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San Antonio vs Austin 🆚 | Pros and Cons of Living in San Antonio Versus Austin TX

Last Updated on: 7th April 2024, 03:43 pm

Deciding to relocate is a big life decision, and when it comes to Texas, two cities often stand out as prime destinations: San Antonio and Austin. Both cities boast unique cultures, vibrant neighborhoods, and thriving economies, making them attractive options for individuals and families alike. However, deciding which city best fits your needs and preferences can be challenging. This is everything you need to know about San Antonio vs. Austin, as well as the pros and cons of living in both cities.

Austin TX to San Antonio TX Distance

How far is it from Austin to San Antonio? It is 79.6 miles from Austin TX to San Antonio TX. This is only a 1 hour and 16 minute drive or a 2-hour bus ride.

Pros and Cons of Living in San Antonio vs. Austin

Both San Antonio and Austin are wonderful places to live, so it is important to compare the Austin and San Antonio pros and cons before choosing which city to call home. These are the benefits and drawbacks of both Austin and San Antonio.

Living in Austin Pros

One of the most notable benefits of living in Austin is the city’s vibrant cultural scene, with plenty of food trucks, live music, art galleries, performing arts festivals, and entertainment options. From renowned music venues like the iconic Sixth Street to the bustling food truck scene, Austin fosters a dynamic atmosphere that attracts artists, musicians, and food enthusiasts alike. Austin also has a thriving economy, with both major companies and startups calling the city home.

Living in Austin Cons

Living in Austin also comes with its share of challenges. The rapid growth of Austin has led to issues like traffic congestion and rising housing costs, making affordability a concern for many residents. Additionally, the city’s popularity has contributed to overcrowding in many areas, leading to strains on infrastructure and public transportation.

Living in San Antonio Pros

There are plenty of important living in San Antonio pros and cons to consider before moving to the area. One significant benefit of calling San Antonio home is the city’s deep sense of history and heritage. The city is full of iconic landmarks such as the Alamo and the historic missions, which draw in millions of visitors every year. Additionally, the low cost of living in San Antonio makes it an attractive option for families looking to get more for their money.

Living in San Antonio Cons

Despite its many advantages, life in San Antonio does present a few challenges. One drawback is the city’s slower pace of economic growth compared to other metropolitan areas in Texas. While San Antonio boasts a diverse economy, job opportunities in industries like tech and finance may be more limited compared to cities like Austin or Dallas. The nightlife scene in San Antonio is also not as renowned as those of larger cities like Austin or Houston.

Comparisons of San Antonio vs. Austin

Both Austin and San Antonio have their own strengths and weaknesses. Here’s how these two major Texas cities stack up.

Austin vs. San Antonio Population

The San Antonio area has a population of 1.45 million, while Austin has a population of 964,177. Although both cities are very large, Alamo City proves to be larger in population. However, Austin is growing at a much faster rate, largely due to the rapid growth of Downtown Austin. The vibrant city of Austin has grown 21.6% over the past decade, while San Antonio has only grown 8.0%.


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Cost of Living in San Antonio vs. Austin

When comparing Austin vs. San Antonio, it is important to consider the affordability of each Texas city. As it turns out, living in the San Antonio area is much more affordable than living in Austin. The San Antonio Cost of Living Index is 91.5, meaning that San Antonians can expect a cost of living that is 8.5% lower than the national average of 100. Austin residents, however, can expect to pay a bit more, as the Cost of Living Index is 101.5, 1.5% more expensive than the national average.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four in San Antonio would need to earn $92,055 per year to live comfortably in the area. Austin residents would need to earn $107,633 to do the same. Here is a quick comparison of everyday expenses in the two cities.

  • Housing: 26.8% more expensive in Austin
  • Food: 14.9% more expensive in Austin
  • Child care: 13.7% more expensive in Austin
  • Transportation: 7.1% more expensive in Austin
  • Health care: 34.9% more expensive in Austin

When comparing Austin and San Antonio, it is also essential to take a look at housing prices. According to Redfin, San Antonio citizens can expect to pay a median home price of $250,000, while those living in Austin can expect to pay around $509,500. Home prices in both Austin and San Antonio are on the decline, each lowering about 3% over the past year.

According to RentCafe, the average rent in San Antonio is $1,290, while the average rent in Austin is $1,753.

Generally speaking, San Antonio is much cheaper than Austin. Of course, the cost of living can rise and fall depending on where you want to settle down. Places like Downtown Austin and Central Austin are oftentimes more expensive than East Austin and Lake Austin.

San Antonio vs. Austin Crime Rates

Let’s take a look at how the two Texas cities stack up in terms of crime.

San Antonio crime rates:

  • Overall crime rate: 4,362 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 735 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 3,627 crimes per 100,000 people

Austin crime rates:

  • Overall crime rate: 4,098 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 467 crimes per 100,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 3,631 crimes per 100,000 people

Although the two cities have similar crime statistics, Austin has a lower crime rate than San Antonio.

Things to Do in San Antonio vs. Austin

Both Austin and San Antonio have a wide range of fun things to do. San Antonio is often considered to be one of the best Texas cities for outdoor lovers, as there are numerous parks in this major city, as well as the famous San Antonio River Walk. Canyon Lake, which is just outside of the big city, features hiking trails as well as swimming, canoeing, and fishing opportunities. Additionally, the San Antonio River is a popular spot to hang out during the warm summer months. You’ll also find several urban attractions in the city center.

Whether you are strolling through the San Antonio Museum of Art, catching a San Antonio Spurs game at The Frost Bank Center, or watching a show at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, there is always something to do in this city. San Antonio’s bars and restaurants are also top-notch, as the city is home to some of the best Mexican food in the world.


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Austin, on the other hand, is better for those looking for thriving city life. Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World, with several live music venues calling the city home. The Moody Theater, Broken Spoke, and the Saxon Pub are just a few iconic venues that make up the city’s live music scene. You can also check out sporting events, such as the Texas Longhorns at The University of Texas.

However, Austin is also home to fun outdoor attractions, such as the Barton Springs Pool, which is a recreational outdoor swimming pool located in Zilker Park. Lake Travis and Lady Bird Lake are also located just a few miles outside of the city. Austin also has a very hip food scene, and you can always find several food trucks serving pizza, breakfast tacos, and more located in the downtown area.

San Antonio vs. Austin Neighborhoods

Either San Antonio or Austin is a great place to settle down and explore different neighborhoods. ATX is best known for its high-rise apartment buildings in Downtown Austin, such as AMLI Downtown and The Shoal. If you want a home in the city, then consider the area around Rainey Street. This neighborhood is located near Lady Bird Lake and features several beautiful historic homes.


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San Antonio also has many wonderful neighborhoods to choose from. If you are looking for apartment rentals, then consider the area near the River Walk. If you want to live in the suburbs of San Antonio, then you may want to consider places like Terrell Hills or Alamo Heights. Additionally, you may want to check out Stone Oak, which is a beautiful master-planned community in the northern section of the city.

Weather in Austin vs. San Antonio

What is the weather like in San Antonio vs. Austin? Because the two cities are so close to each other, Austin and San Antonio see similar weather patterns throughout the year. Both San Antonio and Austin have a humid subtropical climate, featuring very hot summers and cool to mild winters. However, Austin tends to see more precipitation than San Antonio, with 6.4% more rainy days.


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Jobs in Austin TX vs. San Antonio

Both Austin and San Antonio have a thriving economy. Austin’s economy is mostly fueled by the education, technology, and biotechnology industries, while San Antonio focuses more on oil, gas, military, and health care. Austin is home to Silicon Hills, which is a cluster of high-tech companies in the metropolitan area. San Antonio contains major employers such as Valero Energy, Carenet Health, and USAA.

According to PayScale, the average salary in Austin is $81,000, while the average salary in San Antonio is $70,000. Additionally, the median household income in Austin is $86,556, and the median household income in San Antonio is $59,593. However, as mentioned before, you will need less money to make a comfortable living in San Antonio.

San Antonio vs. Austin: Where Are You Moving?

Now that you know all of the pros and cons of living in San Antonio vs. Austin, where will you plant your roots? If San Antonio is speaking to you, then let 2 College Brothers assist you. Our reliable San Antonio movers are ready to make your entire moving experience smooth and stress-free. Give our team a call today at 210-874-7010 to get started with a free quote.


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