Are you relocating from New Jersey to Texas? You’re not alone! As one of the most popular destinations in America, the Lonestar State definitely earns its reputation as a great place to live. Home to friendly folks, year-round warm weather, expansive scenery, a strong economy, delicious eats (including the best barbecue around – just ask any Texan!), and more than enough room to stretch out, the state of Texas does it big! Of course, before you pack up everything in the Garden State, it’s a good idea to do some research. Below, we’ve put together the key things to know before moving to TX.
What to Know About Moving from New Jersey to Texas
No matter how you slice it, moving from NJ to TX is a big move. To give yourself the best chance for a seamless transition, with the least amount of stress, be sure to check out this handy guide!
Taxation is an inescapable part of life. But if you’re coming from New Jersey, prepare for a big smile! Texas currently ranks #32 in terms of the overall tax burden; approximately 8.2% of the average resident’s income goes towards paying taxes. The Lone Star State has one of the highest property tax burdens in the country and has a sales tax base rate of 6.25%. While you can expect to pay quite a bit in property and sales taxes, you can look forward to spending 0% in income taxes. Yes, you saw that right. Zero personal income taxes! By comparison, the Garden State ranks #7 in the country in terms of its overall tax burden, with high tax rates across all three categories – sales, income, and property taxes. That’s a lot of money that you could have in your wallet at the end of the day. All the more reason to move to the Lonestar State!
Economy and Job Growth
Again, Texas knocks it out of the park in terms of its economic rankings compared to its Northeastern counterpart. This Southwestern state currently comes in #15 in the US, while New Jersey is #31. This ranking depends on three categories: the business environment (#13 for TX vs. #22 for NJ), employment (#25 vs. #36), and growth (#13 vs. #36). How does Texas do when it comes to unemployment and future job growth? At the beginning of 2020, the state had a rate of 3.9% and a healthy 37% growth trajectory, respectively. In comparison, the Garden State had an unemployment rate of 4.2% and an anticipated job growth of 25% over the next ten years.
Weather and Climate
Due to its sheer size – it’s the second-largest state, behind only Alaska in total square miles – Texas is home to various climates. These include a subtropical climate in the eastern portion of the state and semi-arid to arid regions in the west. As for averages, the Lonestar State gets about 36 inches of rain, 2 inches of snow, 235 sunny days, a winter low of 36°F, and a summer high of 94°F. New Jersey sees 48 inches of rain, 23 inches of snow, 206 sunny days, a winter low of 22°F, and a summer high of 85°F.
As mentioned above, the state of Texas is a big place, covering nearly 268,600 square miles. Surrounded by Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Gulf of Mexico, the country of Mexico, and New Mexico, the state sits in the south-central region of the United States. There are no less than ten distinct ecological and climatic regions across four main areas of the state: Gulf Coastal Plains, Interior Lowlands, Great Plains, and Basin & Range Province. Out west, you’ll find the dramatic Franklin Mountains that see winter snows, while in the eastern part of the state, you’ll encounter swampy marshland and beaches. This varied geography is quite a departure from New Jersey, which is a much smaller state with less topographical variation.
Housing and Cost of Living
Are you trying to escape the higher expenses of living in New Jersey? Texas is a great pick! Texas currently has a cost of living index of 93.9 (lower than the US index of 100 and substantially lower than New Jersey’s cost of living index of 120.4). As for housing costs, the Lonestar State has a median list price of $274,500 (along with a median rental rate of $1,550 per month). New Jersey, on the other hand, has a median list price of $340,000 and a median monthly rent price of $2,000+.
Things to Do
Wow, where do we start? Texas has a lot to offer when it comes to entertainment, destinations, events, and things to see. We can’t even come close to fitting all the great things to do here, so we’ll keep to a quick overview. For starters, The Alamo and South by Southwest Conference & Festivals (commonly referred to as SXSW) are two big draws. If you love barbecue and live music, you’re definitely in the right place! Yes, the New Jersey Shore might be a favorite spot, but Texas has an endless assortment of adventures & destinations: historical sites (like the Sixth Floor Museum), nature excursions (Big Bend National Park), theme parks (Six Flags and Sea World), beaches (Mustang Island, South Padre, and Galveston), arts & culture (Austin City Limits), acclaimed restaurants (Franklin BBQ), the list goes on. Simply put, there’s something fun for everyone in Texas!
Are you looking at schools for yourself or your kids? According to education rankings by US News, the Lonestar State currently ranks #34. This score derives from two subcategories: higher education (#32) and Pre-K–12 (#33). For comparison, New Jersey comes in at #2 (as well as #30 in higher education and #2 in Pre-K–12. Are you considering post-secondary options? Texas is home to several notable colleges & universities, including Rice University (#17 in the US), University of Texas – Austin (#48), Southern Methodist University (#64), Texas A&M University – College Station (#70), and Baylor University (#79 in the US).
Culture, Diversity, and Demographics
Big is probably one of the best words to describe Texas, but so is diverse. Coming in at #2 among the most diverse states in America (only behind California), the state’s culture has African, Anglo, Hispanic, Southern, and cowboy & rancher influences. The ranking depends on six diversity factors: socioeconomic (#13), cultural (#4), economic (#13), household (#14), religious (#6), and political (#21). In comparison, New Jersey lands at the #4 spot. As for race & ethnicity demographics, Texas is about 41% White, 40% Hispanic & Latino, 12% Black, 5% Asian, and less than 1% indigenous American. New Jersey is 55% White, 21% Hispanic & Latino, 13% Black, 10% Asian, and less than 1% indigenous American.
Transportation and Traffic
While there’s a lot to love about the Lone Star State, it isn’t perfect. When it comes to transportation rankings, this certainly rings true. The Lonestar State doesn’t fare too well, coming in at #47 (only ahead of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Rhode Island). This ranking depends on four categories: commute time (#36), public transit usage (#22), road quality (#50), and bridge quality (which the state does come in at #1). As for commute times, Texas sits at #17 with an average commute time of 26.5 minutes, while New Jersey takes the #3 spot for slowest commutes, with an average time of 32.1 minutes. While some major metro areas have public transportation options, it’s virtually required to have access to a personal vehicle in Texas.
Are you comparing public safety rankings from state to state? The state of Texas currently ranks #36, while New Jersey far outshines it at #4. This ranking depends on two factors: a low property crime rate (#30 in TX vs. #6 in NJ) and a low violent crime rate (#35 in TX vs. #8 in NJ). Now, we’ll take a look at major cities. Austin has a violent crime index of 24.9 and a property crime index of 55, whereas Jersey City holds a violent crime index of 26.3 and a property crime index of 27.1.
Wow, you’re in for a treat! Texas is a place of ‘big,’ and the food is certainly no exception. We can’t make a list without mentioning the biggest and best – Texan barbecue. You can ask any Texan, and they say it’s hands down the best in the country. That’s quite a claim, but once you dig in, it’s hard to deny it. In addition to world-famous BBQ, Tex-Mex is another huge claim to fame here. That and anything fried. Add to the mix chili, flautas, chicken fried steak, kolaches, breakfast tacos, and a host of other favorites, and you will have your fill of tasty eats and then some!
Best Places to Live in Texas
With over 268,000 square miles of living space spanning two time zones, there are a lot of places you could put down roots in the Lone Star State. Here are some of the top cities to consider when relocating to Texas:
Centrally located between Dallas and Fort Worth, Arlington, TX, is the American Dream City, “where many dreams start as aspirations that can turn into a reality and a better future.” Learn more about moving to Arlington, TX, here.
There are lots of good reasons why so many people are flocking to the capital of Texas. A relatively affordable city, Austin has a seemingly 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.
Also known as the Sparkling City by the Sea, Corpus Christi is a popular tourist destination in South Texas. Scenic beaches, fascinating history, and cultural experiences draw visitors and new residents. Learn more about living here with our Corpus Christi moving guide.
Located in the northeast corner of the state, Dallas is where western and southern cultures collide to make a city that is uniquely Texan. If you’re picturing big hair and cowboy hats, you’re not entirely off base, but this cosmopolitan city has a lot more to it than just its stereotypes. Read more about Dallas, TX, in our guide.
Don’t let Fort Worth’s historical reputation as a quaint Texas town fool you! 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.
The most populous city in Texas, Houston, is a lively, bustling port city with booming industries that include energy, transportation, and healthcare – and Houston boasts the second-highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the country. If you’re considering moving to this world-class city, be sure to check out our Houston relocation guide.
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. Find out more about moving to Plano here.
Don’t be fooled by San Antonio’s reputation for history and heritage. Home to more than 1.5 million residents, San Antonio is a booming modern metropolis and the 7th largest city in the United States. Check out our San Antonio moving guide for more information about living in the Alamo City.
Cost of Moving from New Jersey to Texas
On average, it costs about $4000-$4500 to move from New Jersey to Texas. Though this might sound expensive, consider that you are hauling your stuff about 1700 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 New Jersey to Texas movers now!