SAN ANGELO, Texas (KLST/KSAN) — Texas is one of the largest states in the U.S. with 254 counties, so it can be challenging to decide where in the state to live. We have compiled a list of the top 25 best counties to live in Texas using rankings from Niche to help.

Niche ranks counties by various factors, including public schools, educational attainment, cost of living, and housing based on key statistics from the U.S. Census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and expert insights.

The majority of the counties that made the list are located in central-east Texas, with a few exceptions. A major difference between the counties in the top five and the counties in the bottom five is the rate of violent crimes committed. Counties in the bottom five tend to show a higher rate of violent crime (calculated per 100,000 residents every year) than the counties in the top five.

#25 Wichita County

This county is new to the rankings.

  • Population: 132,154
  • Median home value: $103,200
  • Median rent: $822
  • Median household income: $49,710
  • Top public schools:
    • Sheppard Air Force Base Elementary School
    • W.F. George Middle School
    • West Foundation Elementary School
  • Top private schools:
    • Christ Academy
    • Wichita Christian School
    • Bible Baptist Christian School
  • Top places to live:
    • Wichita Falls
    • Iowa Park
    • Burkburnett
    • Electra
    • Pleasant Valley

#24 Bell County

Bell County was No. 23 in 2021. Tom Green County was No. 24 in 2021 but did not make the list in 2022.

  • Population: 355,700
  • Median home value: $153,500
  • Median rent: $946
  • Median household income: $54,987
  • Top public schools:
    • Lakewood Elementary School
    • Holland Elementary School
    • Tarver Elementary School
  • Top private schools:
    • Holy Trinity Catholic High School
    • Central Texas Christian School
    • Memorial The Christian School
  • Top places to live: 
    • Belton
    • Harker Heights
    • Morgan’s Point Resort
    • Temple
    • Nolanville

#23 Hays County

This county made rank No. 16 in 2021, falling back to rank No. 23 in 2022.

  • Population: 222,827
  • Median home value: $258,000
  • Median rent: $1,168
  •  Median household income: $68,724
  • Top public schools:
    • Sycamore Springs Elementary School
    • Sycamore Springs Middle School
    • Dripping Springs Middle School
  •  Top private schools:
    • San Marcos Academy
    • Aesa Prep Academy
    • Veritas Academy
  • Top places to live:
    • Buda
    • Dripping Springs
    • Woodcreek
    • Wimberley
    • Kyle

#22 McLennan County

This county fell back one spot from No. 21 in 2021 to No. 22 in 2022.

  • Population: 254,045
  • Median home value: $152,700
  • Median rent: $886
  • Median household income: $50,210
  • Top public schools:
    • Midway High School
    • Spring Valley Elementary School
    • River Valley Middle School
  • Top private schools:
    • Vanguard College Preparatory School
    • Live Oak Classical School
    • Bishop Louis Reicher Catholic School
  • Top places to live:
    • Woodway
    • Hewitt
    • Lorena
    • Robinson
    • Mcgregor

#21 Chambers County

Chamber County fell back from rank 18 in 2021 to rank 21 in 2022.

  • Population: 42,571
  • Median home value: $224,400
  • Median rent: 990
  • Median household income: $95,989
  • Top public schools:
    • Barbers Hill El North
    • Barbers Hill El South
    • Barbers Hill Middle South
  • Top private schools:
    • N/A
  • Top places to live
    • Mont Belvieu
    • Old River-Winfree
    • Winni
    • Stowell
    • Cove

#20 Bexar County

Bexar County jumper from No. 25 in 2021 to No. 20 in 2022.

  • Population: 1,978,826
  • Median home value: $171,200
  • Median rent: $1,048
  • Median household income: $58,288
  • Top public schools:
    • BASIS San Antonio- Shavano Campus
    • Health Careers Highschool
    • Reagan High School
  • Top private schools:
    • Keystone School
    • Saint Mary’s Hall
    • TMI Episcopal
  • Top places to live:
    • Terrell Hills
    • Northeast Inner Loop
    • Alamo Heights
    • Oakland Estates
    • Olmos Park

#19 Taylor County

Taylor County fell back a few ranks from No. 17 in 2021 to No. 19 in 2022.

  • Population: 137,521
  • Median home value: $137,600
  • Median rent: $921
  • Median household income: $55,568
  • Top public schools:
    • Wylie West Elementary School
    • Wylie Junior High School
    • Academy for Technology, Engineering, Math & Science
    • Wylie Intermediate School
  • Top private schools:
    • St. John’s Episcopal School
    • Cornerstone Christian School
    • A Habitat for Learning
  • Top places to live:
    • Abilene
    • Potosi
    • Tye
    • Lawn
    • Buffalo Gap

#18 Dallas County

Dallas County fell back some from 2021 being No. 12 to being No. 18 in 2022.

  • Population: 2,622,634
  • Median home value: $193,900
  • Median rent: $1,159
  • Median household income: $61,870
  • Top public schools:
    • School for the Talented & Gifted
    • School of Science & Engineering
    • Coppell High School
  • Top private schools:
    • St. Marks School of Texas
    • Greenhill School
    • The Hockaday School
  • Top places to live:
    • Cottonwood Creek South
    • Heights Park
    • Canyon Creek South
    • Coppell
    • University park

#17 Harris County

In 2021 Harris County was ranked No. 14.

  • Population: 4,680,609
  • Median home value: $189,400
  • Median rent: $1,115
  • Median household income: $63,022
  • Top public schools:
    • Carnegie Vanguard High School
    • Debakey H.S. for Health Prof.
    • Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
  • Top private schools:
    • The Awty International School
    • The Village School
    • the Kinkaid School
  • Top places to live:
    • Nassau Bay
    • Spring Valley Village
    • Astrodome Area
    • Washington Avenue Coalition / Memorial Park
    • Kingwood Area

#16 Tarrant County

Tarrant County moved up from No. 22 in 2021 to No. 16 in 2022.

  • Population: 2,077,153
  • Median home value: $209,600
  • Median rent: $1,142
  • Median household income: $70,306
  • Top public schools:
    • Carroll Senior High School
    • Westlake Academy
    • Colleyville Heritage High School
  • Top private schools:
    • Trinity Valley School
    • Forth Worth Country Day School
    • The Oakridge School
  • Top places to live:
    • Southlake
    • Colleyville
    • Keller
    • Grapevine
    • Euless

#15 Brazoria County

This county was ranked No. 19 in 2022 and jumped forward to rank No. 15 in 2022.

  • Population: 368,062
  • Median home value: $213,100
  • Median rent: $1,161
  • Median household income: $83,325
  • Top public schools:
    • Glenda Dawson High School
    • Silvercrest Elementary School
    • Shadycrest Elementary School
  • Top private schools:
    • Brazosport Christian School
    • Living Stones Christian School
    • Angleton Christian School
  • Top places to live:
    • Pearland
    • Brookside Village
    • Lake Jackson
    • Clute
    • Manvel

#14 Kendall County

Kendall County jumped one spot from being ranked No. 15 in 2021 to No. 14 in 2022.

  • Population: 45,491
  • Median home value: $378,500
  • Median rent: $1,278
  • Median household income: $98,692
  • Top public schools:
    • Boerne- Samuel V. Champion High School
    • Cibolo Creek Elementary School
    • Boerne Middle School South
  • Top private schools:
    • Geneva School of Boerne
    • Crestmont Christian Preparatory School
    • Hill Country Montessori School
  • Top places to live:
    • Boerne
    • Comfort

#13 Randall Country

Randall County was ranked No. 9 in 2021 and ranked No. 13 in 2022.

  • Population: 136,005
  • Median home value: $174,100
  • Median rent: $947
  • Median household income: $68,186
  • Top public schools:
    • Greenways Intermediate School
    • Hillside Elementary School
    • Crestview Elementary School
  • Top private schools:
    • Ascension Academy
    • Holy Cross Catholic Academy
    • St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School
  • Top places to live:
    • Canyon
    • Lake Tanglewood
    • Timbercreek Canyon
    • Palisades

#12 Galveston County

Galveston County was ranked No. 20 in 2021 and moved up to rank No. 12 in 2022.

  • Population: 337,600
  • Median home value: $212,600
  • Median rent: $1,106
  • Median household income: $74,633
  • Top public schools:
    • Friendswood High School
    • Westwood Elementary School
    • Windsong Intermediate School
  • Top private schools:
    • O’Connell College Preparatory School
    • Bay Area Christian School
    • Trinity Episcopal School
  • Top places to live:
    • Friendswood
    • League City
    • Clear lake Shore
    • Kemah
    • Galveston

#11 Brazos County

Brazos County maintained its rank of No. 11 from 2021 to 2022.

  • Population: 226,370
  • Median home value: $217,700
  • Median rent: $966
  • Median household income: $50,289
  • Top public schools:
    • College Station High School
    • Pebble Creek Elementary School
    • A&M Consolidated High School
  • Top private schools:
    • Allen Academy
    • Brazos Christian School
    • St. Joseph Catholic School
  • Top places to live:
    • College Station
    • Bryan
    • Wixon Valley
    • Kurten
    • Millican

#10 Comal County

Comal County fell back from ranking No. 8 in 2021 to ranking No. 10 in 2022.

  • Population: 148,921
  • Median home value: $293,600
  • Median rent: $1,192
  • Median household income: $80,781
  • Top public schools:
    • Hoffmann Lane Elementary School
    • Smithson Valley Middle School
    • Rahe Bulverde Elementary School
  • Top private schools:
    • Living Rock Academy
    • St. John Paul II Catholic High School
    • Bracken Christian School
  • Top places to live:
    • Garden Ridge
    • Fair Oaks Ranch
    • New Braunfels
    • Bulverde
    • Canyon Lake

#9 Brewster County

This county jumped way ahead in the rankings having been No. 13 in 2021 to No. 9 in 2022.

  • Population: 9,231
  • Median home value: $171,700
  • Median rent: $698
  • Median household income: $45,296
  • Top public schools:
    • Marathon Independent School District
    • Alpine High School
    • Alpine Middle School
  • Top private schools:
    • Alpine Christian School
    • Alpine Montessori School
  • Top places to live:
    • Alpine
    • Marathon
    • Study Butte

#8 Lubbock County

This county was ranked No. 6 in 2021.

  • Population: 308,392
  • Median home value: $149,200
  • Median rent: $946
  • Median household income: $53,425
  • Top public schools:
    • Crestview Elementary School
    • Bennett Elementary School
    • Talkington School for Young Women Leaders
  • Top private schools:
    • All Saints Episcopal School
    • Christ the King Cathedral School
    • Lubbock Christian School
  • Top places to live:
    • Wolfforth
    • Lubbock
    • Shallowater
    • Slaton
    • Idalou

#7 Rockwall County

Rockwall was No. 5 in 2021.

  • Population: 101,175
  • Median home value: $283,000
  • Median rent: $1,472
  • Median household income: $105,956
  • Top public schools:
    • Celia Hays Elementary School
    • New Elementary School
    • Grace Hartman Elementary School
  • Top private schools:
    • Heritage Christian Academy
    • The Fulton School
    • Providence Academy
  • Top places to live:
    • Rockwall
    • Heath
    • Fate
    • McLendon-Chisholm
    • Royse City

#6 Montgomery County

This county jumped from No. 10 in 2021 to No. 6 in 2022.

  • Population: 590,188
  • Median home value: $248,100
  • Median rent: $1,231
  • Median household income: $83,274
  • Top public schools:
    • College Park High School
    • The Woodlands High School
    • Tough Elementary School
  • Top private schools:
    • The John Cooper School
    • The Woodland Christian Academy
    • Esprite International Academy
  • Top places to live:
    • The Woodlands
    • Oak Ridge Ranch
    • Shenanfoah
    • Conroe
    • Woodbranch

#5 Williamson County

Williamson gained a few ranks going into 2022 having been No. 7 in 2021.

  • Population: 570,437
  • Median home value: $282,700
  • Median rent: $1,368
  • Median household income: $90,834
  • Top public schools:
    • Westwood High IB World School
    • Meridian World School
    • Cedar Park High School
  • Top private schools:
    • Hill Country Christian School of Austin
    • St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School
    • Grace Academy
  • Top places to live:
    • Bushy Creek
    • Cedar Park
    • round Rock
    • Leander
    • Georgetown

#4 Denton County

Denton County had maintained its No. 4 rank since 2021

  • Population: 861,690
  • Median home value: $297,100
  • Median rent: $1,269
  • Median household income: $90,354
  • Top public schools:
    • Ready High School
    • Flower Mound High School;
    • Wakeland High School
  • Top private schools:
    • Liberty Christian Academy
    • Legacy Christian Academy
    • The Clariden School
  • Top places to live:
    • Flower Mound
    • Trophy Club
    • Double Oak
    • Highland Villiage
    • Lantana

#3 Travis County

Travis County has maintained its No. 3 rank from 2021 and also ranked No. 20 best county to live in America.

  • Population: 1,250,884
  • Median home value: $347,700
  • Median rent: $1,348
  • Median household income: $80,668
  • Top public schools:
    • Liberal Arts & Science Academy
    • Westlake High School
    • Vandegrift High School
  • Top private schools:
    • St. Stephen’s Episcopal School
    • St. Andrews Episcopal School
    • Austin Peace Academy
  • Top places to live:
    • Old Enfield
    • Gateway
    • Downtown
    • Triangle State
    • Hyde Park

#2 Fort Bend Country

Fort Bend County has maintained its No. 2 rank from 2021 and also ranked No. 15 in the best counties to live in America.

  • Population: 790,892
  • Median home value: $277,600
  • Median rent: $1,474
  • Median household income: $100,189
  • Top public schools:
    • Seven Lakes High School
    • Clements High School
    • Obra D. Tompkins High School
  • Top private schools:
    • Fort Bend Christian Academy
    • Logos Preparatory Academy
    • Calvary Episcopal Preparatory
  • Top places to live:
    • Cinco Ranch
    • Sugar Land
    • Greatwood
    • New Territory
    • Fulshear

#1 Collin County

Collin County has been rated the No. 1 best place to live in Texas and the No. 5 best county to live in America. Collin County was also the No. 1 best county to live in Texas in 2021. This is based on a majority of residents owning their homes in Collin County. Additionally, there are a lot of highly rated and reviewed restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. According to Niche, many families and young professionals live in the area and residents tend to be conservative. The public schools in Collin County are highly rated, as well.

  • Population: 1,006,038
  • Median home value: $337,200
  • Median rent: $1,428
  • Median household income: $100,541
  • Top public schools:
    • Jasper High School
    • Liberty High School
    • Imagine International Academy of North Texas
  • Top private schools:
    • Prestonwood Christian Academy
    • John Paul II High School
    • Prince of Peace Christian School
  • Top places to live:
    • Timberbrook
    • Preston Highlands
    • Canyon Creek North
    • Frisco
    • Plano

(Information from ConchoValleyHomepage.com and the Nexstar Media Wire)