Dallas vs San Antonio - Which Texas Metropolis Comes Out on Top?

Dallas vs San Antonio

Would you like to move to a Texas metropolis but are having trouble deciding between Dallas and San Antonio?

Whether you're searching for affordable living, job opportunities, culinary delights, or a fun vibe, both Texas cities have it all. But which one could best fit your lifestyle?

Buckle up as we explore these two vibrant metropolises and help you make an informed decision. Already sold? Contact us and we'll make your Texas takeover a dream come true. We'll find you a home tailored to unlock every perk that swayed your choice: Dallas or San Antonio - now yours to rule.

Cost of Living in Dallas vs San Antonio

Key stats:

  • Living in Dallas is 12.5% more expensive than living in San Antonio.
  • Housing costs in Dallas are 18% higher than in San Antonio
  • Healthcare is 2.5% more expensive in Dallas than in San Antonio

Housing Costs

In October 2022, San Antonio's median listing home price was $305,000, increasing 8.9% over the previous year. Around $169 was the median asking price per square foot. Meanwhile, the median list price of a home in Dallas was $460,000, increasing by 15.3% from the previous year. $247 was the median listing price per square foot for homes.

With that in mind, buyers in San Antonio can get more square footage for a lower price. Additionally, rent in San Antonio is lower than in Dallas—as of December 2022, the median rent in Dallas was $2,131, compared to $1,456 in San Antonio.

Food and Restaurants

Both cities offer a wide range of culinary delights, including Asian, Mexican, and BBQ dishes. Dallas offers a wider selection of fine dining establishments and restaurants serving international cuisine, whereas San Antonio is more recognized for its Tex-Mex cuisine, along with a more relaxed dining scene.

The cost of dining out in San Antonio is much lower than in Dallas, making the latter an excellent destination for foodies on a budget. You'll also dole out less cash to restock your pantry in San Antonio. Furthermore, retail therapy will cost 18% less in San Antonio compared to the national average. On the other hand, shopping enthusiasts in Dallas spend 14% more.


Both cities have world-class healthcare systems in terms of medical care. While Dallas is home to famous medical centers such as the UT Southwestern Medical Center, San Antonio is home to several top-ranked hospitals as well, including the University Of Texas Health Science Center. Compared to the national average, healthcare expenses in Dallas are 13% higher while its 2% higher in San Antonio.


Proximity to major arteries allows residents in both cities easy commutes, thus an attractive option for daily commuters. For those driving, you might discover that the difference in the cost of gas in both cities is insignificant, though San Antonio offers the cheapest prices.


Electricity, water, garbage, and internet are among the utilities that are less expensive in San Antonio, costing 13% less than the national average. In comparison, Dallas has a markedly higher rate of 26%. All in all, your cost of living will depend on several variables, such as your lifestyle and financial situation, thus it's important to do your own research (DYOR) before making any decisions.

Winner: San Antonio

Crime Rates in Dallas vs San Antonio

San Antonio and Dallas both have violent crime rates of 37, according to the Best Places comparison. However, San Antonio has a higher property crime rate of 72.4 compared to Dallas's 50.7. Another comparison reveals that San Antonio has a lower murder rate-9.2 than Dallas's 15, and a lower robbery rate of 179.6 versus Dallas's 553.9.

Both cities are more prone to crime than your average American city. That makes sense, though, given that the Dallas and San Antonio metropolitan areas are home to millions of people, and presumably you'll witness more crime in areas where many people gather.

Winner: Dallas

Economic Growth in Dallas vs San Antonio

The economy in both Dallas and San Antonio is diverse and booming with several major industries.

Economic Indicator Dallas San Antonio
City Population  1,343,573 1,547,253
Per Capita Income (2023) $31,260 $24,325
Unemployment Rate (2023) 3.5% 3.7%
Major Industries Healthcare, Finance, Telecommunications, Defense, Manufacturing, and Retail Healthcare, Information Technology, Tourism, and Military
Fortune 500 Companies Headquarters 25 6

Note: The table above provides a general comparison using the latest available data.

According to the most recent data, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA had a GDP of $579.4 billion in 2020, whereas the San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA had a GDP of $138.4 billion in that same year.

Employment and Job Growth

Dallas' unemployment rate in February 2023 was 5.2%, while San Antonio's was 5.6%. Dallas saw a 10.5% rise in employment between 2016 and 2021, while San Antonio saw a 6.4% increase during the same period.

Industry Composition

With an emphasis on finance, IT, and professional services, Dallas has a larger and more diverse economy than San Antonio. Though San Antonio's economy is smaller, its focus is on the military, government services, tourism, and hospitality, as well as manufacturing. That said, Dallas is one of the top cities for business and careers thanks to a more conducive business climate.

Winner: Dallas

Things to Do in Dallas and San Antonio

Visitors and residents alike will find a vast array of history, culture, and entertainment in both Dallas and San Antonio.

The following are key points of comparison:

  • Home to the Bishop Arts District and various museums and theaters, Dallas has a larger emphasis on art and culture.
  • With its River Walk, several parks, and historical structures, San Antonio is more centered on history and outdoor activities.
  • San Antonio, which is situated close to the Mexican border and has a thriving Latino minority, places a greater focus on Mexican-American culture. Meanwhile, BBQ seems to reign supreme in most Dallas restaurants.

With that in mind, visitors and residents will find plenty to interest them in both cities, whether they're seeking entertainment, history, or outdoor recreation.

Winner: Tie

Traffic: Commuting in Dallas vs San Antonio

Dallas is renowned for its clogged traffic due to the numerous freeways, tollways, and interstates in the city. In contrast, San Antonio's traffic is less hectic, making it easier to navigate around the city. A recent transportation report found that Dallas' urban freeways see an average of 260,000 vehicles every day, while San Antonio's metropolitan freeways have 168,000 vehicles each day on average.

In the Dallas-Fort Worth region, the average yearly delay for commuters is about 60 hours. In contrast, San Antonio experiences a 40-hour yearly average wait per commuter. Overall, compared to Dallas, San Antonio appears to have less traffic congestion, more controlled traffic volume, and fewer aggressive drivers.

Winner: San Antonio

Sports Fans: Comparing Teams in Dallas & San Antonio

The Texas Rangers (MLB), Dallas Mavericks (NBA), and Dallas Cowboys (NFL) are just a handful of the professional teams that play in Dallas. In fact, Sports Business Journal named Dallas the top sports business city in the country. San Antonio, on the other hand, is home to the Spurs, a successful NBA franchise, as well as the San Antonio FC, a newer professional soccer team.

Both cities boast thriving college football programs along with numerous universities that compete in different conferences. Whether you're a fan of basketball, football, soccer, baseball, or any other sport, Dallas offers a wide variety of sports to choose.

Winner: Dallas

Public Transportation

According to a recent survey, 3.6% of workers in Dallas commute to work by public transit. In contrast, 2.1% of workers in San Antonio use public transit. Numbeo reports that a monthly pass for public transit costs about $96 in Dallas and about $38 in San Antonio. Dallas is home to DART which comprises streetcars, light rail, and buses.

San Antonio on the other hand has VIA Metropolitan Transit, which serves both the city and its environs. For air travel, the larger Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) serves more passengers and plies with more destinations and connections.

Despite notable differences in cost, accessibility, and frequency, both cities have reliable and effective public transportation that can help you move around without a car.

Winner: Dallas

Weather in Dallas and San Antonio

Winters in both cities are comparatively moderate, with lows of 40°F and highs of 60°F. San Antonio enjoys slightly milder summers with temperatures ranging between 85°F and 95°F, while Dallas is noted for its sweltering summers, with temperatures topping 100°F.

Dallas might be the city for you if you prefer pleasant weather all year long and don't mind the odd thunderstorms and tornado warnings. But if you prefer a more stable climate with mild winters and hot summers, San Antonio fits the bill.

Winner: Tie

Vibe: Culture & Lifestyle in Two Texas Cities

Both Dallas and San Antonio are lively, vivacious cities, but with a slightly different vibe. Dallas has a more contemporary, cosmopolitan vibe thanks to its chic eateries, stylish skyscrapers, and vibrant arts scene. San Antonio, on the other hand, has a more relaxed, traditional vibe and emphasizes appreciating its diverse population and conserving its rich history.

Winner: Tie

The Verdict: Which Metropolis Comes Out on Top?

So which city hits harder, Dallas or San Antonio? Both boast attractions galore but for different crowds. Dallas dates the ambitious, dazzling with job growth and economic clout. But higher costs and traffic make it less family-friendly. San Antonio seduces the sentimental with history, culture, and affordability. Less buzz, but a relaxed vibe draws retirees and families.

We hope this tour helped tip the scales in your Texas takeover. Let our local real estate experts guide you through buying your dream Dallas or San Antone pad. Or sell your current Texan abode with ease. Contact us anytime for more info on living in either city. But know this, wherever you lay your Lonestar head, a sublime new Texas tale awaits.

Posted by Richard Soto-Broker on
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