Cities Journal

Top 20 Reasons Houston Is Better Than Dallas

Photo credit: araza123 / Flickr

Ever wonder why so many people simply think that Houston is better than Dallas? Well, for two cities a mere 240 miles apart, they certainly boast a major rivalry concerning whose city is tops in Texas. Here are 20 ways Houston surpasses Dallas. Don’t forget to post a comment below if you agree (or maybe disagree) with us!

1. More People Call Houston Home

According to the US Census Bureau, when considering residents within proper city limits, Houston boasts nearly 1 million more people than the not so big D. Population estimates for 2012 in Houston reach just over 2.1 million citizens while Dallas struggles to retain just over 1.2 million. And statistics aside, it seems that more and more people not just want to move to Houston, but actually prefer this city over its main Texas rival. Houston is also more appealing to different ethnicities and it’s definitely more diverse.

It is estimated that some 80 different languages are spoken in this city, which is pretty impressive and certainly helps Houston’s reputation as a vibrant, diverse and friendly city. It is actually more ethnically diverse than New York City and Los Angeles, according to 2012 research by Kinder Institute of Urban Research. And it’s not just the city proper – two of its major neighborhoods have been classified as the most diverse in the region. The most numerous community are the Latinos (the second largest ethnicity in the city), followed by African and Asian communities.

Prev1 of 22Next
  • Carlos Iglesias

    I have lived in both cities. My vote has ALWAYS been HOUSTON!!

  • Kurt

    I live in Dallas but work in Houston all the time. I enjoy both cities. There are some valid points in this article. …but I have to say the zoning in Houston is a mess!

  • Chicharo Corleone

    i moved to houston little more than 1 year i love houston. to be more specific i love texas. idk the city very well but when it comes to food . is no good i moved from chicago. so nobody can beat chicago food. nobody. but so far i love houston. the people here are very kind. they can use few driving lessons. no offense .. but overall is a nice city. so any tips or places may i need to visit? not much of cluber. more like parks and museums

  • Xavier B

    Love it… and I didn’t know Dallas was even in Texas? I always figured it to be lower Oklahoma… 🙁

  • Grr

    I live in Dallas and I love both cities. Can we ever talk about what a shithole Ft. Worth is?

    • Houstonian

      majority of people put Dallas and Fort Worth together in mind. Houston >>> DFW

  • Papa Troll

    yeah, suck it Dallas.

  • Joe

    Houston is better than Dallas because:
    1. Houston is more diverse in ethnic and religious backgrounds.
    2. Houston is greener with more parks and forests.
    3. Houston has access to beaches.
    4. Houston has access to vacation cruise ships going to the Caribbean and Central America.
    5. Houston is less hotter in summers (though more humid).
    6, Houston is far less cold in winters.
    7. Houston has more of international community.
    8. Houston has a port (busiest in the US).
    9. Houston has many countries consulates.
    10. Houston has more restaurants and better variety of foods.
    11. Houston has better museums.
    12. Houston has a much better arts and entertainment scene.
    13. Houston has better schools such as Rice University, etc.
    14. Houston has a much better Medical Center (hospitals, research, medical schools, etc).
    15. Houston is closer to San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, and New Orleans.
    16. Houston economy is strong and diverse, with more company headquarters.
    17. Houston is the energy capital of the world.
    18. NASA is in Houston.
    19. Houston has better gardening options with very rare near freezing temps.

  • elvisforever

    Houston bound, Houston Proud, Go Texans!

  • Noneya

    You have to be kidding …. Right???? Houston is bigger and all the extra you brag about equals dirty. The City proper is riddled with poor zoning and you have mixed residential areas in commercial areas and your code compliance sucks. Its a dirty big city and no way to hide it. Big Port BIGGER POLLUTION PROBLEMS. Sure just an hour away from Galveston, notoriously the nasty most polluted beach in Texas ….. HAHA so much to brag about …. Born and Raised Texan and you can beat I’ll never leave Texas but I’ll never live in Nasty Houston…….

    • Danny B

      Though I definitely agree Houston is pretty filthy in certain areas (mainly just along the ship channel and in the near-Northeast part of the city) and that Galveston beaches are hardly attractive (fairly common knowledge among most Houstonians, who find the beautiful old Victorian neighborhoods and the shops along the Strand more an attraction in Galveston than the beaches)… your comment really just smacks of bitterness and jealousy, without making any fair points. If you don’t like Houston, that’s fine. Take a number and get in line, but you seemed to go out of your way to be out and out nasty and spiteful about it, with lots of generalizations.

  • Danny B

    So, I leave a civil, unbiased comment here and it gets removed, but when people leave insulting, spiteful comments they get to stay up? Ok then.

  • Danny B

    I wouldn’t say Houston, overall, is “better” than Dallas… nor would I say that Dallas is better (overall) than Houston. Both cities run pretty much neck-in-neck with each other and are probably the two most dynamic 2nd tier cities/metros in America today (1st tier = NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago). Sure, there are certain areas where Houston beats Dallas (restaurants, international culture, architectural diversity, centralized sports venues, parks, greenery, freeways, skyline)… but there are other areas where Dallas is clearly ahead of Houston (public transit, developed urban core, hillier topography, less humidity, more diverse economy, cleanliness).

    What’s more apparent to me as an outsider to both cities, who has spent a LOT of time in both in the last 30 years, is that they compete with each other in almost every aspect more heavily than probably any other two major cities in America… and have been doing so for about 80 years. They keep each other on their toes and have somewhat symbiotic economies (Houston as the top port and production center for the entire region, and Dallas as the top transportation, distribution, and banking center for the same region). They depend on each other more than most people realize, and boost each other’s economies and growth. No matter how much it SEEMS like the two “hate” each other, the reality is that they have a mutual respect and admiration that is often clouded by heavy competition.

    Yes, the two are quite different on many levels… but their similarities outweigh their differences by a pretty significant margin. Both are somewhat anomalous to their state and region. Both are definitely Southern/Texan at heart, but have populations made up of so many different cultures, both international and interregional that they really stand apart from other large and mid-size cities/metros in Texas and in the South (aside from Atlanta and Miami). Both are cities/metros that are still developing their respective identities and status, while other major American cities like New York, L.A., Chicago, San Francisco, and Philadelphia are already well established and fully matured. This is not a bad thing either. It means that both Houston and Dallas have bright futures and haven’t peaked yet. They’re the two fastest growing major U.S. metros, and will likely remain so until the middle of the 21st century.

    All of the trash-talk and bitterness is mainly only something you’ll hear from a small minority of loud and overly vocal boosters… full of exaggerations and embellishments. Many Houstonians like Dallas, and many Dallasites return the sentiment, in my experience. However, the competition/rivalry is a very real thing… and essentially a healthy thing. Both are great cities in my book.

  • Kevin

    Houston has a bigger city limits. That’s why it’s bigger. Dallas can’t grow much more because it’s out of room. However more people live in the Dallas Fort worth area than the Houston area. All the trouble that comes from living in a big city are there equally. Do yourself a favor. Move to the Hill County.

Stay In Touch

Recommended For You

The Latest