The city motto of Dallas is ‘Big things happen here’ – and as the city often finds itself in the top ten most populated cities in the USA, Dallas truly lives up to the Texan stereotype of bigger being better. Expats moving to Dallas will enjoy a high quality of life with a reasonable cost of living to boot.
While the topography of Dallas is fairly flat throughout, the atmosphere is alive and vibrant. Although Dallas is firmly inland, its plentiful lakes and creeks make up for the lack of a coastline.
Living in Dallas as an expat
There has been a cultural renaissance of sorts in Dallas lately, resulting in the development of the Arts District. Newcomers to Dallas can enjoy a fantastic lifestyle, with numerous museums throughout the city, as well as choice restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.
That said, Dallas isn’t a typical Texan city. It’s less laid-back than other cities in the state and takes a more serious approach to work. That isn’t to say the city is unfriendly, but new arrivals will experience something in between warm Southern hospitality and a steely business mentality.
Accommodation in Dallas offers various options catering to different preferences and budgets. Expats can choose from apartments in the city centre, close to the hustle and bustle, or suburban homes that provide a quieter and more spacious living environment. The city has recently witnessed a rise in housing costs; however, it remains an attractive destination for individuals transitioning from pricier cities.
On the healthcare front, Dallas is home to several top-rated medical facilities and hospitals, ensuring that expats have access to high-quality healthcare services. Health insurance is highly recommended to offset the cost of medical care, and many employers offer insurance packages as part of the employment benefits. As such, new arrivals moving to Dallas can expect to live a good life in the city.
Cost of living in Dallas
One of the major benefits of living in Dallas is its overall lower cost of living compared to other major US cities. In most aspects, big-city life can be enjoyed in Dallas without the big-city price to go along with it. That said, costs have been rising recently, including the cost of housing. In 2023, Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey ranked the city as the 53rd most expensive out of 227 expat destinations worldwide.
Despite these rising costs, Dallas remains reasonably priced. Transplants from pricier cities like San Francisco often marvel at how much more space they can afford in Dallas compared to the tiny and expensive accommodation back home.
Families and children in Dallas
Another drawcard for people relocating to Dallas is its abundance of beautiful, family-friendly neighbourhoods with reputable schools and historic houses. Those who move to the city’s suburbs can expect leafy green avenues, spacious parks and interesting architecture.
Most people living in Dallas use a car as their primary means of transport, but public transport is available, and there are buses, light rail and trams to help commuters get around. Dallas also has a network of bike paths and wide sidewalks for outdoorsy people who enjoy daily exercise.
Climate in Dallas
Dallas is ideal for those who like warm, dry weather and lots of sunshine. The excellent weather in the city allows for outdoor sports to be played year-round, and new arrivals will soon notice the locals’ enthusiastic support of their city’s football team, the Dallas Cowboys. Green spaces abound, so there’s no shortage of places to picnic, cycle or go for a run, making for an excellent lifestyle for those who are moving to Dallas.
What do expats love about Dallas?
"I love the people in Dallas; they are so kind and positive. I also really enjoy all the restaurants and bars here – there are so many! One of the things I also love about Texas is the feeling of freedom: a lot of things are possible here and people have a lot of opportunities." Read more in our interview with Conny, a Dutch expat living in Dallas.
►Learn about the city's best attractions by reading See and Do in Dallas
Are you an expat living in Dallas?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Dallas. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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