Located in the heart of Central Texas, Killeen is a city brimming with history, diversity, and a strong military presence. This city has a population of 162,900 residents, and it offers a unique blend of affordability, outdoor recreation, and a vibrant community.
Whether you’re considering a move to this thriving city or have already made the decision, it’s important to have a solid understanding of what awaits you.
Let’s discuss 10 things you need to know before moving to Killeen, TX!
1. Killeen is home to Fort Hood
Killeen is home to Fort Hood, one of the largest military installations in the world. With its vast expanse and significant military presence, the base has a profound impact on the city’s identity, economy, and community. Established in 1942 as a training center for armored forces, Fort Hood has evolved into a hub for military operations, housing, and support services.
The military culture is deeply ingrained in the city’s fabric, with a strong sense of patriotism and an appreciation for the sacrifices made by service members. Residents often show unwavering support for the military and actively participate in events and initiatives that honor the armed forces. The impact of Fort Hood can be felt throughout the city, creating a unique camaraderie and a sense of unity among its residents.
Living in proximity to Fort Hood offers you the opportunity to witness military traditions, events, and ceremonies firsthand.
2. Living costs are 7% less than the national average
With a cost of living 7% lower than the national average, Killeen boasts an affordable cost of living compared to many other parts of Texas.
Groceries cost 17% less than the national average. A bunch of bananas costs $2.77, a hamburger costs $4.23, and a carton of eggs costs $1.86. Transport expenses and housing prices are also lower than the national average by 7% and 16%, respectively. The median home price in this city is $224,121.
Although utilities and healthcare in this city are higher than the national average by 15% and 23%, respectively, Killeen is still cheaper than most parts of Texas. Hence, it’s an attractive option if you’re looking for an affordable place to live.
3. Summer is hot and humid
Killeen has a hot and humid subtropical climate throughout the year. Summers are long, hot, and humid, with temperatures often exceeding 90°F. Winters are mild to cool, with average highs in the 50s to 60s°F and occasional light snow or ice storms. It rains sometimes and the temperatures are warm in the spring and fall since they are transitional seasons.
Killeen can experience thunderstorms and occasional severe weather events, especially in the spring and summer. You should be prepared for these seasonal changes, especially the long and hot summers.
4. The military sector is a major part of the city’s economy
With an unemployment rate of 4.90%, Killeen’s job growth has been positive, and jobs have increased by 1.9% over the past year. Fort Hood’s presence in the city makes the military sector a significant part of the local economy. However, Killeen also has a diverse job market, including opportunities in healthcare, education, government, and retail.
Some of the top employers in this region include Fort Hood, Killeen Independent School District, Central Texas College, Metroplex Hospital, McLane Company, Killeen Mall, Seton Medical Center Harker Heights, Walmart, and Texas A&M University.
5. Traffic is an issue in this city
Killeen has seen significant growth in recent years, and like many growing cities, it experiences traffic congestion, especially during peak commuting hours. The presence of the military base also contributes to traffic, particularly during shift changes, training exercises, and deployment periods.
Traffic is also an issue in this city, especially during school hours, due to the presence of numerous schools in the area. It’s important to be cautious and follow the designated speed limits in school zones. While this city is not as busy as larger metropolitan areas, it’s essential to be prepared for occasional delays and plan your commute accordingly.
6. Attend Central Texas College or Texas A&M University-Central Texas
This city has 51 schools, including 31 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, 5 high schools, 3 special campuses, 1 state-of-the-art career center, and 1 early college high school.
The Killeen Independent School District serves the city’s students and has a strong reputation for academic excellence and extracurricular activities. Additionally, Central Texas College and Texas A&M University-Central Texas provide higher education options. These institutions offer a variety of degree programs, allowing residents to pursue their educational aspirations without having to travel far from home.
If you have kids or are considering furthering your education, Killeen offers you a diverse range of educational opportunities.
7. Great healthcare facilities
Killeen boasts a strong healthcare infrastructure, with various medical facilities catering to residents’ needs.
The presence of Fort Hood contributes to a robust healthcare system, including the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, which provides comprehensive medical services to military personnel, their families, and the local community. In addition, Metroplex Hospital and other private healthcare providers offer a wide range of specialized services. Rest assured that quality healthcare options are readily available for you in Killeen.
8. The city offers strong community support
One of the perks of living in Killeen is its tight-knit community and the strong support systems available. Various community organizations, including nonprofits and volunteer groups, actively engage in fostering a sense of belonging and providing assistance where needed.
Whether it’s through local churches, civic groups, or dedicated organizations, Killeen residents rally together to support their neighbors during challenging times. This vibrant community spirit ensures that newcomers are welcomed with open arms; hence, you can quickly find a network of support when you move here.
9. There is cultural diversity in Killeen
Killeen is rich in cultural diversity, thanks in large part to its association with Fort Hood. The military base brings together people from various backgrounds, creating a vibrant and inclusive community. This diversity is evident in the city’s culinary scene, where you can savor an array of international cuisines. Additionally, cultural events, festivals, and celebrations take place throughout the year, offering opportunities to learn about, appreciate, and engage with different cultures.
Killeen’s cultural diversity fosters a sense of global awareness and enriches the overall experience of living in the city. The major races represented in Killeen include Caucasians, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans.
10. The crime rate is higher than the national average
Killeen has seen fluctuations in crime levels over the years, particularly property crimes and violent crimes, and it is safer than only 17% of U.S. neighborhoods.
The city’s violent crime rate is 30.8, while the national average is 22.7. It has a property crime rate of 44, while the national average rate is 35.4.
Although some of Killeen’s neighborhoods are safer than others, it is important to engage in preventive measures like securing your home, being aware of your surroundings, and participating in community watch programs that can contribute to maintaining a safe living environment.
To Sum it All Up
Moving to Killeen offers a unique blend of military culture, affordable living, outdoor recreation, and a diverse community. It is, however, important to consider the drawbacks of living here, such as the high crime rate, traffic, and hot summers, before making the move to Killeen, TX!\