Metro areas represented by most dominant urban area. Riverside, California is among the 20 most populous metros, but did not submit COLI data.
Source: Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), Cost of Living Index, Q1 2020 (Data based on a survey of 257 urban areas, published May 2020).


The C2ER Cost of Living Index for the first quarter of ’20 shows Houston has the third lowest cost of living among the nation’s 20 most populous metropolitan areas. Houston’s overall after-taxes living costs are 4.4 percent below the average for all 257 urban areas participating in the survey. 

Among the nation’s 20 most populous metro areas, Houston’s housing costs are 49.1 percent below the average, and its overall costs are 24.1 percent below the average for this group. Excluding the two most expensive housing markets — New York and San Francisco — which tend to skew the average, Houston’s costs remain lower than the majority, with housing costs at 36.8 percent below and overall costs at 16.7 percent below the major metro average.


Living in Houston

Houston is the 3rd most affordable among the nation's 20 biggest metros

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