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Dallas vs Houston: Which State Is Better and Safest?

When comparing Dallas vs Houston, Texan cities, the question of which is better can ignite passionate debates. Both cities boast vibrant economies, diverse populations, and a range of attractions. So, let’s delve into the distinguishing features of Dallas and Houston and see what sets them apart!

Dallas VS Houston

Houston vs Dallas: Which City Is Better?

If you’re considering potential places to live in the Lone Star State, Dallas, and Houston will likely be among your top choices. However, you might wonder which of the two is more favorable. Depending on personal preference and priority. Both Texas cities have their unique charm and offer various opportunities and experiences.

Some may prefer Houston’s diverse culinary offerings and strong ties to the energy industry, while others may be drawn to Dallas’ arts district and thriving corporate environment. This article will let you know which city is better for your preferences.

Comparison Chart

Let’s examine Dallas and Houston through a comprehensive comparison chart below:




Size (across Texas cities)

385.8 square miles

670.3 square miles


Approximately 1.34 million

Approximately 2.3 million

Cost of Living

Relatively lower compared to Houston

Slightly higher compared to Dallas

Average Temperatures

Hot summers and mild winters

Hot and humid summers, mild winters

Average Humidity Level

Moderate humidity levels

High humidity levels

Natural Disasters

Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms

Hurricanes, severe thunderstorms

Air Quality

Generally good air quality

Some areas experience air pollution


Diverse neighborhoods, urban atmosphere

Diverse neighborhoods, urban atmosphere

Zoning Laws

Relatively lenient zoning regulations

Relatively lenient zoning regulations

Overall Safety

Generally safe with some areas of concern

Generally safe with some areas of concern


Numerous universities and colleges

Numerous universities and colleges


Relatively lower unemployment rates

Relatively lower unemployment rates


Options An abundance of cultural and recreational activities

An abundance of cultural and recreational activities


Offers a mix of international cuisines

Offers a mix of international cuisines

Vibrant Cityscape

Houston and Dallas are significant Texas cities with a considerable distance of around 240 miles separating them. However, regarding their land area:

  • Houston is a big city that surpasses Dallas by almost twofold.
  • Houston spans approximately 700 square miles, while Dallas covers about 300 square miles.

The Air Quality Paradigm of Dallas and Houston

The air quality in Dallas and Houston can vary significantly, but both cities have experienced air pollution issues:

  • Dallas has faced challenges due to its location near major highways and industrial areas.
  • Houston has been affected by its numerous petrochemical plants and refinery operations.
Air Quality Dallas VS Houston

Read Also: Romantic Getaways in Texas: 8 Best Accommodations for Couples

The Cost of Living in Dallas and Houston

Houston will be the preferred choice if you’re seeking a cost-effective place to live, as it offers a 5.8% greater affordability than Dallas.

  • Firstly, housing expenses in Dallas are 18.2% higher than in Houston.
  • Additionally, healthcare costs in Dallas are approximately 3.2% higher.

However, it’s worth noting that transportation expenses are comparatively higher in Houston than in Dallas. This leads us to the next aspect to consider.

State Income Tax Laws and Regulations

Residents of both Houston and Dallas in Texas are not required to pay state income taxes, which can benefit individuals and businesses.

Taxes Dallas VS Houston

Houston and Dallas Economy

Houston and Dallas, Texas cities have robust economies but differ in their key industries:

  • Houston’s economy is heavily driven by the energy sector, with a strong presence of oil and gas companies.
  • On the other hand, Dallas boasts a more diversified economy, with significant contributions from finance, technology, telecommunications, and healthcare sectors.

Traffic and Transportation

Houston and Dallas both experience heavy traffic congestion, but Houston tends to have worse traffic conditions overall:

  • Houston’sextensive highway system and rapidly growing population contribute to frequent traffic jams and longer commute times.
  • Dallas has made significant investments in its public transportation system, such as the DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit). It provides a viable alternative for commuters and helps alleviate some of the congestion.
Traffic and Transportation Dallas VS Houston

Typical Lifestyle

The two Texas cities offer vibrant city lifestyles with their unique flavors:

  • Houston is known for its diverse and international culture, boasting a thriving culinary scene and a strong emphasis on arts and entertainment.
  • Conversely, Dallas exudes a more cosmopolitan vibe with its upscale shopping, renowned professional sports teams, and a focus on business and entrepreneurship.


The two Texan cities experience different climates:

  • Houston has a humid subtropical climate characterized by hot and humid summers with frequent thunderstorms and mild winters. However, it is prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, as it is near the Gulf of Mexico.
  • In contrast, Dallas has a humid continental climate, with hot and dry summers and mild winters. While Dallas is not as vulnerable to hurricanes, it faces the risk of severe thunderstorms, hailstorms, and occasional tornadoes.

Read More: Texas vs Florida: Which Is the Better State to Live In?

Natural Beauty

Let’s explore the natural beauty of those two cities in Texas, highlighting their distinctive features and attractions.


A Blend of Urbanity and Nature Dallas, often regarded as the economic and cultural hub of North Texas, surprises visitors with its remarkable natural beauty amidst the urban environment. Here are some key natural attractions in Dallas:

Natural Beauty Dallas
  • White Rock Lake: Situated just minutes from downtown Dallas, White Rock Lake is a picturesque oasis covering over 1,000 acres. The lake offers scenic trails for walking, jogging, and cycling, surrounded by lush forests.
  • Cedar Ridge Preserve: Located southwest of downtown Dallas, the Cedar Ridge Preserve offers over 600 acres of rugged wilderness and hiking trails. Visitors can explore forests, grasslands, and springs while encountering diverse wildlife.
  • Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden: Nestled along the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a stunning 66-acre oasis. It showcases beautifully manicured gardens, colorful flower displays, and breathtaking views of the downtown skyline.


Nature and Ecological Diversity Houston, the largest city in Texas, embraces its natural landscapes, offering residents and visitors a range of outdoor experiences. Here are some notable natural attractions:

Natural Beauty Houston
  • Buffalo Bayou Park: Spanning 160 acres along the banks of Buffalo Bayou, this urban park is a scenic oasis in the heart of Houston. It offers walking and biking trails, beautiful gardens, and kayak rentals for exploring the waterway.
  • Galveston Island: Just an hour’s drive from downtown Houston, Galveston Island offers a scenic coastal getaway. Its beautiful beaches, nature preserves, and state parks provide swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and wildlife observation opportunities. Galveston’s historic Strand District also offers charming shops, restaurants, and a glimpse into the island’s rich history.
  • Houston Arboretum and Nature Center: Nestled in the heart of Memorial Park, the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center provides a peaceful retreat amidst the bustling city. The center encompasses five miles of trails winding through forested areas, wetlands, and meadows.

 Raising A Family

Raising a family in Dallas and Houston offers distinct advantages:

  • Dallas boasts a robust economy, excellent public and private school options, and a vibrant cultural scene, making it an attractive choice for families seeking diverse opportunities.
  • Houston provides a lower cost of living, a thriving job market, and a strong sense of community, making it an appealing destination for families looking for affordability and a welcoming environment.
Raising A Family Dallas VS Houston

Overall Safety

When it comes to safety, it is important to consider the statistics for violent crime and property crime rates in different cities.

  • In Houston, the rate of violent crime is recorded at 12.8, whereas in Dallas, it stands at 8.8. These figures should be compared to the national average of 22.7.
  • In terms of property crime, Houston has a rate of 43, while Dallas has a rate of 36.5, both higher than the national average of 35.

Safest Neighborhoods

Below are the safest neighborhoods of Dallas and Houston:


The safest neighborhoods are in Dallas Arts District, Southwest Dallas, Oak Lawn, and Northeast Dallas.

safest neighborhoods Dallas


The safest neighborhoods in Houston are Westchase, San Antonio, Sugar Land, Fulshear, Kingwood, and Bellaire.

Safest neighborhoods Houston


Both Dallas and Houston are cities that boast a substantial number of billionaires, reflecting the wealth and success present in these thriving Texas metropolises.

Billionaires Dallas VS Houston


Let’s look at billionaires in Dallas:

  • There are a total of 18 billionaires who collectively possess a net worth of $57.9 billion.
  • The richest individual in the city is Jerry Jones, whose estimated fortune amounts to approximately $8.7 billion.


Houston is home to 14 billionaires with a combined net worth of $52.9 billion.


Let’s look at the cuisines in both cities below:


Dallas is famous for its beef-centric andTex-Mexcuisine, making it a go-to destination for barbecues and steaks. The city offers diverse culinary options, including:

Dallas Cuisine


Houston’s dining scene is incredibly diverse, with a rich mix of international influences due to its proximity to the Mexican border and a large Asian immigrant population. This large city offers various dining options, including:

Houston Cuisine

Entertainment Options

Here are the Entertainment Options in both cities:


You can enjoy a vibrant arts scene in Dallas with world-class museums like:

Entertainment Options Dallas
  • Dallas Museum of Art
  • Nasher Sculpture Center
  • Explore the lively Deep Ellum district, known for its live music venues and eclectic dining options.


In Houston, you can immerse yourself in Space City’s rich cultural offerings, including:

Entertainment Options Houston
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • Museum of Natural Science.
  • Houston Theater District- the home to several acclaimed theatres and the Houston Symphony.

Only In Dallas

Dallas, Texas, offers a variety of unique attractions that are worth exploring. Here are some notable ones:

1. Dallas Farmers Market

Located in the heart of downtown Dallas, the Farmers Market is a vibrant hub for fresh produce, artisanal goods, and delicious food. You can browse various locally grown fruits and vegetables, specialty items, and handmade crafts. It’s a great place to experience the local flavors and supports local businesses.

Dallas Farmers Market
Credit:, @Dallas Farmers Market

2. Reunion Tower

This iconic landmark stands tall at 560 feet and provides stunning panoramic views of the Dallas skyline. Take a trip to the observation deck and enjoy breathtaking vistas of the city.

Reunion Tower Dallas

The tower also features a revolving restaurant called Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck, where you can savor delicious cuisine while enjoying the ever-changing views.

3. State Fair Of Texas

Held annually at Fair Park, the State Fair of Texas is a unique event that showcases Texas culture, entertainment, and agriculture. It is one of the largest state fairs in the United States. It offers many attractions, including:

  • Carnival rides.
  • Live music performances.
  • Exhibitions.
  • Famous food vendors serve everything from deep-fried treats to classic fair favorites like corn dogs and funnel cakes.
State Fair Of Texas
Credit:, @State Fair of Texas

4. Museums

Dallas has several world-class museums catering to various interests. Some notable ones include:

  • The Dallas Museum of Art: Dallas Museum of Art houses an extensive collection spanning thousands of years, including works from various cultures and periods.
  • The Perot Museum of Nature and Science: This interactive museum offers engaging exhibits on dinosaurs, space exploration, human biology, and more. It’s a fantastic place for children and adults to learn and have fun.
  • The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza: Located in the former Texas School Book Depository building, this museum chronicles the life, assassination, and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. It provides a detailed account of his assassination in Dallas in 1963.
Museums Dallas
Credit:, @The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Only In Houston

Houston, Texas, is a vibrant city with several unique attractions that set it apart. Here are some special experiences you can have “Only in Houston”:

1. Street Art

Houston is known for its vibrant street art scene. The city is home to numerous murals, graffiti walls, and public art installations that showcase the creativity of local artists. Below are Areas mainly known for street art:

  • Houston Heights.
  • EaDo (East Downtown).
  • Washington Avenue Arts District.
Street Art Houston
Credit:, @Arts District Houston

2. NASA Johnson Space Center

As the home of NASA’s astronaut training and mission control, the Johnson Space Center offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore space and learn about the history and future of space exploration.

  • You can take a behind-the-scenes tram tour.
  • Visit the Space Center Houston visitor center.
  • View real space artifacts.
  • Meet astronauts.
NASA Johnson Space Center

3. Record Breaker

Record Breakers in Houston:

  • Largest City in Texas: Houston is the largest city in Texas in terms of population and land area.
  • Most Diverse City in the United States: Houston is known for its incredible cultural diversity, with over 145 languages spoken and a vibrant mix of ethnicities and nationalities.
  • Home to the Largest Medical Center in the World: The Texas Medical Center in Houston is the largest medical complex, hosting renowned hospitals, research institutions, and medical schools.
  • Largest Livestock Show and Rodeo: The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the largest event of its kind, attracting millions of visitors yearly to witness rodeo competitions, livestock exhibitions, and live entertainment.
  • Largest Theater District outside of New York: Houston’s Theater District is the second-largest in seats and a number of venues, offering a wide range of performing arts experiences.
  • Highest Number of Fortune 500 Headquarters: Houston boasts an impressive concentration of Fortune 500 company headquarters, cementing its status as a central economic hub.
  • Largest Art Collection in Texas: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, houses an extensive collection spanning various art forms and cultures, making it the largest art collection in the state of Texas.

4. Museums

Houston is home to an impressive array of museums catering to various interests. Some notable ones include:

  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: It houses an extensive collection of art spanning thousands of years, including works from renowned artists and diverse cultures.
  • The Houston Museum of Natural Science: This museum offers exhibits on topics like dinosaurs, gems and minerals, ancient civilizations, and the vastness of the universe. It also features a planetarium and a butterfly center.
  • The Menil Collection: This museum showcases an extraordinary private art collection featuring works by renowned artists like Picasso, Warhol, and Rothko. It’s known for its unique architecture and serene atmosphere.
Museums Houston


Which is better to live in Dallas or Houston?

The choice between living in Dallas or Houston ultimately depends on personal preferences and priorities. Dallas offers a vibrant arts scene, a booming job market, and a lower cost of living. At the same time, Houston boasts a diverse culinary scene, a strong energy industry presence, and proximity to the Gulf Coast.

Is it cheaper to live in Dallas or Houston?

The cost of living in Dallas and Houston can vary depending on several factors, such as housing, transportation, and overall lifestyle choices. Generally, Houston tends to have a slightly lower cost of living than Dallas, particularly in housing prices and rental rates.

Is Dallas nightlife better than Houston?

In terms of nightlife, Houston offers a diverse range of venues and a thriving music scene that caters to various tastes and preferences. From trendy clubs to live music venues, Houston’snightlife has a reputation for being vibrant and dynamic, making it a top choice for those seeking an unforgettable night out.

Are the people in Dallas friendly like in Fort Worth?

The people in Dallas are generally friendly, but their friendliness may differ from that of Fort Worth. While both cities have unique characteristics, Fort Worth is often renowned for its warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Is it hotter in Dallas or Houston?

On average, Houston tends to be hotter than Dallas due to its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, which brings in more moisture and humidity. However, both cities experience hot and humid climates during the summer months.

What are the charms of downtown Dallas?

Downtown Dallas offers a captivating blend of modernity and history, with its stunning architectural landmarks like the Reunion Tower and the historic charm of Dealey Plaza. Its vibrant arts and cultural scene, coupled with a diverse array of dining and entertainment options, make it an exciting destination for locals and visitors alike.

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When comparing Dallas vs Houston, it’s essential to consider various factors. Dallas offers a thriving economy, a diverse cultural scene, and a lower cost of living. At the same time, Houston boasts a strong job market, a rich culinary scene, and proximity to the coast.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on individual preferences and priorities, so visiting both cities is recommended, exploring their offerings, and considering personal factors before deciding.

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Dallas VS Houston