Florida has its pluses, but if you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume you are looking to new horizons. Texas is an excellent option for those wanting to leave behind the higher housing and insurance costs, hordes of tourists, and flat topography of the Sunshine State. With the Lonestar State’s growing economy and numerous opportunities, it’s a sure bet for folks in search of a nice change of scenery and generous prospects. Before you head west to your new adventures in Texas, take the time to consider the list of key points below to ensure a successful relocation. Welcome to Texas!
**Note, if you’re moving the opposite direction, you’ll want to check out this article on Moving From Texas To Florida
What to Know About Moving from Florida to Texas
Offering significant benefits like a fast-growing economy, cheaper living expenses, and a stronger sense of freedom & breathing room, Texas is a popular destination for former Floridians. Before you pack up for the Lonestar State, make sure to do your homework and check out the following guide.
Who doesn’t want more money in their pocket? When it comes to taxation, Texas is one of the more favorable states in the US. This South-Central state comes in #32 in terms of the state tax burden (compared to Florida being toward the bottom at #46), meaning it has a lesser tax burden than 31 states ahead of it. One thing the two states do share in common is the lack of income tax. Sales tax, however, is slightly higher in Texas at 6.25% versus 6% for the state of Florida. Additionally, the Lone Star State has almost double the higher average effective property tax rate of 1.83% versus Florida’s 0.98%. While you might pay more in taxes than you did in Florida, overall, Texas isn’t a tax-heavy state.
Economy and Job Growth
According to state economy rankings by US News, Texas comes in at a respectable #15. This score derives from three subcategories: the business environment (#13), employment (#25), and growth (#13). Not too shabby, but Florida does make the Top 10 at #9. The Lonestar state does rank higher in terms of employment than its southeastern counterpart. The job market is also more diverse and far less dependent on tourism and out-of-state visitors. As for unemployment, Texas had a rate of 3.9% at the beginning of 2020 (right in line with the US average). Future job growth looks healthy at 37% over the next ten years (compared to the national average of 33.5%).
Weather and Climate
Texas is a big state. The second-largest state in America is more than just a super hot place to live. Its sheer size results in a wide variety of climates, from subtropical in the east to semi-arid and arid in the west. It also ranks #1 in tornadoes with 140 to 155 twisters per year. Overall, Texas sees an average summer high temp of 94°F and a winter low of 36°F (compared to 91°F and 49°F for Florida, respectively). Both states have about the same amount of sunshine, with Texas seeing an average of 235 sunny days versus Florida’s 237 sunny days. The Lonestar State also has less rain (36 inches vs. 55 inches) but slightly more snowfall (2 inches vs. zero).
As the second-largest state by landmass (behind only Alaska), Texas is located in the central-southern portion of the United States and covers 268,581 square miles. It’s surrounded by New Mexico (west), Oklahoma (north), Arkansas and Louisiana (east), the Gulf of Mexico (southeast), and Mexico (south). The state has four primary regions: Basin & Range Province, Great Plains, Interior Lowlands, and Gulf Coastal Plains. Over ten distinct climatic and ecological zones comprise these four regions. As with Florida, the state of Texas has two time zones (Central and Mountain).
Housing and Cost of Living
Florida offers pretty good living costs, but Texas is the clear winner with a cost of living index of only 93.9 (lower than the national average of 100) versus a cost of living index of 102.8 in the Sunshine State. Want to buy a home? The median list price in Texas is only $274,500 (compared to $300,000 in Florida). As of July 2020, TX has a cool real estate market, while FL’s market is very hot. Rent is also lower in the south-central state, with a median monthly rent price of $1,550 versus Florida’s median of $1,780.
Things to Do
Texas is a vast place, filled with many activities and destinations. It’s pretty hard to go down the whole list. Of course, top attractions include The Alamo, site of the infamous battle in the quest for Texas Independence, and South by Southwest (aka SXSW), an annual collection of music, film, and interactive media festivals in Austin. BBQ and live music are big here, but that’s not all. Art, historical sites, outdoor adventures, pro sports, retail therapy, theme parks, even beaches – we’ve just skimmed the surface of what the state of Texas has to offer. No doubt, with its 1,350 miles of coastline, vibrant nightlife, and more, Florida is a hard state to beat in terms of stuff to do. But you will find Texas is up for the challenge, and in many respects, comes out on top!
When it comes to education rankings, Texas lands in the bottom half at #34. By comparison, Florida, surprisingly, comes in at #3 overall for Pre-K–12 and higher education. Despite its subpar ranking, Texas is home to many acclaimed institutes of higher learning. Top colleges & universities in Texas include Rice University (#17 nationally), University of Texas – Austin (#48), Southern Methodist University (#64), Texas A&M University – College Station (#70), and Baylor University (#79)
Culture, Diversity, and Demographics
Known for being big in every sense of the word – big state, big personalities, big everything – Texas has a culture that’s informed by a body of history & folklore of ranchers and cowboys, as well as significant African, Anglo, Hispanic, Southern influences. According to WalletHub, Texas comes in second place (just behind California) as one of the most diverse states in the US. This ranking considers several factors: socioeconomic (#13), cultural (#4), economic (#13), household (#14), religious (#6), and political (#21). By comparison, Florida ranks #8. As for race & ethnicity demographics, Texas is about 41% White, 40% Hispanic & Latino, 12% Black, 5% Asian, and less than 1% Indigenous American.
Transportation and Traffic
There’s a lot to love about Texas, but transportation isn’t high on the list. This big ol’ state comes in close to the bottom at #47 in terms of transportation rankings. Conversely, Florida lands in the Top 10 at #7. Four subcategories comprise Texas’ ranking: commute time (#36), public transit usage (#22), road quality (#50), and bridge quality (#1). The bottom line: having access to a vehicle is necessary to live in this massive state. As for the country’s worst commute times, Texas takes the #17 spot with an average commute time of 26.5 minutes, while Florida comes in at #12 with an average commute time of 27.8 minutes.
Are you interested in public safety rankings? In this department, both Texas and Florida come in about the middle. The Lonestar State is currently ranked #36, while Florida is a few spots higher at #30. The state of Texas ranks #30 in low property crime and #35 in low violent crime. Texas has a violent crime index of 24.8 and a property crime index of 38 (versus 23.4 and 37.3 in FL, respectively). As for capital cities, Austin TX has a violent crime index of 24.9 and a property crime index of 55. Tallahassee FL currently has a violent crime index of 44.7 and a property crime index of 69.1.
Oh man, the food in Texas! First of all, we can’t start this convo without mentioning Texas barbecue (as well as anything fried). If you ask any Texan worth their salt, they will tell you without hesitation that Lone Star BBQ is the best. And if you ever tried the brisket from Franklin’s in Austin, it’s hard to argue otherwise. But Texas is certainly not a one-trick pony. Tex-Mex is also a big claim to fame, representing one of the best hybrid cuisines in America. Every part of the state has its own specialties: breakfast tacos, flautas, chili, chicken fried steak, soda, ice cream, kolaches, craft beer, the list goes on. What makes the food here unique is no matter the various cultural influences, it all retains that quintessential, coveted Texan flavor!
Best Places to Live in Texas
Covering more than 268,000 square miles, The Lone Star State has a lot of places to put down your roots. With so many options, our following list of the best places to live in TX might help you narrow things down:
A relatively affordable city, you’ll find that Texas’ capital city has an endless list of things to do. Whether it’s checking out a Michelin-star restaurant, dropping into the dive bar around the corner for cocktails, or catching an intimate show (think Blues, Punk, Rock, Hip-Hop) at Stubb’s, Austin’s got it all. Check out our Austin moving guide for more info.
Dallas is a cultural hotbed. Its rich history as a cattle hub, a trading point between the west and the south, and now a modern tech-city give it a perfect mix of old-west charm, southern hospitality, and modern arts and culture. Find out more about living in Dallas here.
Part of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area, Fort Worth is the 15th largest city in the nation and home to more than 800,000 residents. Whether your passions lie with fine cuisine, artisanal brewing, the arts, cowboy culture, or the great outdoors, Fort Worth is a unique gem of an American city that offers all these things and more.
Don’t be fooled by San Antonio’s reputation for history and heritage. Home to more than 1.5 million residents, San Antonio is also booming modern metropolis, as well as the 7th largest city in the United States. Thinking about moving to San Antonio? Be sure to check out our guide that covers everything you need to know about the Alamo City!
If you’re looking for a place with a small-town vibe that has access to big city living, then Waco, Texas, is the perfect new home for you. Located in central Texas, half-way between Dallas and Austin, Waco is one of the great State of Texas’ hidden gems. Learn more about the town made famous by Fixer Upper here.
Also known as the Sparkling City by the Sea, Corpus Christi is a popular tourist destination in southern Texas. Scenic beaches, fascinating history, and cultural experiences draw visitors and new residents alike.
With a population of over 670,000, El Paso is a large and growing city near the border of Texas and New Mexico. El Paso’s location on the Rio Grande River across from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in the foothills of the Franklin Mountains gives the city varied and interesting topography. Learn more about this West Texas city here.
If you’re in search of affluent but affordable neighborhoods, excellent public education, and an authentic downtown feel, look no further. Plano lives up to its reputation as one of the best places to live in Texas.
Cost of Moving from Florida to Texas
On average, it costs about $2,500-$4,000 to move from Florida to Texas. 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 FL to TX movers now!