To most outsiders, Fort Worth appears to be nothing more than the little brother of nearby Dallas. But don't confuse the two. Fort Worth is the 16th largest city in the United States, and it actually came before Dallas. As you're about to see, Fort Worth is a city all its own, with plenty to offer the aspiring Texan.
If you are thinking about moving to Fort Worth, your friends here at Bellhops have you covered (we're movers in Fort Worth , by the way). We've talked to the locals, and we’ve got everything you need to know right here. We'll discuss some pros and cons of living in Fort Worth, the cost of living, where to live, and a lot more. Without further adieu, let's dive in.
A Brief Introduction to Fort Worth
Even though Fort Worth ranks in the top 25 most populated cities in the United States, there is a real small-town feel to the city. The downtown area is vibrant, growing, and accessible. The more-residential neighborhoods boast low crime, and housing prices provide more bang for your buck than other large cities in Texas. Fort Worth’s dedication to preserving its rich history has become an industry of its own, especially in entertainment for residents and guests.
A Local's Perspective
As Fort Worth resident John Mahan commented, "Fort Worth probably won't wow you with any one aspect compared to cities of similar size, but taken as a whole, I find it hard to top. It's a fairly large city with everything you expect—excellent museums, live music, dining, festivals—but also maintains a small-city level of charm and laid back atmosphere.
"The thing visitors and newcomers from other states find most surprising about Fort Worth is that people not only work in the heart of the city but also live there. Fort Worth is part of a much larger metroplex, (don't say 'twin cities') and if you can't find what you're looking for here, you surely can in Dallas or one of the many cities in the area. Fort Worth is for people who want the nostalgia of the wild west, (we have that here, both real and fabricated) and a laid-back atmosphere to go along with the usual urban amenities."
Fort Worth Economics: Cost of Living and the Job Market
The Cost of Living
In Fort Worth, the average salary is around $50,000 a year. The cost of living is just 2% higher than the national average. For reference, that makes the cost of living roughly equal to that of Dallas, TX and Phoenix, AZ; and cheaper than Miami, FL and Chicago, IL. If you’re looking to buy a house in Fort Worth, the average price for a three-bedroom, two-bath home is just over $263,000. If apartment living is more your thing, then be prepared to spend roughly $1,300 a month for a two-bedroom apartment.
For more detailed information on the cost of living in Fort Worth, Expatistan is a great site to check out. There you'll find an extensive list of how much rent is, the cost of healthcare, groceries, clothing, pretty much anything you can think of. You can also compare these prices with other major cities around the world.
Jobs in Fort Worth
The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is home to an abundance of Fortune 500 companies, ranking fourth highest in the United States. American Airlines calls the DFW International Airport. They employ more than 25,000 people in the metro area. Other companies with headquarters in Fort Worth include BNSF Railway, Pier 1 Imports, and GE Manufacturing Solutions. All these companies are really helping out too—new research suggests that the DFW job market may be the best in the country.
The People of Fort Worth
The past few years have seen the population of the DFW Metroplex explode. According to 2015-16 US Census estimates, the Fort Worth population was the seventh fastest growing population in the United States, behind fellow Texas metropolis, Houston. With the booming population growth, don’t be surprised if housing and rental prices continue to climb due to higher demand.
Crime in Fort Worth
The Fort Worth Police Department offers this handy crime map so that you can look up crime rates in specific areas of town.
It’s important to keep in mind that crime happens in every city, and Fort Worth is no different. If you’d like a breakdown of the safest neighborhoods in Fort Worth, Neighborhood Scout has that for you.
Getting Around the City
The Fort Worth Transportation Authority, or as locals call it, The T, is Fort Worth’s public transportation system. The T provides dozens of bus routes throughout the area. Fort Worth also has the Trinity Railway Express, a commuter rail that connects downtown Fort Worth to downtown Dallas, as well as several stations between the two cities.
Fort Worth’s dedication to environmentally friendly transportation opportunities has grown over the last decade. The city’s bike-share program, B-Cycle, has over 350 bikes at 46 different locations throughout the city for rent. Renting is easy, just swipe a credit card, unlock the bike, and then return at any station. According to WalkScore, Fort Worth is the 41st most walkable large city in the US.
Summers are hot in Texas. And Fort Worth is no exception. In Fort Worth, the average high in the summer is above 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The tradeoff is that winter in Fort Worth is fairly mild, most days temperatures range from 40-60 degrees—well above freezing.
Where to Live in Fort Worth: A Mini-Neighborhood Guide
The heart and soul of Fort Worth is located right off of Interstate 35W and is growing by the minute. The downtown district is easily walkable, making it possible for those who work in the area to get around without a car. Molly the Trolley provides public transportation service between the Convention center and Sundance Square, an indoor and outdoor Megaplex with plenty of restaurants, bars, and shopping.
One of the largest historic neighborhoods in the southwestern United States, Fairmount’s roots have been active since the late 1800’s. As one of Fort Worth’s tried and true staples, it’s endured ups and downs. It has recently seen an uptick in investment within the past ten years. Magnolia Avenue is where all the buzz is, with some of the best local restaurants and bars for all tastes.
The arts are thriving in the cultural district. Here you can find some of the largest art collections in the country, theatres, and museums. Considered one of the hippest neighborhoods in Fort Worth, you’ll find hipsters, artists, and affluent retired folks roaming around this part of town. Investment in this neighborhood is high, with new lofts and condos popping up regularly. Another bonus of the cultural district: there's also an excellent trail system along the river in Trinity Park.
Located just north of I-30, the Arlington Heights district provides convenient roadway access for commuting to any part of the DFW area. With a 50/50 split of homeowners and renters, the area is more affordable than others and is home to young professionals and families. Camp Bowie Avenue cuts through the heights, providing restaurants and shopping. Fun fact: legendary country musician, John Denver, grew up and graduated from Arlington Heights.
The presence of Texas Christian University (TCU) has driven the growth of this neighborhood for decades. While the streets near campus mostly house students, nearby areas such as Colonial or Tanglewood are thriving with residents of all ages. Highlights of this area include low crime rates, moderate housing prices, and the convenience of shopping and dining choices right in your backyards. The nearby Fort Worth Zoo is also a plus.
Mira Vista provides a suburban residential area primarily occupied by single-family homes. Mira Vista is one of the most affordable Fort Worth neighborhoods if you don’t mind the commute—about 20 minutes to downtown. The location farther south can tack on time if you travel north of downtown often.