Cruvita.com gives facts on why to live in Dallas, Tarrant or Denton County.
If you are looking for a place to live in the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington area, but have some flexibility of where you decide to land, it's important to weigh all the factors that impact your decision-making process, whether it's financial, educational, or quality of life. Here is a comparison of some of the pertinent factors in Dallas, Tarrant and Denton Counties:
The 2014 estimate from the US Census for the population of each county are as follows:
Tarrant County: 1,945,360
Dallas County: 2,518,638
Denton County: 753,363
According to IRS migration statistics, Denton County experienced the 7th highest net migration gain of any county in the United States, with 12,461 more residents from 2013 to 2014. That migration came pretty much equally from inside and outside the state.
Tarrant County saw a 5,059 net gain in migration from 2013 to 2014, while Dallas County had a net loss of 4,797 people.
Everyone should care about the quality of the schools in their neighborhood, whether you have children or not. Parents want great schools for their children for obvious reasons. But living in a great school district also means the properties are more likely to appreciate at a greater rate than other neighborhoods, and they also tend to be safer places to live.
When comparing the school quality of Dallas, Tarrant and Denton counties, there are several ways to go about it. We can look at the big picture and use the Cruvita letter grades for the top schools in each county. Cruvita's algorithm pools together various important factors, crunches the numbers, and comes up with a numerical and letter grade for the school being evaluated. The letter grade was the latest addition to our website and it makes for an easy and intuitive way for our users to see which schools "make the grade" and which do not.
If we look at the very best of the best in each county -- those that achieved an A+ rating from Cruvita -- here is how many are located in each:
This acts as a nice starting point, because it gives a good indication of how each county performs overall, or at least which ones have the most schools that achieve a perfect rating. However, you're only going to be living in one school district, and if you are a parent, sending your child to one school. So it's more important to look at schools individually.
Let's take a look at which schools top the list for each county, then compare the three counties:
The top elementary school in Dallas County, as ranked by the Cruvita scoring system, is Bradfield Elementary. It has achieved an A+ rating and is first in Dallas, the state, and the nation. To see all the elementary schools in Dallas County click here.
The top elementary school in Tarrant County is Robert H. Rockenbaugh Elementary, which has received an A+ rating from Cruvita and is number one in Southlake, 10th in Texas, and 28th in the nation. To see all the elementary schools in Tarrant County click here.
The top elementary school in Denton County is Wellington Elementary in Flower Mound, Texas. It achieved an A+ rating from Cruvita and is number one in Flower Mound, 9th in Texas. and 26th in the nation. To view the top elementary schools in Denton County click here.
Winner: Dallas County
While Dallas County had the fewest A+ rated schools among the three counties, its top school beat the top schools coming from Tarrant and Denton Counties.
The top middle school in Dallas County is Mcculloch Intermediate School. Located in Dallas, it is number one in the city, state, and the nation. Click here to view the top middle or intermediate schools in Dallas County.
The top middle school in Denton County is Griffin Middle School in Frisco, Texas. It has achieved an A+ rating and is number one in Frisco, number seven in the state, and number 33 in the nation. To view the top middle, junior high, or intermediate schools in Denton County click here.
The top middle school in Tarrant County is George Dawson Middle in Southlake, Texas. It is number one in Southlake, fourth in the state, and 12th in the nation. To see all the middle, junior high or intermediate school in Tarrant County click here.
Winner: Dallas County
The top high school in Dallas County is Highland Park High School. It has an A+ rating, and is first in Dallas, the state, and is second in the nation. To see all the high schools in Dallas County click here.
The top high school in Denton County is Flower Mound High School in Flower Mound, Texas. It received an A+ rating from Cruvita, and is first in Flower Mound, second in Texas, and 71st in the nation. To see all the high schools in Denton County click here.
The top high school in Tarrant County is Keller High School in Keller, Texas. It has an A+ rating and is first in Keller, 31st in Texas, and 436th in the nation. Click here to see all the high schools in Tarrant County, TX.
Winner: Dallas County
While this is only a comparison of the best schools in each county, not the counties as a whole, the results are very interesting. While Dallas County had the fewest A+ rated schools, it still had the best elementary school, middle school, and high school among all three counties.
As of April 2015, the unemployment rate in Dallas County was 3.9 percent, much lower than the national average of 6 percent of the time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1,558,500 people employed in the third quarter of 2014, which had it ranked second among the largest counties in Texas, right behind Harris County. The median household income from 2009 to 2013 was $49,481. Dallas is the city that employs the most people in the county.
As of April 2015, the unemployment rate in Dallas County was 3.2 percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 205,800 people employed in third quarter of 2014. The median household income from 2009 to 2013 was $74,155, well above the statewide average of $51,900. Carrollton is the city that employs the most people in Denton County.
Tarrant County was one of five counties in Texas that has an employment rate above 600,000. As of April 2015, the unemployment rate in Tarrant County was 3.7 percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 825,600 people employed in third quarter of 2014. The median household income from 2009 to 2013 was $56,853. Arlington is the city that employs the most people in Tarrant County.
Texans do not pay state or local personal income taxes. It's one of seven states that do not tax wages. As for property taxes, here are a few highlights:
Everman, a residential community in Tarrant County and on the southern edge of Fort Worth, has the highest property tax rate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area at 3.43 percent. The lowest is the Denton County town Double Oak, with a 1.97 percent property tax rate. Double Oak resides in the Lewisville School District.
If we look at a broader view of which counties have the most communities representing the lowest property tax rates in the Dallas-Fort Worth area (excluding counties other than Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant), Denton owns six of the 10 lowest rates. Dallas has two spots.
When looking at the highest property tax rates overall, the top 15 cities/towns are exclusively found in Tarrant and Dallas Counties. However, that needs to be taken with a grain of salt, since what is separating them from the first Denton community is less than one-tenth of a percent.
The median values of owner-occupied housing units from 2009 to 2013 were as follows:
Dallas County: $128,300
Tarrant County: $136,400
Denton County: $184,100
All of Texas: $128,900
The Dallas area is one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. According to the Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller Home Price Index, Dallas-area home prices were up 8.7 percent in July, 2015 from the previous year. But predictions have it slowing a bit in 2016 due to slower job growth.
Denton County has also been labelled as a seller's market in recent years, with home inventories not keeping up with demand. Here is a look at the top five property value appreciations by city in the three counties:
- River Oaks (Tarrant County): 19.9 percent
- Lake Dallas (Denton County): 11.6 percent
- Sachse (Collin/Dallas Counties) 11.4 percent
- Everman (Tarrant County): 11.4 percent
- Richardson (Collin/Dallas Counties): 10.3 percent
There are plenty of things to do for people living in the Dallas-Forth Worth area. One of the best family outings, fun for kids and adults alike, is spending a day at the zoo.
Tarrant County has the Fort Worth Zoo, which boasts that it is open 365 days a year. It is home to 5,000 native and exotic animals. Dallas County has the Dallas Zoo. Located three miles south of downtown Dallas, it is the oldest and largest zoo in Texas
Living in a major metropolitan area affords residents access to a number of cultural activities. If art peaks your interest there are plenty of museums that exhibit some of the finest in the world. For instance, there's the Dallas Museum of Art, located in the Arts District of downtown Dallas. Their collection is comprised of more than 24,000 objects, from contemporary to ancient artifacts that date to back as far as 3,000 years BC.
Located in Fort Worth, the Amon Carter Museum specializes in American Art, with a focus on the 19th century and first half of the 20th century. The museum's founder, Amon Carter, wanted a place to share his collection of art by Frederic Remington and Charles Marion Russell. Both artists specialized in artistic renderings of the early American West.
If music or theater are more your style, Dallas Summer Musicals hosts Broadway productions and other live musical theater. The Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth (Tarrant County) is the permanent residence of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Texas Ballet Theater, Fort Worth Opera, and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and Cliburn Concerts.
Sports fans have the luxury of a team in every major professional league: the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Dallas Mavericks (NBA), Dallas Stars (NHL), and the Texas Rangers (MLB), who play in Arlington, Texas (Tarrant County).
There is plenty to do in the Dallas-Forth Worth area, and plenty of factors to consider before making a choice of where you will be living. Hopefully this helps get you started.
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