Thinking about living in Austin, TX? As one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., this Texas city attracts relocating singles, families, young professionals, and retirees alike. Consider these 12 pros and cons of living in Austin.


Pros of Living in Austin

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The City of Austin offers residents great jobs, delicious food, and a lively entertainment scene, making ATX one of the best places to live in Texas. Here are the pros of living in Austin.

Pro: Austin Offers Top Jobs

ATX is a great place to live in the Lone Star State thanks to its strong job market. With a low unemployment rate of 3%, Austin is one of the best cities for jobs, as well as a great place to start a business. Earning the nickname Silicon Hills, Austin has notably grown to become a tech hub, but residents can also find opportunities in key industries in Austin like manufacturing, finance, life sciences, and more. Grow in your career with major tech companies like Apple, IBM, Dell Technologies, and Adobe. Secure a job outside of the tech industry at Fortune 500 companies in Austin like Whole Foods Market. Or find your place at an Austin-based business, from working in retail at Kendra Scott to marketing and human resources positions at Vrbo.

Pro: One of the Best College Towns

Topping the list of best college cities in the U.S., Austin is ideal for those interested in higher education. Join Longhorn Nation and enroll in the McCombs School of Business, Cockrell School of Engineering, or Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, one of the top public universities in the country! Study communication or healthcare administration, or take advantage of the Pre-Law Program at faith-based Concordia University Texas. Work toward a degree in graphic design or accounting, or walk away with a certificate in data analysis at St. Edward’s University. Earn your Bachelor of Applied Technology in manufacturing engineering technology or an Associate of Arts in journalism from Austin Community College. Or prepare for a career in political science, computer science, or education at Huston-Tillotson University.

Pro: Outdoor Attractions in Austin

With nearly 300 sunny days every year, there’s plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors in Austin! Cool off in the Barton Springs Pool, play a game of disc golf, wander through the Zilker Botanical Garden, or attend community events like the ABC Kite Festival at Zilker Park. Set up a picnic, take a dip in Onion Creek, or challenge yourself to one of the many hiking trails at McKinney Falls State Park. Enjoy a jog, go kayaking, or try to reel in a big fish at Lady Bird Lake. From April to October, watch in awe as bats fly out at dusk at the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. Go hiking or biking along miles of trails, and stop to soak in beautiful views of the Twin Falls or Sculpture Falls at the Barton Creek Greenbelt. Or get your adrenaline pumping with Lake Travis Zipline Adventures, the state’s longest and fastest zipline!

Pro: Arts & Culture Galore

If you’re a fan of the arts or a history buff, you’ll love living in Austin! See more than 21,000 works of art on display at the UT Austin campus, or attend events like Second Saturdays at the Blanton Museum of Art, one of the largest university museums. Learn about the history of Texas through rotating exhibits like Texas Oil and Gas, or catch a film in the theatre at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Dig for fossils in the Dino Pit, check out the Honey Bee Observation Hive, and learn about native wildlife for family fun at the Austin Nature & Science Center. Tour Lady Bird Johnson’s Office, spot LBJ’s Presidential Limousine, and see a replica of the Oval Office at the LBJ Presidential Library. Attend a comedy show, concert, or family-friendly performance like Show Way: The Musical at Paramount Theatre. Support the talented artists in the Austin Opera or the Austin Symphony Orchestra at the Long Center. Or watch performances like The Sleeping Beauty and buy tickets to the annual production of The Nutcracker put on by Ballet Austin.

Pro: Renowned Live Music Scene

With around 250 live music venues, it’s easy to see why ATX is called the “Live Music Capital of the World.” Catch live music performances in the restaurant or dancehall arena at Broken Spoke—a Texas favorite since 1964 and once host to country superstars like Garth Brooks, Bob Willis, and Willie Nelson. Attend nightly live music performances in genres like country, rockabilly, and more at The Continental Club, one of the city’s oldest clubs. Rock out to regular blues performances and tribute bands in Downtown Austin at the iconic Antone’s Night Club. Sing along to popular artists and bands like Novo Amor, Maddie Zahm, and The Last Dinner Party at the Historic Scoot Inn, established in 1871. Sip a Mimosa while enjoying Gospel Brunch, or sit back for a live music performance by Sammy Rae & The Friends, Hippie Sabotage, and other well-known bands at Stubb’s BBQ. Or support local Austin musicians at Open Mic nights or Sing Along Saturdays at Speakeasy Austin.

Pro: Great Austin Festivals & Events

Residents can stay busy with lots of festivals and events in Austin to attend throughout the year. Spanning two weekends in October, gather in Zilker Park for a lineup of over 100 top musical performers across nine stages, festival food, and more at Austin City Limits. Check out the Film & TV Festival, dance to amazing acts at the Music Festival, and get ready to laugh at the Comedy Festival at the SXSW Music Festival. Sign up for the 5k or half marathon, or challenge yourself to the full 26.2 miles during the Austin Marathon. Watch professional chefs cook over an open flame, sip local wines during a tasting session, and try mouthwatering cuisine at the Austin Food & Wine Festival. Attend live podcast recordings and world movie premieres of horror, fantasy, action, and sci-fi movies at Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival in the U.S! Listen to live Reggae performances by artists like Stonebwoy and The Human Rights at the Austin Reggae Festival or dance to free music performances of all genres at venues throughout the city during Free Week. Or show your support of the LGTBQ+ community by participating in the parade during Austin Pride!

Pro: Diverse Restaurants in Austin

While BBQ and Tex-Mex are Austin staples, the city’s diverse selection of cuisines helped earn it a spot among both the best food truck cities and the best food cities in the U.S.! For some of the best Tex-Mex in Austin, try the Alambre Street Tacos, Tostadas, or Veganchilada at Eldorado Cafe. Devour the Potato Salad, a Brisket Sandwich, or Pulled Pork by the pound when dining at Franklin Barbecue. In the mood for a little spice? Dine on the Lamb Hot Pot with Tofu, Orange Chicken, or Garlic Baby Bok Choy at House of Three Gorges. Step up to order Lebanese street food in Austin like Taboulleh Salad, Shish Tawook, or Beef Shawarma from Beirut. Enjoy the Pomegranate Glazed Pork Ribs, Smoked Kofta, or the Egyptian Cowboy at KG BBQ, which specializes in Texas BBQ infused with Egyptian and Middle Eastern flavors. Or treat yourself to vegan milkshakes like Star-Berry Lemon Cloud, Chocolate Eclipse, or The Violet for dessert at Milky Way Shakes.

Pro: Exciting Nightlife in Austin

A hot spot for nightlife in Austin, 6th Street is Austin’s top entertainment district, but that’s only the beginning of the fun! Laugh the night away with stand-up acts at The Velveeta Room, or watch comedy sketches and satirical performances at Esther’s Follies. Snack on Fried Chickpeas while sipping in-house beers like an Oris Don Oatmeal Stout or Lightning Wolf Hazy IPA from Lazarus Brewing Co. Head to Rainey Street and catch up with friends over a beer or seltzer at Stagger Lee, or hang out on the patio with a craft cocktail at the Parlor Room. Dance the night away or attend performances by drag queens at Cheer Up Charlies, one of the best gay bars in Austin. Or enjoy local brews and eats at one of the many Austin breweries, such as Holdout Brewing, Austin Beerworks, and Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. (ABGB).


Cons of Living in Austin

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Though there are many great reasons to relocate to Austin, it’s important to consider some of the drawbacks, as well. Here are four cons of moving to Austin.

Con: High Cost of Living in Austin

It may not come as a surprise that living in Austin requires some extra spending money. Compared to nearby Texas cities like San Antonio and Fort Worth that have costs of living on par with the state’s average, Austin’s cost of living is 15% higher than the Texas average. A large contributing factor is ATX’s high rental prices and median home prices, which are 94% higher than the U.S. average. However, if you’re looking to move to a major city with lots to do, Austin is still more affordable than other options like NYC. In addition, to help offset the costs, Austin residents earn an average of nearly $15,000 more annually compared to the rest of the state. This, paired with the Texas’ lack of income tax and the city’s lower grocery and utility costs, helps Austinites’ dollars go further.

Con: Lots of Traffic

Austin is a car-dependent city, so it’s no wonder that the highways are congested. Texas’ capital ranks in the top 20 cities for worst traffic, with drivers losing 53 hours per year to driving time. One of the major contributors to this is the high traffic commuters face on the highways, with I-35 being one of the most congested highways in the state. However, with new bike lanes, Austin is quickly becoming a bike-friendly city. Additionally, though Austin’s public transportation options are limited, there are some options to choose from. Residents can take advantage of numerous bus routes or hop on the rail train with CapMetro.

Con: Complaints of Overcrowding

In the last three years, Austin has seen a significant boom in its population. Texas’ capital has seen a growth rate of 1.3%, making Austin one of the largest cities with a population of 965,872. There’s no end in sight to this growth, as Austin is expected to reach 22 million people by 2100, far surpassing other major metros. And due to the presence of popular colleges and universities in Austin, you can also expect a large young adult population during the academic year. While an increasingly large population can be beneficial in some ways, some residents may find the city too crowded. To help with this, locals can choose to live in Austin suburbs a little further from the city center.

Con: Sweltering Texas Heat

Austin has a subtropical climate, so the summer months are hot and muggy. Hot weather season lasts from June to September, with average highs reaching 97 degrees, but there are many summer days when the temperature reaches well over 100 degrees with nearly 70% humidity. To help residents stay safe during periods of extreme heat, the City of Austin offers cooling centers where you can take a break from the outdoors. But Austin residents don’t let the heat put a stop to their fun, either! Attend evening events like the H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks or the annual Zilker Summer Musical. Cool off with water activities at Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures, or explore hidden passages at the Inner Space Cavern, which maintains a temperature of 72 degrees throughout the year! Or look forward to the mild winter season in ATX, with average highs of 65 degrees and lows only dipping to the lower 40s.


Moving to Texas’s capital city? Life Storage offers storage units throughout the Austin metro to make your move easier. Find self storage in Austin today!

This post was originally published 10/29/2019, and last revised on 02/20/2024 with updated information.

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