Over the past decade, California has seen large droves of its residents leave the state for distant shores. While there’s no doubt that California has a lot to offer, it’s by far the most populated state in the U.S., with over 39.5 million people residing there.
According to the U.S. census, Texas has seen a huge spike in population over the past decade, with 4 million additional residents entering the Lone Star State between 2010 and 2020. Interestingly, a significant portion of Texas’ newcomers came from California. It has become one of the hottest destinations in the country, especially for Californians.
If you’re considering joining the exodus, doing your homework is important. Making such a big move takes careful planning. You’ll also need to weigh the pros and cons of the move and learn about the Texas tax laws and general way of life.
Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about moving from California to Texas.
Why Are People Moving From California to Texas?
It seems like every other week, one of your California-based friends decides to pack up their stuff and leave the hills, mountains, and beaches behind them. Moreover, many Californians choose Texas as their destination, be it Austin, Dallas, or Houston. Since California is one of the most beautiful parts of the country, this begs the question, why are people moving to Texas?
As is the case with most major trends, the answer is multifaceted. Firstly, California ranks 3rd in the highest cost index in the U.S., just behind New York and Hawaii. It’s an extremely expensive place to live, particularly regarding housing. The average household income is lower than the average cost of living, meaning many people barely make ends meet to live there.
Cost Vs. Coast
The magical coastline, Napa Valley wineries, and Hollywood Hills aren’t much used to Californians if they’re struggling to pay monthly rent. Texas is much more affordable, ranking 36th in the cost index. There is more housing availability, and the value for money is incomparable to the likes of L.A.
Many people are drawn to California due to the perfect year-round weather and the buzzing entertainment scene. Although Hollywood is truly unique, Texas offers something different yet brilliant in terms of entertainment.
Cities like Austin, Dallas, and Fort Worth have flourishing art and music subcultures. Unless you’re married to the L.A. scene, you’ll likely find plenty of fantastic alternatives if you switch.
Since Texas is such a large state, the weather varies between cities. However, in general, the climate is subtropical. Although the winters may get a little cooler, the weather in California and Texas is quite similar for the most part. At least similar enough that it won’t require much acclimatization.
Texas has something for everyone, from remote towns to unique city life. The nature, laid-back lifestyle, and cost of living make it the perfect place to transition if you consider putting California in the rearview mirror.
Benefits of Moving From California to Texas
While we can appreciate the natural beauty that spans the entire length of California, it’s important to acknowledge that Texas also boasts an abundance of natural wonders, with enchanted lakes, mountain ranges, deserts, and multiple National Parks.
Another noteworthy factor is that Texas (268,596 square miles) is over 100,000 square miles bigger than California (163,695 square miles). Despite the size difference, Texas has around 10 million fewer people, so population levels are more balanced.
Although the major cities are still densely populated, urban sprawl hasn’t impacted Texas in the same way it affected California over the past century.
There are many benefits of moving to Texas. Here are some of the most important ones to consider:
One of the main attractions for Californians in Texas is the employment opportunity. Over the past few years, several major companies set up offices in Texan cities, like Austin and Dallas. AT&T, American Airlines, and Keller Willams already have headquarters in Texas.
Google announced plans to invest $50 million in Texas’s new offices and data centers in 2021. Apple also expanded its Austin-based office in recent years. Texas has no income taxes, so it’s financially beneficial for Californians to make the switch. The cost of living is far less, so moving from California to Texas can earn you far more bang for your buck.
Another contributing factor to so many people relocating is the abundance of remote jobs available to workers today. Nowadays, employees aren’t necessarily confined to a specific location. In some cases, Californians can keep their existing jobs but live in another city.
Texas is home to some of the finest universities in the entire country. There are over 200 colleges or universities around the state, including several stand-out institutions, like Texas A&M, Texas Tech University, and the University of Texas at Austin. Many top-level schools recruit from all over the United States, including California.
Having excellent education institutions is highly beneficial to all residents. It attracts industry leaders and helps the state prosper in the economy and opportunities.
Leisure and Social Life
As the largest state in the U.S., it’s unfair to view the entire region as the same. However, Texas has a reputation for being a fun and enjoyable place to live. In terms of music and entertainment, Austin is the go-to spot and is widely regarded as one of the best places for live music in the whole country.
Austin City Limits is one of the most popular annual festivals, and it frequently hosts close to half a million people over two weekends.
Texas is also home to world-class sports, including football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and rodeo. Texan sports franchises are consistently at the top of the national leagues. Some of the most popular teams in the state include:
- Dallas Cowboys
- Houston Texans
- Houston Rockets
- San Antonio Spurs
- Dallas Mavericks
- Texas Rangers
- Houston Astros
Food and Beverages
According to many, Texas is the best state in the U.S. for food and hospitality. Due to its proximity to Mexico, it has always been renowned for its Mexican cuisine. Texas has a considerable immigrant population, so there are food influences from all over the world within the state.
However, its most famous food is undoubtedly barbecue. While everyone is entitled to have their favorite restaurant, there’s no denying that the Texas barbecue scene is the best in the world.
Different regions take on certain dishes, with places like Franklin Barbecue (Austin) getting world-famous for its brisket. Although you have to wait in line to get a bite, it’s worth it.
If you’re a foodie keen to expand your pallet, the transition from California to Texas makes great sense. Be sure to compile your restaurant dream list before you make a move.
Moving From California to Texas: Taxes
One of the biggest draws of Californians to Texas is the taxes. Or, moreover, the lack of taxes. California has the highest income tax in the U.S., while Texas has zero state income tax. Texas also has some of the lowest state and local taxes in the U.S.
Naturally, most Texans and new residents prefer to keep larger chunks of their earnings in their own pockets rather than in the states. Due to the favorable taxes, many entrepreneurs are choosing to base new businesses or startups there.
The Texas economy has experienced significant growth, especially in its main cities, because of the influx of people and businesses.
Cost of Moving from California to Texas
Packing up your belongings and moving over 1,000 miles to another state is generally expensive, especially if you have a lot of things. However, the costs can vary drastically, depending on the precise distance, mode of transport, the number of belongings you take, and the moving service you use.
If it’s just you, your car, and a suitcase, then the total cost amounts to the gas price and whatever stops you make along the way. However, if you move a whole home’s worth of furniture and items, the cost can easily exceed $10,000.
The most cost-effective way to move is to use a linehaul company or rent a moving truck. Consider contacting a moving company to discuss your options and get a quote.
Is it worth moving from California to Texas?
California and Texas have plenty to offer in terms of employment, social and leisure activities, and quality of life. However, the cost of living is significantly lower in Texas so the cost-enjoyment trade-off is worthwhile for many people.
Why are so many Californians moving to Texas?
Many Californians are moving to Texas due to the employment opportunities, low cost of living, availability of housing, and overall quality of life. Texas also has much more favorable tax laws compared to California.
How much money do you need to move from California to Texas?
The costs of moving from California to Texas can vary depending on how you travel and how many things you have to move. A standard low-cost move can be made for around $1,200, while a bigger, more expensive move can cost up to $8,000.
What to expect when you move from California to Texas?
As a Californian moving to Texas, you can expect temperate weather, welcoming people, less traffic, lower general costs, and a greater variety of places to live and visit. Since Texas is the biggest state in the U.S., culture, food, employment, and various other factors can be vastly different.