Is McAllen Texas a good place to live? We put together 10 pros and cons of living in McAllen Texas so that you can see if it is right for you to move to.
McAllen Texas is a beautiful, mid-sized metropolitan area that is located right on Texas’ border with Mexico. This vibrant city is a major center for tourism, international trade, and manufacturing despite its reputation as just a small border town.
It is also referred to as a haven for those crossing the border from Mexico to Texas.
We even ranked it as #10 in our latest update of the best cities in Texas in 2023.
The city has developed into an excellent location for different types of cuisines, friendly people, and an excellent climate that is devoid of many weather-related hazards.
Furthermore, this Hispanic-rich city is known for its mild winters and brightly colored birds. But, does this really make McAllen Texas a good place to live? Our in-depth analysis of the pros and cons of living in McAllen Texas will help you decide if moving here is the right choice for you or not.
Pros and Cons of Living in McAllen Texas – Top 5 Pros
1. Low Cost of Living
McAllen’s extremely reasonable cost of living is one of the primary reasons that people relocate to this city. The prices here are quite low, with an average cost of living that is 20% lower than the Texas average.
This excellent affordability is due to a reduced price on virtually all basic amenities, including accommodation, transport, food, and services. Therefore, it gives residents of this bustling area an incredible opportunity to reduce their expenses and enjoy many things to do at an affordable price. Undoubtedly, McAllen is where you want to be if you want to move to a less expensive area that still offers plenty of amenities.
2. Great Weather
McAllen also offers great weather all year round. There are two major seasons in McAllen, which are winter and summer.
However, the winters are quite mild. For example, January is the coldest month in McAllen, but average highs are still around 72 degrees.
Additionally, rain and icy weather are quite rare in this part of the nation.
On the other hand, summer temperatures stretch from around April through November and residents can make the most of the sunshine in McAllen’s fresh and clear air.
3. Low Crime Rate
One of the critical factors of McAllen that helps boost its livability rating to a high score of 81 is its low crime rate.
The city’s crime rate is 14% lower than the national average, making it quite a safe and secure location to live.
Additionally, this mid-sized city has some of the lowest violent crime rates in the United States, with a rate that is about 78% lower than the national average.
So, is McAllen Texas a good place to live for those who prioritize having a safe community? These numbers surely would indicate that it is.
4. Economic Growth
McAllen is slowly becoming one of Texas’ hottest commercial hubs. This has helped spur McAllen’s expanding economy with new retailers and companies, which in turn has led to job growth.
McAllen’s retail and manufacturing sector has been the economy’s primary driving force, making the city one of the fastest-growing in Texas today.
So, is McAllen Texas a good place to live for those looking for new work opportunities? It certainly seems that the city’s future is quite bright.
5. Quality Education
Although McAllen is known for tourism and its retail sector, the city still cares about the development of its residents and has maintained a strong education system.
There are many choices available for students to receive a high quality education, especially compared to bigger cities.
A good measure of the quality of McAllen’s school system is their test scores. McAllen schools have average scores that are about 11% above the national average.
Pros and Cons of Living in McAllen Texas – Top 5 Cons
1. Limited Number of Attractions
The possibility of being bored pops up eventually when you are used to having numerous amenities in the big cities. Although McAllen is well-known for having many tourist attractions, some people might find it a bit lacking after a few months or years of trying out every dish and event the city has to offer.
There are limited attractions, and for someone who is extraordinarily active, spending every outing visiting the local wildlife reserves, museums, South Padre Island, Palm View Golf Course, or trying out Mexican cuisine all the time might not be enough. But, if you are tired of the hustle and bustle of the big city, then McAllen is a calm and serene environment that might be a good option for you.
2. Very Hot Weather
While McAllen’s warm climate is a positive aspect for those looking to move from cooler areas, you have to remember that the city is located in a subtropical area. While the excellent weather during winter might be a win for some, the hot temperature during summer might be too extreme for others. McAllen even tops the list of the cities with the most extreme heat.
New residents are likely to adapt to the hot weather over time. But, some people really can’t get used to the hot climate, especially if they are from a much colder environment. Therefore, it might be an uncomfortable city for someone that cannot get used to the heat.
Of all the pros and cons of living in McAllen Texas, we think that this is the most important one that may sway your decision.
3. Lot of Bugs
Due to the hot weather, many bugs, especially cockroaches, thrive in McAllen. The extreme heat brings the cockroaches out from their hiding spots and makes them search for dark and damp areas to call their new home. You may find them running around a lot and looking for leftovers.
Of course, you can hire roach exterminator companies to get rid of these creatures in your home or put traps out to eliminate these pests.
4. Language Barrier
Is McAllen Texas a good place to live if you can’t speak Spanish? Well, there may be a language barrier if you are an English-speaking individual. That’s because about 73% of the population in McAllen speaks Spanish, while about only 24% of McAllen citizens speak English.
Job opportunities for someone who cannot speak Spanish might be limited. Many jobs may require you to be bilingual or at least understand both languages.
Aside from the job market, knowing Spanish would also help you converse better with many of the locals. Otherwise, you might have some difficulty familiarizing yourself around the city.
So, is McAllen Texas a good place to live if you are unwilling to learn Spanish? Probably not then.
5. High Population Growth
Despite feeling like a mid-sized city, McAllen is the fifth most populous metro area in Texas. Regardless of its recent economic boom, the area still has high poverty rates due to its ever-increasing population.
There is a growing divide between the rich and the not so rich around town as there are simply not enough good opportunities for the entire lower and middle class of McAllen.
That may partially be due to the fact that McAllen’s rate of expansion has not been equally distributed across its whole community.
However, we are hopeful that further growth will provide new opportunities for the entire population.
Is McAllen Texas a Good Place to Live? Summary
We hope that this list of pros and cons of living in McAllen Texas gives you a deeper insight into this diverse city. We are confident that it will help you make your decision.
We recommend that you visit for a few days or weeks to figure out if McAllen is a good place for you to live before deciding if you would want to relocate here or not.