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33 Pros and Cons of Living in Texas in 2023

Have you ever wondered about moving to Texas? You are not alone! Many are drawn to Texas’s beautiful national parks, vibrant cities, and mouth-watering barbeque.    

But what is it really like living in Texas? 

Let’s find out! Using my experience living in 18 countries and dozens of cities around the world, I will help you weigh the pros and cons of living in Texas. 

Whatever your reasons for relocating, this guide will give you a clear idea of whether or not moving to Texas is right for you. 

✈️Planning on moving to Texas? Check out these affordable flights and book your flight here!

1. Pro: Lower Cost of Living 

In 2020, Texas experienced the highest increase in population in the US, primarily because of the low cost of living. 

An increase in the popularity of remote work was also a factor. Location independence drew people from the higher cost of living areas in the US to more affordable regions.

And Texas was the #1 pick! 

2. Con: Cost of Living is Increasing

Texas is affordable, but it’s not immune to the rising costs of living happening around the world. The influx of people coming to Texas has increased the demand for housing, education, healthcare, food, and other basic needs. 

Texas is affordable compared to other states, but that will change if current trends continue. 

A woman doing her tax paperwork on a table in Texas - there's no income tax so definitely a pro when you're thinking about moving to Texas.
Photo from Unsplash by Dimitri Karastalev

3. Pro: No State Income Tax

One of the tax benefits of living in Texas is that there is no state income tax – woohoo! 

You will still have federal tax to pay and other deductions, but hey, I’d take this tax benefit of living in Texas any day! 

Lower taxes is one of the best reasons to live in Texas.

4. Con: Few Public Benefits

No State income tax is good for your wallet, but it also means less money to invest in public services. 

This is one of the disadvantages of living in Texas, as the state has less money to invest in education, healthcare, transportation, or other public goods. 

An aerial photo of a subdivision focusing on the houses in Texas.
Photo from Unsplash by Breno Assis

5. Pro: Affordable Housing

Compared to the West Coast, rental prices in Texas are very appealing!

In 2023 the average rental price for a one-bedroom is $755 a month, and a house rental costs $1100-$1900.

If you are looking to buy, the median price of a single-family home is $345,500

6. Con: High Property Taxes

Buying property may be more affordable in Texas, but paying property taxes is not. 

On average, counties in Texas charge 1.81% of the assessed market value in taxes every year. 

Taxes are higher in the cities. If you prefer a plot of rural land, you will pay closer to 1% in property tax.

7. Pro: Strong Economy

Texas has the 9th strongest economy in the world!

Once known as a production hub, Texas is now becoming a tech center. Over 17,000 technology companies operate in Texas.

Apart from tech, most Texans are employed in agriculture, the many universities, or the oilfield. 

The unemployment rate in Texas is only 4.2%.

A black stethoscope on top of a white cloth in one of the hospitals in Texas, the expensive health care is one of the cons of moving to Texas.
Photo from Unsplash by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography

8. Con: Expensive Health Care 

Texas chose not to expand the eligibility requirements for Medicaid, leaving many Texans without affordable healthcare. 

In 2023 a healthy person in their 40s will pay an average of $509 per month for basic health care.

If moving to Texas, plan for an increase in your healthcare budget, especially if your insurance might be affected by pre-existing conditions.

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9. Pro: Job Opportunities

Texas is a home base for large employers like oil companies & vehicle manufacturers. Thanks to the booming economy, job opportunities are plentiful!

In 2021-2022 Texas experienced the fastest job growth rate in the US.

If you are thinking of relocating to Texas and don’t already have a job, it will be easy to find one!

Looking for a job? I highly recommend this site to find your dream job in Texas. 😉

10. Con: Lower wages

The minimum wage in Texas has been $7.25 per hour since 2009. The minimum hourly wage is much lower for servers and other tipped jobs is just $2.13. 

Most jobs in Texas pay minimum wage or lower, which keeps many people around the poverty line despite the lower cost of living. 

👉🏻You can find available jobs on this platform!

A beautiful view in one of the cities in Texas near a lake on a cloudy day.
Photo from Unsplash by Carlos Alfonso

11. Pro: Interesting Cities

Texas is home to 5 of the 15 biggest cities in the United States. These include Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Fort Worth, and Houston.

These vibrant cities are full of diverse restaurants, sporting events, theater shows, and lively nightlife. If you choose to live in one of the cities, you will never be bored!

12. Con: Traffic is Intensifying

Traffic congestion is increasing throughout Texas. Transport infrastructure and development have not kept up with the population growth, so rush hour is a nightmare. 

The lack of public services like transportation also contributes to the growing traffic issues both within the cities and on intercity highways.

13. Pro: More Public Transport Soon

Since 2016, Texas Central has been working on putting in a high-speed bullet train between Dallas and Houston. This would be an incredible asset to the state, but progress has been slower than expected.

A unified transportation plan was announced for Texas in 2023 that will improve the connectivity of the state. 

Cars pile up during rush hour in Texas - traffic jams are a downside of living in this state.
Photo from Unsplash by Nabeel Syed

14. Con: Texas is Car-dependent

The big cities in Texas do not have the public transportation options you might be used to in other parts of the US. Active and public transit in the big cities could use more development. 

Most Texans commute by car, so make room for purchasing and maintaining a car to your relocation budget!

🚗 Check out these affordable car rentals if you’re thinking about moving to Texas.

15. Pro: Road Trips 

Owning a car in Texas has many benefits, including road trips. 

Texas has more than 11,000 km (7,000 mi) of highways, hundreds of small towns, and plenty of parks to explore by car.

Big Bend National Park, the Hamilton Pool Preserve, and Boca Chica State Park are some of the most beautiful places to take a road trip in Texas. 

16. Con: Traffic Accidents

Traffic accidents are common, and not just minor incidents. Texas leads the nation in deadly crashes

In 2022, despite the number of miles driven decreasing by 10%, fatalities from traffic accidents increased by 7.5% from 2019. 

The financial costs of an accident in Texas can be devastating, so be sure you are well-insured!

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A full platter of well-done steak in one of the restaurants in Texas.
Photo from Unsplash by Luis Santoyo

17. Pro: Rich Culinary Scene

I can’t talk about the pros and cons of living in Texas without mentioning good ol’ Texas Barbeque! 

Brisket, ribs, burgers, anything you can put on a grill or smoke.

Almost as notable as Texas BBQ is Tex-Mex, a combination of southern food and its neighbor, Mexico! Burritos, nachos, and plenty of Mexican casseroles are common throughout Texas. 

18. Con: Challenging for Food Sensitivities

Texan food tends to be meat and grain-heavy. If you have any kind of dietary restrictions, voluntary or not, it can be challenging to find a restaurant that can accommodate you.

The bigger cities have more selection, but explaining the importance of avoiding gluten cross-contamination or choosing a vegan lifestyle is challenging. 

Beautiful scenery in Texas featuring brown mountains surrounded by green grass and white flowers.
Photo from Unsplash by Raychel Sanner

19. Pro: Mild Texan Winters

As a Canadian who has spent many winters in sub-zero temperatures, a warm and sunny winter is one of the most enticing aspects of living in Texas. 

The average winter temperature is 20°C (65°F) during the day but can dip as low as -7°C (19°F). 

Yes, it can snow in Texas, but the average snowfall is only 0.1 inches per year

20. Con: Texan Summers

In contrast to the mild winters, Texas has extreme summers. 

August is the hottest month, with temperatures averaging 35°C (94°F) but can reach as high as 41°C (105°F).

It’s so hot that seasonal flights from Texas to Mexico dramatically increase in summer so that Texans can escape the intense summer heat.

Yup, Texans go to Mexico because it’s cooler than Texas in the summer!

Rock mountains where you can go hiking and climbing if you're living in Texas.
Photo from Unsplash by Jasmine Goodwin

21. Pro: Outdoor Adventurer’s Dream

Texas is home to an incredible 80 state parks and 16 national parks. This preserved land iis full of lakes, mountains, hiking trails, canyons, and some of the best star-gazing in the US!

An annual state park pass costs $70 per person. This pass gives you access to 89 parks, discounted camping, and store coupons! 

22. Con: Extreme Weather

You have probably heard the phrase, “everything is bigger in Texas.” When it comes to weather events, this saying is especially true! 

Texas experiences almost every kind of extreme weather, including wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and severe thunderstorms. 

Add preparing for weather events to your moving to Texas checklist. It’s not uncommon to be without power or water for extended periods after storms!

23. Pro: Great Universities 

Public education may not be well funded, but there are excellent universities in Texas like: 

  • The University of Texas
  • Rice University 
  • Texas A&M
  • Baylor University

Texas’s universities & colleges welcome over 1.6 million students every year and represent a big part of the state’s economy.  

24. Con: Bad Internet

The sheer size of Texas affects the availability of internet access within the state. 43% of the population does not have internet speeds over 25mbps. 

You won’t notice this issue in the cities, but it can be a problem in rural areas. 

If you want to move to the countryside to work or study online, don’t forget to check if it’s in a high-speed service area.

25. Pro: Sports

Texas is a sports-lovers paradise! Whether you are into big national teams or college leagues, there are options for viewing live sporting events for teams like: 

  • Texas Rangers
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Austin FC
  • Dallas Mavericks

No sport is excluded; Texas has a stadium and an active fanbase for soccer, American football, ice hockey, baseball, basketball, rodeos, and more.

26. Con: Higher Sales Tax

Taxes fall on both sides of the pros and cons of living in Texas. There may be no state income tax, but Texas has a high sales tax rate of 6.25%.

And that’s just the state tax. Cities and counties in Texas can also add sales tax of up to 2%.

People raising their hands and rocking it during a concert in Texas with pink lights.
Photo from Unsplash by Tijs van Leur

27. Pro: Festivals and Fairs

Texas is home to home to globally renowned music and cultural festivals like:

  • Austin City Limits
  • South x Southwest
  • Texas State Fair 
  • Renaissance Festival
  • Strawberry Festival

And those are just the big ones! The rest of Texas is home to hundreds of other fairs, music festivals, cook-offs, and cultural celebrations.

28. Con: Higher than Average Violent Crime rate

Texas is ranked the 11th most dangerous state in the USA and experiences the highest rate of murder. 

A significant factor in the high crime rate is the high poverty rate, which is currently 9th highest in the nation. 

There are definitely safe areas to live in Texas, but be sure to do your research when choosing where to live. 

29. Pro: Diversity is Improving

A beautiful side effect of the influx of people to Texas has increased diversity. New residents have brought different cuisines, cultures, activities, and worldviews to Texas. 

This cultural shift is enhancing Texas’s food scene, activities, and festivals and helping to make Texas a warm and welcoming place for other newcomers!

30. Con: Divisive Politics

You may be accustomed to seeing Texas politics in the news.

Texas politics see a stark contrast of opinion between the cities and small rural towns. The recent increase in immigration to Texas has also affected the state’s politics and led to some political conflict. 

31. Pro: Fewer Government Regulations

Another reason many people love Texas is the lower government involvement, particularly in business.

If you are hoping to be an entrepreneur, you might have great success in Texas, thanks to the lack of red tape and hoops you have to jump through to start building a business!

32. Con: Not Everyone is Welcoming

Most people in Texas welcome newcomers, especially transplants from other parts of the States. 

However, you will always find those who are unhappy about the influx of new residents. Some Texans blame newcomers for the rising costs of living and political conflict.

33. Pro: Great Travel Access

Texas offers a portal to the rest of the world – there are more than 740 airports! Of those, 12 are international airports, and the Dallas-Fort Worth airport is the 2nd biggest in the US. 

East Texas borders the Gulf of Mexico, making ocean activities like cruises easily accessible to travelers. 

Wrap-up: the Pros and Cons of Living in Texas

Living in Texas can be very fulfilling. The many cultural events and outdoor activities available will keep you active and engaged in the community. 

If you can endure the heat of the summers and the odd traffic jam, living in Texas might be right for you! 

Whether you are relocating for work, looking for a fresh start, or somewhere to settle down and raise a family, Texas offers a new adventure for anyone willing to make the move.

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