Dallas-Fort Worth VS Houston: Which is Growing Faster?

The Lone Star State, Texas, is known for its legendary cowboy culture, vast landscapes, and booming urban centers. Among those centers, we often discuss Dallas-Fort Worth VS Houston as two of Texas’s biggest and culturally rich metroplex cities.

Over the past few years, both cities have faced notable inward migration due to several factors, such as economic growth, job opportunities, and quality of life. It has given birth to some heated debates, like which metroplex city is growing faster or which is better for living. 

So, in today’s post, we’ll compare the economic and population growth of the two cities–Houston and DFW, and discuss which is better for you to live in. Let’s get started!

Economy

Dallas-Fort Worth

Around 40 years ago, DFW had fewer than five Fortune 500 company headquarters. Now, the region is home to 24 (one fewer than in Houston). DFW’s economy has grown remarkably in the past few years. 

Since 2020, the number shows that around 265 businesses have expanded or relocated to DFW. This is mainly due to the low cost of production, excellent highway and rail networks, and of course, world-class airports. 

With companies setting up or expanding their headquarters to DFW, it’s becoming an industrial hub, attracting workers from all over Texas, the South, and the Midwest. 

Houston MSA

Houston-Woodland-Sugarland has recovered quite efficiently post-COVID-19, adding 29,612 jobs in the first three months of 2023. 

The growth is mainly led by service sector jobs, where professional and business services increased by 4.7 percent, adding 6,460 jobs. Education and health services increased by 5.3 percent, with 5,677 more jobs, and other services added 3,187 jobs, showing an 8.6 percent increase. 

However, from December 2022 to March 2023, construction and oil & gas fields experienced a dip in the market, with the construction sector losing 211 jobs and oil and gas losing 112. 

Since both industries are capital intensive, a decline can be explained by the rising interest rates, which means the cost of credit increases, resulting in less investment.

Population

It is evident that both the metroplex cities grew economically, which is also one factor to explain the drastic increase in population. Here’s how the two areas have grown in population.

Dallas-Fort Worth

The demographic shows that DFW has crossed 7.9 million residents in 2023, becoming the fourth-largest metroplex area in the U.S. From last year, DFW added 170,000 people. Much of this growth has resulted from inward migration as people relocated to this area for the low cost of living and better quality of life. 

With a booming economy and ample work opportunities, DFW is projected to reach 10 million residents by the end of 2030.

Houston 

On the other hand, Houston now holds a population of 7.3 million people, becoming the fifth-largest metroplex city. Although not as fast as DFW, Houston is still growing in population. In 2022, it added around 124,000 residents, right behind the DFW metroplex area.

Is Houston Better than DFW?

We have already discussed Dallas-Forth Worth VS Houston in terms of economy and population. But if you want to relocate and are wondering which metroplex city is better for you, there’s no simple answer to that. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. 

DFW might be a better option because of its lower humidity and diverse entertainment sector. Or you may prefer Houston for its coziness, more tolerable heat, and ease of navigation.

Houston has a lower cost of living and greater purchasing power than DFW. Compared to Houston, DFW has 10.9% higher consumer prices and 20.7% rent prices. However, DFW has more diversity and future growth in work opportunities.

As for the cuisine and lifestyle, Houston offers a more diverse culinary scene. You will find authentic Mexican restaurants, delicious barbecues, and a prominent Asian influence. On the contrary, DFW is better known for its beef-centric restaurants and steakhouses. 

So, is Houston better than DFW? It really comes down to your preferences and the type of work you do. Both are major cultural hubs with lots to offer to residents of any background.

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