Lone Star State a little too lonely? Looking for new horizons, perhaps with an ocean view and palm trees? Moving from Texas to Florida is a super popular choice! Whether you’re looking for the vibrant nightlife and sandy beaches of Miami or The Most Magical Place on Earth (aka Walt Disney World) in Orlando, The Sunshine State offers endless adventures, beach fun, retail therapy, and more. And did we mention it’s pretty affordable, too? There’s a lot to love about Florida, but before you pack everything in Texas, there are a few things you should consider to make your interstate move a smooth one.
What to Know About Moving from Texas to Florida
One of the most common moving routes, the move from the Lone Star State to the Sunshine State, is both exciting and surprising. Are you looking to trade life in Texas for Florida’s carefree lifestyle, gorgeous year-round weather, unique job opportunities, cheap cost of living, and sandy beach fun? Check out this handy guide before you make your great escape!
It’s important to consider how much of your paycheck will end up in your pocket. According to WalletHub, Florida currently ranks #46 when it comes to the state tax burden. For comparison, Texas ranks #32. Something the two states share in common? No personal income tax! State sales tax in FL is 6%, whereas Texas has a base state sales tax of 6.25%. As for property tax, the average effective rate in Florida is 0.98%. Texas, on the other hand, has some of the highest property taxes in the country, averaging 1.83%. If you were to purchase a home for $250,000 in the Sunshine State, you would pay about $2,185 in annual property tax. By comparison, you’d pay around $4,500 in yearly property tax on a comparable property in Texas.
Economy and Job Growth
You might be surprised by this, especially considering how big Texas is, but Florida takes the lead when it comes to state economy rankings. In 2020, the state of Florida ranks in the Top 10 at #9. The state of Texas, meanwhile, comes in at a respectable #15. If you look at the subcategories, you can see why Florida does so well – it ranks twelfth in terms of the business environment and an impressive third place in growth. Unemployment in Florida is 3.6% (compared to 3.9% in TX), and the state projects future job growth of 41.6% over ten years (compared to 37% in TX).
Weather and Climate
Ah, that famous year-round sunny weather in Florida. One could say the same about many parts of Texas, but we all know how dry and intense it can be (especially far from the coast). Both states get about the same number of sunny days (237 for Florida and 235 for Texas), but the Sunshine State sees 55 inches of precipitation while the Lonestar State gets 36 inches of rainfall. How about average temperatures? Florida’s tropical climate results in warm winters (average low of 49°F) and hot summers (average high of 91°F). Yes, it can get super humid here. But many folks are more than happy to trade TX’s brand of heat for Florida’s sunshine.
The southeasternmost state in the US, Florida, is a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Spread across two time zones, most folks divide the state into three main regions: the Florida Uplands, the East Gulf Plain, and the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Florida is also close to The Bahamas, as well as several Caribbean countries like Cuba. Much of the Sunshine state is low-lying and at or close to sea level. The highest point in the state is Britton Hill, at just 345 feet. In comparison, Texas is more extensive and more geographically diverse (the tallest mountain here is Guadalupe Peak at 8750 feet).
Housing and Cost of Living
So, how much do all the perks of Florida cost? Not too much, actually. Texas still offers an overall lower cost of living index of 93.9 versus Florida’s cost of living index at 102.8 (compared to the US index of 100). Are you looking to buy a house? Overall, Texas is again cheaper, with a median list price of $274,500. Florida has a median list price of $299,000, which isn’t too far off. Looking to rent a place in Florida? Be prepared to pay a bit higher rate. Rental market trends show the following: Jacksonville ($1,109), Tampa ($1,359), and Miami ($1,702). Compare these with Texas rental rates: San Antonio ($1,049), Dallas ($1,250), and Austin ($1,439).
Things to Do
When it comes to stuff to do, it’s hard to compete with Florida! With possibly the highest concentration of attractions in America, the Sunshine State is home to hundreds of miles of sandy beaches, vibrant nightlife, fantastic art & music, top restaurants, and large theme parks (including Walt Disney World Resort). Texas has its destinations, but Florida takes tourist attractions to a whole new level. There’s also a vast abundance of exciting wildlife and natural landscapes waiting for exploration – check out Biscayne Dry Tortugas, or Everglades National Parks. From Jacksonville to Miami, there’s a super fun activity for everyone!
This fact might surprise you, but when it comes to the most educated states, Florida comes out ahead of the Lonestar State. Currently, it’s ranked #27 versus #39 for Texas. Even more surprising? According to education rankings by US News, Florida comes in at #1 for higher education (with an overall ranking of third place)! Top colleges & universities in Florida include University of Florida (#34 nationally), Florida State University (tied for #57), the University of Miami (tied for #57), University of South Florida (#104), and the University of Central Florida (tied for #106 nationally). Are you looking for the best K–12 schools in the state? Top districts include St. Johns County School District, Seminole County Public Schools, and Okaloosa County Public Schools.
Culture, Diversity, and Demographics
A colorful melting pot of people and cultures, Florida has a mix of Southern, Caribbean, Latin, and European elements. The majority of residents are Caucasian, but there is nonetheless an undeniable blend of myriad influences, from the food to art and music. Another aspect that makes it so unique is its geographical location. It’s both a part of the South and a coastal state influenced by many immigrant populations. Simply put, the state of Florida is highly diverse. As for demographics, Florida is approximately 53% White, 26% Hispanic & Latino, 15% Black, and 3% Asian. By comparison, Texas is 41% White, 40% Hispanic & Latino, 12% Black, and 5% Asian.
When it comes to public safety rankings, both Florida and Texas are about the middle of the road. Public safety rankings in 2020 show Florida ranking #30, while Texas comes in at #36. When it comes to the subcategories of violent crime and property crime, the two states are relatively close. Florida has a violent crime index of 23.4 and a property crime index of 37.3 (compared to 24.8 and 38 in Texas, respectively). At the capital city level, Tallahassee has a violent crime rate of 44.7 and a property crime rate of 69.1. Austin has a violent crime rate of 24.9 and a property crime rate of 55.
Okay, so we have to talk about food. Yes, Texas barbecue is legendary. Many say it’s the best in America. But when it comes to an array of unique offerings, Florida has the Lonestar State beat in several categories. The list of iconic eats is long: famous oranges (and orange juice), kumquats, key lime pie, Cuban sandwich, stone crab, smoked fish, Cedar Key clams, conch fritters, strawberries (strawberry shortcake), Apalachicola oysters, gator tail & bites, and so much more. Add to the mix the numerous culinary influences – Caribbean, Latin, European, Southern, Floribbean, and so on – and there’s always something new, fun, and tasty to eat in the Sunshine State!
Best Places to Live in Florida
From Key West to Jacksonville, there are lots of fabulous cities and towns to call home across the Sunshine State. Here are some of the best!
There is a multitude of reasons why Fort Lauderdale is a favored vacation spot, but why stop at visiting South Florida? Imagine the bliss of making it your permanent home! If you’re seeking a tropical paradise, you’ll find it here in Fort Lauderdale.
Perched on the banks of the St. John’s River in the northeast corner of the state, Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida and the largest city in the US in terms of landmass. Here, you can enjoy the most extensive urban park system in the country, access to prime beaches, and a plethora of cultural activities. Check out our Jacksonville moving guide for more!
Famous for its beaches, year-round sunshine, and a social scene that is second to none, Miami is unlike any other US city. Here you’ll find the perfect combination of culture, relaxation, and outdoor adventure. Learn more about moving to Miami here.
Orlando, with 280,000 residents, is located smack in the middle of the Florida peninsula. Its centralized location, flat open terrain, and reliable weather make it the perfect place for theme park attractions and vacation resorts. If you relish the idea of having Disney World in your backyard, learn more about living in Orlando.
The city of Tampa sits on the north shore of the Tampa Bay just across the water from St. Petersburg. This modern city of almost 400,000 is full of amenities, and the surrounding landscape offers the opportunity for plenty of adventure. Check out our Tampa relocation guide to learn more about life in the Big Guava!
West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach is what you get when you mix white sandy beaches, palm trees, and a tropical climate with designer shops, historic architecture, and well-manicured country clubs. Known for its shopping and tourism, about 100,000 people call this suburb community home, and they enjoy the best of Southern Florida living.
Do you dream of fishing the river or napping on white sands every day? Cape Coral, Florida, is a beautiful southwest Florida hideaway with excellent employment opportunities and stunning homes for sale. Nicknamed the “Waterfront Wonderland,” Cape Coral is one of the best places in the world for boating and sailing.
West of Tampa and north of St. Pete’s, Clearwater, FL, is a vacation destination known for its pristine white beaches and aquamarine Gulf waters. This city of over 115,000 residents comes with enjoyable year-round weather, thriving nightlife, and memorable sunsets. Find out more about making Clearwater home.
Cost of Moving from Texas to Florida
On average, it costs between $2,500-$4,000 to move from Texas to Florida. Though this might sound expensive, consider that you are hauling your stuff about 1370 miles across the country. The total cost of your move will depend on several variables, including your origin and destination cities, the time of year you’re moving, the size of your household, and which services you require. The best way to get an accurate estimate is by scheduling an in-home or virtual (no contact) walkthrough with a licensed and insured interstate mover. Get free moving quotes from the best TX to FL movers now!