Whether your passions lie with fine cuisine, artisanal brewing, the arts, cowboy culture, or the great outdoors, Fort Worth is a unique gem of an American city that offers all these things and more. Folksy humorist Will Rogers once said, “Fort Worth is where the West begins, and Dallas is where the East peters out.” You’ll find western culture is still alive and well in Fort Worth, and you can see this up close in the Stockyards National Historic District.
In addition to Fort Worth’s rich and varied culture, the city has a low unemployment rate, a booming economy, and job growth of 2.7% over the past year, making Fort Worth a great place for job opportunities. The cost of living is slightly higher than the national average, but you’ll pay a bit less for groceries, health care, and housing than you would in other cities in the country.
Five world-class museums, ballet, theatre, and symphony are why Fort Worth is known as the “Cultural Capital of the Southwest,” and where else will you see cattle driven right down central city streets? Fort Worth is a great place to call home, and you’ll constantly stay busy exploring its unique western cosmopolitan culture.
Welcome to Fort Worth, Texas!
Living in Fort Worth, TX: What to Know Before Moving to Fort Worth
Don’t let Fort Worth’s historical reputation as a quaint Texas town fool you! Part of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area, Fort Worth is the 15th largest city in the nation and home to more than 800,000 residents. Downtown Fort Worth is also home to a dynamic business industry and the operations of numerous corporations, including Lockheed Martin, American Airlines, BNSF Railway, and Pier 1 Imports.
Pros and Cons of Fort Worth
Every city has its advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a summary of what you can expert in Fort Worth:
- Strong economy: Once bolstered by the cattle industry, modern-day Fort Worth’s economy now thrives on a variety of industries.
- Numerous Fortune 500 companies: Fort Worth is home for several major companies including American Airlines, RadioShack, and Pier 1 Imports.
- Nearby domestic and international airports: Fort Worth shares DFW Airport with neighboring Dallas, offering travelers easy access to flights.
- Numerous entertainment venues: From the Bass Performance Hall to the Fort Worth Zoo, Ft. Worth residents have many options when it comes to world-class entertainment and attractions.
- No income tax: Like the rest of Texas, Fort Worth residents enjoy not having to pay state income tax.
- Friendly and accepting: Folks around here will greet you with a handshake and a howdy!
- Traffic: Like many parts of the DFW metro area, Fort Worth is not immune to traffic issues.
- Poor public transportation: You’ll most likely need a vehicle to get around as Ft. Worth lacks when it comes to public transportation. According to walkscore.com, it gets a transit score of 21/100.
- High summer temperatures: Summer here can be a real scorcher. Daily average temperatures in July and August are in the mid-80s, but it’s not unusual to see temps soar into the triple digits.
- Urban sprawl: The entire DFW area is a giant, sprawling metropolis.
- Tornadoes: Fort Worth sits at the bottom edge of Tornado Alley, which means it is highly susceptible to supercell thunderstorms that supercharge tornadic activity.
A major benefit of living in Texas is there’s NO state income tax! You can expect to pay a bit more in sales and property tax, however. The average property tax rate in Fort Worth (Tarrant County) is 2.321% compared to the average rate of 1.931% across Texas. Given the median Fort Worth housing price of $197,400, the annual property tax would be $4,559. The Fort Worth sales tax rate is 1%. Added to the Texas sales tax rate of 6.25% and a special rate of 1%, the combined sales tax rate in Fort Worth is 8.25%.
If you plan to rent an apartment, the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Fort Worth is $1,161 per month, a 4% increase compared to last year. With Fort Worth housing prices on the rise and mortgage rates going up, renting will be attractive to more people. Every month, the costs of buying and owning a house are up 14%. That’s three times the increase in rent rates, which are up just 4%. 38% of Fort Worth residents rent their homes.
The most affordable neighborhoods are Avalon Heights, Brackeen, and Burchill, while the most expensive are West Ridge, West Vickery Heights, and Westgate. Despite these indicators, make sure to see our neighborhood recommendations at the bottom of this page!
Cost of Living
According to bestplaces.net, the cost of living in Fort Worth, TX, is slightly higher than the average cost of living across Texas. Areavibes.com rates Fort Worth 4% less expensive than the national average. You can expect to pay a bit less for groceries, health, and housing, but a bit more for the cost of utilities and transportation, relative to the national average.
A family of four with two adults and two kids should budget around $6,446 per month to cover housing, food, child care, transportation, healthcare, taxes, and other necessities. With an aggregate cost of living at $77,356 per year, a typical family of this size with two working parents can reasonably earn enough to cover annual spending.
Climate and Weather
Prepare for mild winters and long hot, humid summer heat with strong thunderstorms in Fort Worth, Texas. Summer high temperatures will hover around 96 degrees Fahrenheit, occasionally bumping over 100°. Fort Worth residents enjoy 229 days of sunshine per year, more than 20 days above the national average, and about 34” of rain. If you hate shoveling snow off the driveway, the Fort Worth climate is for you. Very little snow falls every year. Fort Worth can get a whopping 1 inch — hardly any white stuff compared to the national average of 28 inches of snow per year. It’s safe to say you can pack away your snow shovel, then buy an extra swimsuit to enjoy your local pool or swimming holes in the Trinity River.
If you’re wary of natural disasters, Fort Worth might not be an ideal location for you. The area is often subject to extreme weather conditions, including hail, damaging storms, tornadoes, and flooding. However, severe weather predictions are quite accurate, and you’ll rarely be taken surprise when dramatic weather is on its way.
Economy and Job Market
Fort Worth, and the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Area, has a booming economy. Fort Worth has historically been a center for manufacturing of aircraft, electronic and communication equipment, machinery, containers, clothing, food products, pharmaceuticals, grain, and leather. Fort Worth’s unemployment rate is lower than the national average at 3.6% and has seen the job market increase by 2.7% in the past year, with significant projections for future job growth over the next decade. The Dallas-Fort Worth area has the fourth highest concentration of Fortune 500 company headquarters in the nation. The median household income in Fort Worth is $59,175 a year, and the median individual income is $29,776.
In 2018, Wallethub.com named Fort Worth in its Top 20 Best Large Cities to Start a Business. Major jobs are in health care, finance, telecommunications, education, tourism, and retail trade, making Fort Worth a diverse commercial hub. Significant employers are Lockheed Martin, Bell Helicopter, American Airlines, Fed Ex and Amazon.
Traffic and Transportation
Fort Worth has no shortage of highways to get you where you need to go. Interstate 820 loops around Fort Worth, and its southern leg, the I-20 (Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway), runs through Fort Worth’s southern suburbs before passing through Arlington and south Dallas. I-30 begins from I-20 just west of Fort Worth and passes through nearby Garland, Dallas, and Grand Prairie. Worthy of mention is I-35E which takes you through Dallas and Denton. With little traffic, you can drive between Dallas and Fort Worth in 30 to 40 minutes.
The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex ranks as one of the most congested cities in the United States. However, traffic has improved somewhat in recent years as the cities undertake new transportation initiatives. Downtown Fort Worth prides itself on its walkability and has a pedestrian-friendly downtown and numerous trails. However, Fort Worth is firmly a car-dependent city outside of downtown with a walkability score of 34. There are few bike lanes, which is reflected by the city’s bike score of 36/100; the transit score is a meager 21/100. The Trinity Metro (often called ‘the T’) is Fort Worth’s transit agency and has numerous commuter rail and bus routes around the city and surrounding suburbs. However, public transportation will be insufficient to meet most of your daily needs.
What to Do
Wherever your interests lie, Fort Worth offers a unique blend of Western cowboy culture, the fine arts, and warm Southern hospitality. There is no shortage of fun things to do in Fort Worth!
Fort Worth Nightlife
Whether you want to unwind after a long day of work or enjoy an exciting evening, Fort Worth has something for you. Downtown has tree-lit sidewalks that brim with people enjoying the city’s numerous bars and restaurants. Check out the Stockyards District and be sure to visit Fort Worth’s unique Western-style saloons.
History and Culture
Fort Worth, famously “Where the West Begins,” has a fascinating history and culture to explore. Be sure to visit Fort Worth’s historic Stockyards District and museum and the Texas Civil War Museum. If you have an appreciation for Western art, visit the Sid Richardson Museum with its superb collection of Remington and Russell paintings. Have an interest in cowboy culture? Fort Worth is also home to the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.
There is something for every outdoor enthusiast in Fort Worth, TX. With over 70 miles of bike trails running along Fort Worth’s Trinity River, you can take advantage of the city’s green spaces. If you love hiking, another 20 miles of hiking trails meander through the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, a hidden jewel of the city. Fort Worth’s Botanic Garden and Japanese Gardens are also excellent spots to spend a relaxing afternoon enjoying nature’s wonders.
Outside of Fort Worth, you’ll find several state parks and lakes that provide plenty of opportunities for hunters, boaters, fishermen, hikers, and cyclists. Only an hour away from Fort Worth is Dinosaur Valley State Park with its iconic dinosaur footprints.
The Dallas – Fort Worth metroplex is home to the Dallas Cowboys, Mavericks, and Dallas Stars, so Fort Worth is a great spot for any sports enthusiast. In Fort Worth, you’re less than an hour from the Texas Motor Speedway, AT&T Stadium, American Airlines Center, and Globe Life Park, home of the Texas Rangers. You can also catch a rodeo year-round, and if you’re a fan of college football, make sure to attend one of Texas Christian University’s game days.
Theatre and the Arts
Fort Worth has several renown art museums with world-class collections. The Kimbell Art Museum touts an international collection with masterpieces by Michelangelo, Matisse, and Monet. Yes, the Kimbell’s collection is THAT good! Also be sure to visit the Amon Carter Museum with its fantastic collection of American art, and the eclectic Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
Fort Worth is home to the oldest continually operating opera company in Texas, the Fort Worth Opera. Also performing in the lovely Bass Performance Hall is the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s Concerts in the Garden program is of particular note, putting on contemporary concerts such as the music of Harry Potter, Women in Rock, and the Music of U2. There’s fun for the whole family!
Schools and Universities
Seven colleges and universities and three independent school districts (K-12) serve students in the Fort Worth city limits. Tarrant County supports over 20 school districts and 200 private schools. Major colleges and universities include Texas Christian University, University of North Texas, and Texas Women’s University. 81.5% of Fort Worth residents have a high school diploma or higher. There’s some variability in Fort Worth’s quality of public education. If you have kids, carefully research schools in your potential neighborhood.
According to bestplaces.net, Fort Worth ranks above the national average for both violent crime and property crime. The Fort Worth Police Department provides crime reports and crime mapping through its website. Also, take advantage of Fort Worth’s One Address function which allows you to access crime information for a specific address. Some of the safer neighborhoods are Edgecliff Village, White Settlement, Westover Hills, River Oaks, Lake Worth, Saginaw, and Ben Brook.
It’s essential to have functioning utilities up and running before you move into your new home or office. Here’s information about the city’s primary utilities providers:
- Electricity: Electric service in Fort Worth is largely deregulated. You can search for providers by zip code at org, the website for the Public Utility Commission of Texas. For a list of rates, visit ChooseTexasPower.org.
- Gas: Atmos Energy provides gas to most of Fort Worth. Visit their website for more information or to start your service.
- Water and Garbage Collection: The City of Fort Worth operates water utility and residential curbside garbage pickup.
- Internet and Cable: Several internet and cable providers are available in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. These include AT&T, Frontier, Spectrum, CenturyLink, and Viasat.
Best Neighborhoods in Fort Worth, TX
When choosing a neighborhood in Fort Worth, it’s important to consider safety, median home price, cost of living, local amenities, schools, and family-friendliness. That’s a heck of a lot for you to research, but don’t worry, Great Guys Moving has done the investigative work for you! After analyzing data and internet review sites, we’ve compiled a list of Fort Worth’s best neighborhoods for your consideration.
Despite its proximity to downtown Fort Worth, Arlington Heights is a neighborhood that retains a suburban feel but without the long commute. Arlington Heights is only a short drive from West 7th and the Cultural District. Consistently ranked one of the best places to live in Fort Worth, Arlington Heights has several parks and green spaces. Also, this area is within driving distance from the Fort Worth Zoo, Kimbell Museum of Art, Fort Worth Opera, and Fairmount Historic District.
Over 30,000 people reside in Arlington Heights. Located near lots of amenities and with high property values, the cost of living in Arlington Heights is 7% higher than the national average. Home value is 55% higher than the rest of Texas, with a median value of $221,584 and a rent price 6% higher than the national average at $1,006. If your family income is around $60,000, the neighborhood average, this might be a good neighborhood for you.
Have children? Not only is Arlington Heights near several stimulating museums, but Arlington Heights Schools receive an A+ from AreaVibes.com. High school graduation rates are 3% higher, and test scores are 55% higher than the national average.
Ranked as the best neighborhood for families by Movoto.com, Wedgwood is a suburb located 11 miles from downtown Fort Worth. 48% of families in Wedgwood have children under the age of 18. A 15-minute drive along Chisholm Trail Parkway from downtown, Wedgwood is separated from the city but without a significant commute to Fort Worth’s business centers. Its proximity to downtown provides access to the Fort Worth Zoo, Kimbell Museum of Art, Fort Worth Opera, and Modern Museum of Art.
Over 22,000 people reside in Wedgwood. The cost of living in this neighborhood is 5% less than the national average and 1% less than downtown Fort Worth. Unlike other comparable neighborhoods, Wedgwood has great housing value with a median home value of $129,527 and a median rent price of $852. 53% of residents own a home, and the average income is around $60,000.
If you have children, they’ll benefit from Wedgwood’s good schools. Wedgwood schools have a high school graduation rate 6% higher, and school test scores are 34% higher than the national average.
Not only is TCU-West Cliff a highly sought after Fort Worth neighborhood, but it’s also the home of Texas Christian University. Townhomes and condominiums are available and often appeal to younger professionals. Families, singles, retirees and business types enjoy amenities at the intersection of South University Boulevard and West Berry Street and Overton Plaza. You can expect to enjoy green spaces and an active college community in the neighborhood.
TCU-West Cliff has approximately 36,000 residents and ranks highly in both safety and public education. The cost of living is about 10% more expensive than the national average, and the median house value is $258,142. Despite high housing prices, TCU-West Cliff has good rent value with the median rent price at $972 per month. The median income in TCU-West Cliff is $81,358, and it’s ranked as the fourth best neighborhood in Fort Worth for families by Movoto.com.
With TCU-West Cliff’s proximity to Texas Christian University, there are many fast food and casual eatery options in the neighborhood. The area is also home to the Amon G. Carter Stadium and TCU Horned Frogs football team. On Friday evenings and game nights, the college crowds frequent the bars and restaurants along South University Drive and West Berry Street. Despite the common fear that college crowds can cause crime and rowdiness, total crime in the areas is 12% lower than average across Texas.
Fairmount Historic District
Fairmount, population 13,709, is a lively community located by the Near Southside District with historic charm and a great spot for young professionals. Local amenities include the Fairmount Community Garden and Fairmount Community Library. Fairmount is also a great spot for medical professionals and workers due to its proximity to several hospitals and medical centers, including the Baylor Scott and White All Saints Medical Center, John Peter Smith Hospital, Kindred Hospital Fort Worth, and Texas Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Worth.
Located only 10 minutes from downtown Fort Worth, the median house price in Fairmount is $259,000. Much like downtown Fort Worth, local schools are lackluster, although the local Daggett Montessori (K-8) receives a 7/10 rating from greatschools.org.
Far Southwest is a safe neighborhood just south of Wedgwood and about a 23-minute drive from downtown Fort Worth along Chisholm Trail Parkway. Ranked in 2019 as the 3rd best neighborhood to live in by homesnacks.com, in Far Southwest, you’ll find high earning jobs, low unemployment rates, low crime rates, and high home prices. However, Far Southwest scores poorly with regard to local amenities because it’s quite far from downtown Fort Worth. But you won’t be disappointed with the number of local restaurants, particularly good barbecue.
Far Southwest has a population of almost 7,000. Expect higher median home values and incomes here. The cost of living is about 6% higher than the national average. The median home value is $223,578, while the median household income is $98,069. Median rent prices are a reasonable $941 per month, 1% below the US average, but more than 80% of Far Southwest residents are homeowners.
Far Southwest has strong public schools. AreaVibes.com gives Far Southwest an A+ for education, noting its 90% high school graduation rate, 8% higher than the US national average, and test scores 39% higher than the US average.
A desirable place to live due to its proximity to well… everything, Downtown snags the #2 spot on AreaVibes.com for livability. Living downtown, you’ll have easy access to the Fort Worth Zoo, Kimbell Museum of Art, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Sundance Square, and Fort Worth Opera. You’ll also find it easy to access Fort Worth public transportation to get where you need to go. Crime rates downtown are low, at 35% below the average rate in Texas.
The cost of living in Downtown is 7% higher than Texas as a whole but is 3% less expensive than the national average. Many residents rent a condominium, loft, or apartment, and only 31% of people own homes. The median home value in Downtown is $146,567, and median rent cost is $901. A drawback of living in Downtown is the lackluster public schools. Graduation rates are beneath the national average. Downtown might be a great place for you if you’re a young professional, are adjusted to apartment-living, or hate traffic and long commutes.
Taking the #1 spot on AreaVibes.com for the most livable neighborhood in Fort Worth, Far North is a large neighborhood that almost constitutes a city itself. This booming neighborhood, population 141,442, lies north of Loop 280. Dense traffic into downtown Fort Worth leaves some residents feeling isolated from the city.
Although the city has a backlog of roadworks projects planned to improve access to downtown Fort Worth, Far North is hard to beat in terms of its livability. The area has lots of local amenities, and the cost of living is reasonable relative to the national average. The median house value in Far North is $156,796, a cool 15% below the national average, and the median rent price equals that of the US average at $952.
If you have kids, the Keller Independent School District is strongly rated. Far North schools boast a graduation rate of 91%, and school test scores are 65% higher than the US average. Far North is also completing a $9 million-dollar library to serve the northernmost Council Districts in the city. If you want your kids to receive a solid education, Far North is the place to be.