Only 36 Percent of City of Dallas Employees Live in Dallas

Cops and firefighters are the least likely to be residents.

As I wrote previously, yesterday’s post about the relatively low percentage of Dallas Police officers who live within the city proper got me curious about what those numbers look like for all city employees. So I asked.

According to the city public information office, as of July 2013 (the most recent info they had) 36.2 percent of the 12,316 city of Dallas employees are also residents. The city’s data claims a slightly higher percentage of cops (21.7 percent) than was in the FiveThirtyEight post (19 percent.) The fire department has fled the city at an even higher rate though, with only 17.2 percent of its uniformed personnel Dallasites.

The city charter requires only that the city manager, auditor, attorney, and secretary live in town. If you look at the department-by-department breakdown below, you’ll see that cops and firefighters are the least likely employees to be residents. Among the city’s civilian workforce, 48.6 percent call Dallas home. The city manager’s office has the highest number — 71.4 percent — but they’ve only got 14 employees Sanitation Services boasts a 70.1 percent residency rate among its 458 employees. Meanwhile 74.4 percent of the employees in the city controller’s office are suburbanites.

So, is any of this a problem? It certainly makes it easier to argue that most city employees have an Us vs. Them mentality when it comes to dealing with residents.


Here’s a guide to the city department codes, if you want to point a finger at any other departments.


  • Wylie H Dallas

    If you strip out Fire Prevention & Investigation from DFR’s numbers, you will find that the % of DFR employees living in Dallas drops further still.

  • Ted

    Surely there’s a message in this data somewhere if we could only manage to tease it out.

  • deann in dallas

    The fire department didn’t leave the city, these guys are coming in from the rural communities to work in the city… these guys are used to hard work (every day, not just a hard day here and there), being out in the weather, using tools, basically a strong work ethic. Most city dwellers are either white collar or ‘on the take’ dwellers, thus I’d hate to see the fabric of the fire department if they actually recruited only city dwellers… and if that happened, I’d probably sell my house here in the city.

  • Anon

    This may be stating the obvious but….This data may have some context if put next to the city employees’ annual salaries and the average cost to live IN Dallas these days. I know I pay a premium that I can barely afford to live in the city where I work. But, I still have to commute further than I’d like because I couldn’t afford to live closer to work in downtown. This same rent in the suburbs would multiply my square footage.

  • Bill

    Poorer city workers will live in town, especially if they are willing to use DISD. There is plenty of affordable housing inside of Dallas if you are willing to live in neighborhoods with older apartments/houses and slightly higher crime rates. Middle class and upper middle class city workers cannot find housing at a cost they can afford in the neighborhoods that they find acceptable, so they move out of Dallas. Middle class city workers also often refuse to use DISD. Where affordability starts and stops is not an absolute, but a function of personal preferences.

  • freddy

    East Dallas/Lakewood, where there are good DISD schools, is getting expensive.

  • LSS

    I have a friend whose fiance’ is a police officer. I understand it is pretty common for them not to live in the city where they work. Believe it is a security concern for their families.

  • Cogwheel