If you are thinking about moving from Texas to California, you will definitely find some things that are very familiar and some that are quite different. From the economy to taxes, and from the cost of living to the weather, there are many things to think about before making that big move across the map. We have taken a look at the major differences and similarities between these two states and have broken them down in to categories: the basics, the economy, quality of life, and education. So before you get ready to sign the paperwork for a new home across the country, take a look through our findings which will help you decide which state is right for you.
Texas vs. California – The Basics
California has over 1100 miles of coastline, and multiple mountain ranges that appeal to beach goers, skiers, and hikers alike. In addition, California is home to may national parks, including the Redwoods and the world-renowned Yosemite. Of course the California weather, however, is one of the biggest draws, and biggest constants in this state. Southern California is known for being sunny and 75 throughout most of the year, while temperatures are a bit cooler in Northern California. Although all of these features may make California seem like the perfect state, keep in mind that there are some major issues with natural disasters in this area as well. Due to the dry weather, the entire state has sizeable issues with wild fires, and we have all heard of the earthquakes that have plagued California throughout the years.
Texas also has a long coastline, although it is about 1/3 the size of California’s, coming in at 367 miles. Although there are some mountains in the East, the terrain is relatively flat. This flat terrain, however, does bring some of the largest, most beautiful sunsets in the country. The weather in Texas is highly variable, though the summers are known for being very hot and humid. There are a wide variety of natural disasters that can impact Texas, including hurricanes, tornadoes, and brush fires.
Texas vs. California – The Economy
According to the US News and World Report and Business Insider, California’s economy is ranked 3rd and 11th, respectively, in the country. The state is known for an impressive GDP, great growth rate, solid business environment, coupled with a low unemployment rate. Texas, on the other hand, is ranked 6th by the US News and World Report, and 4th by Business Insider. Texas’ GDP is 2nd in the nation and the state boasts a strong economic growth rate, good real estate value, and low unemployment rates.
As you may already know, there is no state income tax in Texas. California, on the other hand, does have up to a 13.3% income tax rate. Property taxes, however, are higher in Texas even though housing prices are lower. The sales tax rate in Texas is lower than California, coming in at 6.25%, where it is 7.25% in California.
The cost of living in Texas is also lower than that of California. According to a 2018 U.S. News & World Report article, California is listed as the 48th most affordable state, with Texas coming in at number 19. According to the same U.S. News & World Report article, Texas is ranked 29th for housing affordability, whereas California is ranked 49th.
Texas vs. California – Quality of life
Depending on what area of Texas you are from, and what area of California you are moving to, you may not notice that much of a difference in traffic. Traffic tends to be horrendous in the big cities in both states. You may notice, however, that parking is scarce and expensive in California.
According to the American Lung Association, California has 11 of the top 24 most polluted cities in the country (by Ozone), and Texas has 2. A U.S. News & World Report article updated in 2018 puts them much closer overall, with California coming in at the 44th best state for the environment and Texas coming in at number 38. This report looked at drinking water, the amount of industrial toxins, pollution’s impact on health, and urban air quality.
Texas and California have similar violent crime rates. According to the Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics, Texas comes in at 405.9 violent crimes per 100k people, and California has 396.1. The highest percentage of crimes committed in California come from motor vehicle theft, where Texas has high instances of property crime and burglary.
Both states have plenty of activities to keep residents happy and visitors coming back. Some of the most popular attractions include South Padre Island, the city of Austin, Big Bend National Park, the Alamo, and the Gulf of Mexico. California, in contrast, includes Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Disneyland, and Hollywood.
Texas vs. California – Education
A U.S. News & World Report article updated in 2018 ranks California High Schools as 2nd in the nation, while Texas tied with Colorado for 20th place. Also, according to U.S. News & World Report, Texas has 2 universities in the top 50 (Rice University and University of Texas—Austin), while California has 10 universities in the top 50 in the country (with Stanford and California Institute of Technology breaking the top 15).
Texas vs. California – In Conclusion
Before you decide to pick up and move to a new state, it is very important that you know what to expect, the positives and the negatives. There are many differences between the country’s two largest states, but they both have many similarities such as beautiful national parks and stunning coastlines. By doing your research and preparing yourself for your new environment, you can effectively eliminate the stress of not knowing what to expect.