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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 2/20/20
Cost of Living Comparisons Annual Average 2019


*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, Annual Average 2019 (Data based on a survey of 266 urban areas, published January 2020).


The C2ER Cost of Living Index for ’19 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 4.5 percent below the average for all 266 urban areas participating in the survey. 

Among the nation’s 20 most populous metro areas, Houston’s housing costs are 49.3 percent below the average, and its overall costs are 25.4 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 housing costs are still 38.8 percent below the major metro average.


Elizabeth Balderrama
Manager, Research

Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research

Living in Houston

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

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