‘Everything’s bigger in Texas!’ Is this what comes to your mind too when you think of the Lone Star State? From its incredible open spaces to a booming economy, Texas is big. It has so much to offer its dwellers that moving to Texas seems like an exciting experience for many. Not only do the Texans boast of their diverse topographical regions, but they are also proud of their highly affordable living and heavenly food, of course! In addition to three of the country’s biggest urban areas, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, Texas offers an astounding scope of choices to accommodate your ideal way of life. While moving from New York to the Lone Star State is a big step, here are a few things to help you plan your move right.
Things To Know Before Moving To Texas from New York
If winter sports are more of your thing, then changing seasons in New York is what you would miss, probably. But again, to make up for it, you would have radiant days and varied climate zones offered by Texas. From the dry fields of West Texas to the sea Gulf Coast, you’ll find distinct environment variations across Texas.
For instance, while the west of Texas experiences only around 10 inches of rain each year, the eastern part of the state receives up to almost 60 inches of rainfall. Winter lows are for the most part around the mid 30s (F) and 40s (F). Snowfalls are evident mostly in the northern fields of Texas, where places like El Paso and Amarillo get around 6 inches of snow a year. You can probably save your furry coats if you plan on visiting your companions back there in New York.
Summers in Texas are blistering, with temperatures crawling even up to triple digits. While the August highs in New York drifted around the mid-80s, in most areas of Texas, the late spring air is moist and humid. While you didn’t need to prepare for critical tempests in New York, you’ll need to gear up for the chances of some tropical storms and major tornadoes in the Lone Star State. Along with seeing its fair share of hurricanes, Texas also averages more tornadoes every year than any other state in the US.
Situated in the South-Central region of the United States, Texas is the second largest U.S. state in terms of both area and population. Out of a total population of 28,995,881, 42.3% of Texans are white, 39.2% are Hispanic or Latino of any race, 11.7% are black or African American, 4.6% are Asian and 2% are multiracial, thus, making Texas one of the four minority-majority states along with California, New Mexico and Hawaii. 17% of the inhabitants of Texas are foreign born.
In this case at least, New York is not far behind Texas. Being the third most populous state in the nation, with a population of 19,453,561, the inhabitants of New York are mostly white (55.9%), followed by 14.3% black, 8.2% Asian and 7.4% of population belonging to other races. Hispanics and Latinos of all races make up around 18.9% of the entire population. New York is also home to the majority of the Puerto Rican and Dominican population in the US.
Interestingly, even though the population of Texas is way more than that of New York, there is more breathing room for each person in Texas. While the population density, that is, the number of people per square mile in New York is 421, the same in Texas is 110 people per square mile, thereby giving you a little extra space to move around.
Language And Culture
“Howdy!” is far beyond a hilarious expression used by Woody, the cowboy from Toy story. It’s how the Texans informally greet each other. Although English remains the predominant language in both states, Spanish is the second most spoken language in Texas, with approximately 29.5% of the population preferring to speak Spanish at home.
While New Yorkers are always said to be busy and, on their toes, friendly people with an independent streak are how Texans are usually known as. Some of their slogans like ‘The Friendship State’ and ‘The Great State of Texas’, evidently showcase that persona.
Economy And Employment Opportunities
The economy of Texas is the second largest in the US and its exports grossed more than the combined exports of both New York and California. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the capital city of Texas, Austin, is ranked among the top ten fastest developing economies in the country. As of December 2020, the unemployment rate of Texas is 7.2% as compared to New York’s 8.2%.
From manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, retail and real estate, a vast array of industries provide employment in The Empire State. New York is known to offer a plethora of job opportunities to people from all around the globe, but fret not, because Texas won’t baffle you with regards to the work market either.
With over 55 Fortune 500 companies headquartered at Texas, the job market here is thriving. Petroleum and natural gas, agriculture, education and hospitality and tourism are some of the major industries in Texas. The state is also home to several headquarters of giant organizations like American Airlines, Keller Williams, Dell, Tenet Healthcare, Livestock Investors Ltd, and many more. And that’s not all, as many Texan cities are topping the list for best cities for job growth, according to Forbes, showcasing the steady economic growth of the Lone Star State.
Purchasing A House
One of the biggest attractions of moving from New York to Texas, is the highly affordable housing that this state offers. By and large, housing prices in Texas are over 55% lower than that in New York. The average median home value in New York is around $461,030, while the same in Texas is way lesser at around $178,424. This of course varies from city to city, keeping in mind how vast this state is, but in almost every case, you’ll be saving immensely on housing costs, when you move from New York to Texas.
Renting A House
Housing is one of the primary things that you probably think of when moving from one place to the other. While the average lease for a house in New York is around $2,053/month according to neighborhoodscout, the same in Texas is around $1,301, keeping in mind that this rate differs from area to area in the entire state. If you are moving from say NYC to Austin, you would probably be saving around 45% on your renting expense. In other words, what would get you a 1 BHK in NYC, would probably let you indulge in a spacious two room apartment in Texas without much of a stretch. The Lone Star State can easily help you find some place of your own.
See also: List of Cheap States to Move to
The average monthly electricity bill for Texas is around $122.47, as compared to New York’s $103.22. While the average monthly water and internet bills for the two states is similar at $70 and $60 respectively, a slight difference can be seen in the natural gas rates. In New York, where the average monthly gas bill is around $76.60, the same in Texas is around $73.96. Thus, the utilities consumption overall in both places gives you a similar taste.
No personal income tax. Yes, you are definitely in for a pleasant surprise when moving from New York to Texas, as it is one of the seven states that waive off this tax. This definitely is a perk when you compare it to paying taxes in New York. The sales tax in Texas is around 6.25% and while the property taxes are a little higher as compared to the rest of America, at around 1.94% of the property’s appraised value, the ball is still in your court as property prices here in Texas are also among the lowest in the US.
See also: 7 States With Lowest Taxes
While New York is home to some of the oldest universities in the country, including Columbia University, Texas also offers a wide range of options in the field of education. New York’s state-wide public university system is the State University of New York (SUNY), which includes some of the top-ranked schools such as University at Buffalo, Binghamton University, and Stony Brook University. From medical science to architecture, diverse career options are available for all in the Empire State.
Texas ranks fifteen on the list of quality of education in the 50 states of the US. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is responsible for overseeing the public school systems as well as the charter schools. The TEA’s actual jurisdiction becomes limited because of the independent nature of the school districts. Along with being the largest employment sector in the state, higher education facilities are excellent in Texas. The state has more than 200 colleges and universities, with some of them being Baylor University, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Southern Methodist University and Texas Tech University. Like Bernard College is to New York, Austin College is to Texas, for the ones looking at liberal arts.
According to data compiled by FindtheBest.com from the US Census Bureau and US Bureau of Economic Analysis, New York has an 84.6% high school diploma attainment, compared to 80.4% for Texas. And while the number of people obtaining a Texas’s bachelor degree in Texas is 26.1%, the same in New York is at 32.5% which as observed, is above the overall national average of 27.1%.
Must Read: Best Places to Raise a Family in America
With so much to offer in the State, one thing that Texas needs to pay heed to is its increasing crime rates. With 4.19% accounting to violent crimes and around 23.91% accounting for property crimes, the total crime rate per 1000 residents in Texas stands at around 28.10%. This, no doubt, is higher when compared to New York whose total crime rate stands at 17.32%, with 3.59% accounting for violent crimes and 13.73% accounting to property crimes, according to neighborhoodscout.com.
New York’s transportation system has served as an ideal for many across the globe, but Texas’ well integrated highway systems provide a leisure road to drive on too. The agency responsible for the maintenance of Texas’s immense highway system, aviation and public transportation systems of the state is the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). A governmental agency, its purpose is to “provide safe, effective, and efficient movement of people and goods” throughout the state.
- By Road: New York State Thruway is the largest single artery in the Empire State. At more than 400 miles away from The Bronx to Buffalo, it follows the Hudson River between NYC and Albany with an Interstate 87 designation and the Erie Canal between Albany and the Pennsylvania border at Interstate 90 designation.
One unique characteristic of Texas’s freeways are its access roads, popularly referred to as frontage roads. The state is the only one in the nation to widely construct such roads along its highways, even in the most remote areas. Frontage roads provide easy access to the freeway from businesses alongside, including gas stations and retail outlets, and vice versa.
As per Politico, New Yorkers experience the longest drive times in the country, with a normal of 6 hours and 18 minutes spent getting to and from work every week. Comparatively, you could save a little time while driving on the Texas State Highway with a speed limit of 85 mph, the highest in the United States. While you may be more dependent on public transit in New York, you’ll see that in Texas, more individuals depend on their private vehicles, similar to that in California.
- Railways: If you were based in New York City, then you most probably were dependent on the local rail and bus system run by the Metropolitan Transportation authority, or MTA. Its tram is the longest and has the most lines, with 24 lines to Los Angeles Metro’s six.
In Texas, Dallas Area Rapid Transit or DART was the only one to maintain light rail systems in the state until METRO Rail opened up in Houston in 2004. Along with DART, Trinity Metro, together operate the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) commuter rail line, which connects downtown Dallas to downtown Fort Worth. Texas Eagle is another rail service that is available in the state, which connects Chicago, Illinois and San Antonio.
You could be missing the comfort and convenience of New York’s public transit which runs day in and day out, but the overall transportation cost is comparatively cheaper in Texas.
- Airways: The busiest airport system in the United States is in the New York metropolitan area. Along with that, it is also the most frequently used port of entry and departure for international flights. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA), are the main airports in the state.
Whereas in Texas, The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), located nearly equidistant from downtown Dallas and downtown Fort Worth, is the largest airport in the Lone Star State and the second largest in America. American Airlines is headquartered at this airport. Some of the other airports of the state include Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, San Antonio International Airport and El Paso International Airport.
- Ferries: In New York, ferries are mainly accessible in NYC. Hornblower is the company that operates the NYC Ferry. It connects the commuters through Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx and Queens along the East River.
The Port of Houston in Texas, replaced Galveston and today is the busiest port in the United States in foreign tonnage. Galveston’s Port Bolivar ferry and Rio San Antonio cruises are a few luxury cruises that one could get an experience of.
Since hitting the road is the first preference of many Texans, ferries are not very accessible as a mode of daily commute in the Lone Star State.
See also: Moving to Texas – Relocation Guide
Popular Cities To Live In Texas
Appraised as the #1 Best Place to live in America, Austin is a dream destination for many. Found right at the core of Texas, the Live Music Capital of the World, is a reforming and liberal city. You are only a short drive from a host of sea shores, countryside, climbing trails, and big cities, giving the travel enthusiast inside you unlimited opportunities for a day out. From some of the best schools in the State to a center for technology and capital investment, Austin offers many things similar to those in New York City, with only a major difference being in the property rates and the cost of living. While the average utility bills per month in NYC would be somewhere around $153.39, the same in Austin would come up to around $141.15, according to numbeo.com. All in all, with ample job opportunities and reasonable cost of living, Austin is an ideal area to raise a family.
- Median home value: $365,196
- Average market rent: $1,636/month
- Average monthly net salary: $4,436.26 (After Taxes)
See also: Moving to Austin TX
If you want a shift from the bustling city life of New York but at the same time do not want to change your suburban lifestyle, then Dallas is the perfect place for you. Along with being a modern metropolis, the city is also a commercial and cultural hub of the region. These are just a few reasons for the city to be named among some of the best places to live in the US. Your average monthly utility bill while residing here would be somewhere around $154. Dallas has a metropolitan vibe with huge city conveniences, for example, cafés, bars, pro athletics groups, and a lot of amusement, yet it actually has that old neighborhood Texas pride where Friday night football match-ups are an unquestionable requirement.
- Median home value: $192,832
- Average market rent: $1,339/month
- Average monthly net salary: $5,020.55 (After Taxes)
See also: Moving to Dallas TX
Even after being the most populous city in the State, Houston still feels cozy. The city boasts of its healthcare and manufacturing industries and is also an oil and gas hub. With the cost of living being comparatively cheaper than the national average, you would be spending around $155/month on your electricity and water bills collectively while residing here in Houston. This city also caters to some of the country’s largest companies and attracts professionals from all over. To add to it, the city is packed with incredible eateries and is also home to some great attractions like the Space center, Houston Zoo, Downtown Aquarium and Houston Museum of Natural Science.
- Median home value: $166,307
- Average market rent: $1,195/month
- Average monthly net salary: $4,373.12 (After Taxes)
Must Read: Moving to Houston TX
FAQs about Moving from New York to Texas
How Long Is A Train Ride From New York To Texas?
There are no direct trains between New York and Texas, but there are a few services departing from New York Penn Station and arriving at Houston Amtrak Station via New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal. It is a long journey though, which may take around 41 hours and cost you somewhere around $175 – $260.
If you want to save on time as well as not burn a hole in your pocket, then the cheapest way to get from New York to Texas is to fly. This may cost you somewhere between $75 to $230 and take around 6 hours, depending on the route and time of your travel.
Though there isn’t a direct bus available from New York to Texas, there are a few services available which bring you through the longer route. The entire journey would take around 35 hours and may cost somewhere between $100 – $170.
How Long Is The Drive From NYC To Texas?
Driving from New York to Texas would take somewhere around 26 hours if you maintain a speed of around 66 mph. The road distance between the two states is around 1,733 miles (2789 kms).
Is Texas Cheaper Than New York?
If you have just started your career or are trying to build a fortune for yourself, then Texas ideally would be cheaper for you when compared to New York. With affordable lodging and cheaper cost of living, most parts of Texas would be less expensive in comparison to the Empire State.
According to the cost of living index, the average cost of living in Texas is 8% lower than the national median. When it comes to housing, Texas is again more affordable than New York. While NYC remains among the most expensive places to live in, the housing prices in Texas are more than 55% cheaper. Following a similar trend, the overall cost of living, the transportation cost, healthcare and entertainment, all are much more reasonable in Texas when compared to New York.
See also: Best Moving Companies in NYC
Why Are New Yorkers Moving To Texas?
Texas’s affordable housing, terrific job opportunities, zero income tax, and mellow weather are some of the greatest attractions for New Yorkers as well as people all over. With housing prices being 32% lower in Dallas than in NYC, and food being around 41% lower, it’s easy to see why many New Yorkers are heading south to the Lone Star State.
For New Yorkers struggling to balance a family as well as boosts their career, moving to Texas, the home of many Fortune 500 companies, seems like a more suitable option. With higher chances of being able to afford housing and have an overall lower cost of living, Texas seems like an ideal fit for many New Yorkers.
From housing, to climate variations, Texas has a lot more to offer as compared to New York. That is probably why many New Yorkers move from the Empire State to the Lone Star State. While Big Apple has innumerous preferences, not everything is easily accessible or affordable for many.
See also: Best States in the U.S. to Move to
Is It Worth Moving To Texas?
Texas, as a state, has a lot of things to bring to the table, with its size being the standout. The sprawling state is so vastly spread, that its land mass is a competition even to big countries like Germany and France.
If sports, food, traveling and saving are some of the criteria that tick the boxes for you, then yes, moving to Texas could be worthwhile for you. The sports enthusiast in you would love the state of Texas for the varied sports culture. From Dallas Cowboys to San Antonio Spurs, you name it and Texas has it all. With its diverse geography consisting of hills, plains, prairies and canyons, the dreamy traveller in you would feel it worth living in Texas.
If raising a family or settling down after retirement is what you have in mind, then Texas could be a state worth considering. The Lone Star State was ranked among the top 33 best states to raise a family, according to WalletHub. To add to it, the fact that the state does not charge you tax on your personal income, gives you enough liberty to spend your money elsewhere.
Let’s be honest, weighing the pros and cons, the decision to move to Texas may not be any easy one, but knowing exactly what you are looking for, can help you make an informed choice.