Whether you're just starting to consider relocating for another state or you've already planned the logistics of your interstate move, uprooting your life and settling down somewhere new can be as stressful as it is exciting. To help you decide where to move and get to know your know state, our Where To Move in 2021 guide explores the unique attributes of some of the most popular states people move to, including cost of living, climate and geography, employment, and cultural attractions.
1. Fast facts
Find out where the over 563,000 Americans who moved to Texas in 2018 relocated from.
We've collected data on house prices, household income, and cost of living for Houston.
Compare the Lone Star State's average temperature and precipitation against the national average.
Discover the best cities in the state for jobs and top industries in Texas.
Learn about Texas's unique food and drink, arts and culture, outdoor activities, and sports.
|Total population: 28,995,881
Median age: 35.1
Largest city: Houston
Texas is the second most popular state to move to, with over 563,000 Americans making the move to the Lone Star State in 2018. Where exactly do all these new Texas come from?
2. Cost of Living in Texas
*Cost of living data is not available at the state level. In this article, cost of living data is based on the largest city in the state.
House prices are approximately 45.50% lower in Houston, at an average price of $165,300.
The median household income is about 28.5% lower than the national median, but the cost of living is also lower—it costs approximately 1.2% less than the national average to live in Houston.
Here's how the cost of living in Jacksonville breaks down:
Cost of Living
|Houston, TX||United States||Difference|
|Basic utilties (based on 915 sq ft apartment)||$1159.25||$161.61||-1.5%|
|Food (per person, monthly)||$306.00||$343.43||-12.2%|
TAX TIP: Texas does not collect state income tax, and the state sales tax isn’t high. However, cities and counties can add their own sales tax on top of the state rate, so local taxes may be higher than you expect. Property taxes in the Lone Star State are also some of the highest in the nation.
2. Texas Climate and Geography
Texas is commonly divided into four main regions:
- Gulf Coastal Plains: The coast of the Gulf of Mexico is dominated by bayous, bays, islands, and saltwater marshes. This region includes Balcones Fault, as well as Texas’s barrier islands. It’s also particularly prone to hurricanes.
- Interior Lowlands: Inland, the landscape rises into the rolling hills of the Edwards Plateau, often called Texas Hill Country.
- Great Plains: In the far north of the state, the southernmost part of the Great Plains of North America extends to the edges of the Texas Panhandle in the east and the Rocky Mountains in the west.
- Basin and Range Province: The far southwest of Texas is characterized by flat, desert-like conditions with isolated peaks, with seven peaks higher than 8,000 feet, as well as sand hills, desert valleys, wooded mountain slopes, and desert grasslands.
Thanks to its size and extensive range of geography, Texas’s climate is characterized by hot summers and cool to mild winters. The Rocky Mountains block intrusions from the west and help channel arctic air masses south in the winter, while the flat, central North American continent allows air masses to move north and south fairly easily. The Gulf of Mexico is Texas’s main source of moisture, with large east-west variations in precipitation, and frequent occurrences of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, droughts, and heat waves.
- Big Bend: This National Park includes the entire Chisos mountain range, as well as a large section of the Chihuahuan Desert.
- Enchanted Rock: The nation’s second largest granite dome.
- Caddo Lake: Created by a gigantic logjam called the “Great Raft”, this lake in East Texas is the only natural lake in the state.
- Palo Duro Canyon: This valley is 120 miles long, 20 miles wide, and 800 feet deep, making it the second largest canyon in the United States.
4. Employment in Texas
According to Forbes, Texas is the 2nd best state in the country for business, with 2.4% job growth and the second biggest economy in the country after California.
16 cities in Texas appear on WalletHub’s list of the best cities for jobs.
- THE GOOD: Plano ties Gilbert, Scottsdale, and Chandler, AZ, as well as Columbia, MD and Overland Park, KS, for the highest median annual income (adjusted for cost of living).
- THE BAD: Brownsville offers some of the fewest job opportunities in the country, with one of the highest unemployment rates. Alongside Laredo, Brownsville also offers one of the lowest monthly average starting salaries.
Here’s how all 16 cities rank:
With Google recently expanding its downtown Austin office and an increasing focus on startup activity, Central Texas is becoming known as a hub for tech, nicknamed Silicon Hills. Top industries in Texas include:
- Oil and gas
- Aviation and aerospace
- Tourism and hospitality
Major employers and corporations with headquarters in Texas include:
- Google recently expanded downtown Austin office
- State Farm
- Bank of America Corporation
- Enbridge Energy Partners
- Kinder Morgan
- Shell Oil
5. Texas Culture and Entertainment
Food and drink
In Texas, BBQ reigns. BBQ brisket is one of the state’s most well-known dishes, but the Lone Star State offers grilled goodies to satisfy everyone, even vegetarians.
Arts and culture
Austin is well-known for its lively music scene, hosting the week-long South by Southwest Film and Music Festival every year in March. Numerous other art, music, and cultural festivals are held throughout the state year-round.
Texas offers numerous opportunities to get active outdoors. Big Bend National Park, named after a big bend in the Rio Grande, is home to over 200 miles of hiking trails, and three great canyons to explore.
If your outdoor adventure style is more laid back, try birdwatching on Padre Island National Seashore—it’s the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world, stretching 70 miles from end to end, serving as a resting spot for more than 350 species of bird on their annual migrations.
The Lone Star State is home to a number of pro sports teams, including the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros (MLB), the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans (NFL), San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, and Dallas Mavericks (NBA), and the Dallas Stars (NHL). If you really want to embrace Texas culture, head to the rodeo—the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is the largest rodeo in the world.