Cost of living in Colorado vs Texas

Cowboys and rodeos, delicious food and beer served in generous amounts, and a Wild West heritage — Colorado and Texas are neighboring states that have a lot in common.

Because of their similarities, you may expect the cost of living in Colorado and Texas to also be similar. But the two states have some significant differences.

Colorado offers a relatively high quality of life compared to Texas, attracting new residents year after year. Higher standards of living also mean the overall prices here are 12% more than the national average. On the other hand, Texas is estimated to be 19.4% more affordable compared to Colorado, and you don’t have to pay income taxes here!

So, if you’re considering moving to either of these states, let’s take a look at some major cost of living factors, including housing, utilities, and child care that will affect your overall lifestyle.

Colorado vs. Texas: Housing

Colorado has a higher demand for houses than the supply. As such, housing and real estate costs in Colorado are higher than the national average.

On average, as of August 2022, Colorado homes cost $694,340, which is significantly more expensive than the country’s average of $430,621.

People who rent homes in Colorado spend 7% to 11% higher compared to the national median. A one-bedroom apartment in Colorado typically costs $1,390-$1,733 a month. Rental prices will depend on whether the apartment is within or outside the city, with city apartments being costlier than provincial ones.

As of May 2022, homes in Texas generally cost $390,600, which is 19.2% higher than last year’s cost and greater than the overall price hike in the US. However, buying a house in Texas is still cheaper than the average cost of houses in other US states, which is typically $430,621 for the same period.

Apartment renters in Texas spend 11% to 23% less than the average renter in the US. Renting a one-bedroom apartment would cost $924.01 to $1,174 per month. Take note that prices of homes and apartments may vary significantly depending on the location. For example, homeowners in Dallas, Texas, pay 51% less than residents in other states.

To make it easier to compare, we use 100 as the national US average. Colorado housing costs score 115.7, while Texas scores 91.

Housing Costs

ColoradoTexasAverage in the US
Cost of House$694,340$390,600$430,621
Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city$1,732.76$1,174.29$1,1446.14
Rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city$1,390.27$924.01$924.01

Colorado vs. Texas: Food

How much are you willing to spend on food?

Texas ranks 7th on the top 10 list of states with the cheapest food costs. Residents of Houston, Texas, pay an average of $286.64 for their monthly groceries.

On the other hand, Colorado is 34th among the 51 states when it comes to food prices. The average cost of monthly groceries here is $326.92.

So, how do the two states compare?

Texas residents pay 15.2% less for groceries than folks in Colorado. And the restaurant and fast food diners in Texas spend 20.9% less than those in Colorado.

As we can see, food in Texas is cheaper than in Colorado. But how do the costs fare against the country’s average?

Buying groceries in Texas would cost 8.9% less than the average, while it will cost 8.8% more in Colorado. The restaurant bill in Texas would be 9.6% cheaper than the average bill in America. When you are in Colorado, expect your bill to be 14.6% higher.

Using 100 as the US national average shows that Colorado food prices are at 100.8 and Texas costs are at 92.6.

Food Costs

ColoradoTexasUS Average
Monthly Groceries$326.92$286.64$355.50
Average cost of a restaurant meal with a drink$17.66$13.13$15.20
Average cost of fast food with a drink$8.70$7.47$8.21

Colorado vs. Texas: Taxes

Colorado’s state individual income tax and corporate tax are at 4.55%, whereas Texas does not levy a personal income tax.

In Colorado, the sales tax is 2.9%, and the maximum local sales tax is 8.3%, with an average of 7.77%. Colorado’s property tax is 0.51%, which is one of the lowest in the US.

In Texas, both property and sales taxes are higher compared to Colorado.

Colorado has the lowest state tax rate (2.9%) among all US states and the third highest average local tax rate (4.73%), resulting in a combined sales tax rate of 7.63%.

The Texas tax rates are relatively high, with a state tax rate of 6.25%, a local tax rate of 1.94%, and a combined tax rate of 8.19%.

Tax Rates

Income Tax4.55% (Flat Income Tax)0% (No Income Tax)
Real Estate Tax0.51%1.80%
Sales Tax (combined state tax and average local rate)7.63%8.19%

Colorado vs. Texas: Utilities

Colorado is one of the states in the US with low expensive utility bills, while Texas is one of those with the most expensive utility costs.

Colorado mainly uses natural gas for heating. There is, however, rising concern over inadequate water supply because of wildfires and the Colorado River water shortage.

Texas utility costs are high because of natural calamities, stricter environmental regulations, and the state’s rising population.

Monthly Utility Costs

ColoradoTexasUS Average
Natural Gas$47$111$61

Colorado vs. Texas: Childcare

If you have children and are planning to live in Colorado, you may have to allocate more of your budget for your kids. Childcare in Colorado takes up 21% of the average family’s income.

Childcare costs in Texas are much lower than in Colorado. Compared to Colorado, you may pay up to 31.9% less for child care here.

Childcare for infants, monthly$1,277$777
Childcare for four-year-olds, monthly$1,032$589
Infant classroom, monthly$1,446$1,254
Toddler classroom, monthly$1,191$816
Pre-school, monthly$1,000$719
Middle school, two semesters, monthly$18,881.61$11,971.05
Home-based Family Child Care, monthly$1,190$1,258
Percent of Average Family Income21%15.7%

Colorado vs. Texas: Crime Rates

Your family’s safety will, of course, play a major role when you’re considering moving into a new place.

The overall crime index of Houston, Texas, is at 63.88, whereas Denver, Colorado, is at 44.57. Conversely, the safety scale of Houston is at 36.12, while Denver’s is at 55.43.

The level of crime in Texas is categorized as high (74.02), while it is moderate in Colorado (49.39). Both states have experienced an increase in crime within the past three years, with Colorado scoring 71.80 and Texas scoring 73.71.

Crime rates involving drug users and pushers are high in Colorado (61.76) and Texas (71.12) alike. Property crimes, including theft and vandalism, are moderate in Colorado (53.99) and high in Texas (70.66). Violent crimes involving armed robbery and assault are moderate in Colorado (42.73) and high in Texas (69.69). Bribery and corruption levels in Colorado are low (38.64) and moderate in Texas (52.41).

As a whole, people are worrying less about crimes in Colorado compared to Texas:

  • Fewer people in Colorado (38.81) are concerned about break-ins and robberies than in Texas (59.16).
  • Fewer people are worried about being robbed or mugged in Colorado (33.68) compared to those in Texas (60.93).
  • Fewer people are concerned about their cars being stolen in Colorado (38.60) compared to Texas (58.79). Among these people, more people from Texas (71.20) are afraid that things from their cars will get stolen than those in Colorado (49.42).
  • More people in Texas fear being attacked (57.04) than in Colorado (34.94).
  • A greater number of people worry about hate crimes, such as those arising from prejudices based on gender, ethnicity, skin color, or religion, in Texas (44.34) than in Colorado (26.06).
  • People in Colorado (77.06) feel safer walking alone during the day than in Texas (56.35). At night, 47.11 people are comfortable walking by themselves in Colorado, and only 24.52 feel that way in Texas.

Colorado is thus generally considered safer, and Texas is less safe than the average US state.

Crime and Safety

ColoradoTexasUS Average
Crime Index44.5763.8848.49
Safety Scale55.4336.1251.51


Colorado is an overall more expensive state to live in compared to Texas, but the extra cost may be worth it in terms of safety and quality of life.

It is generally cheaper to live in Texas, but you will spend more on utilities, home-based child care, and possibly security. However, numbers can’t truly describe what living in any place will be like, so it is best to interview potential neighbors. Some cities or neighborhoods in both Colorado and Texas will be better or worse than others.

So, even if you think Colorado or Texas is good for you, it will still depend on the community you’ll be in. Finally, your choice will largely depend on your budget, preferences, and lifestyle you want for yourself.


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