In light of the Texas vs Florida debate, you are probably wondering which is the better state to live in. Which has affordable amenities? In this article, I will cover the pros and cons of residing in both states so that anyone in conflict about which state to move to will have a definite answer. So, let’s get started!
Examining the big picture of the two states before diving into the specifics of Texas vs. Florida is essential:
- Texas easily beats Florida in terms of size and population.
- There are numerous large and minor cities in both states.
- There are more than 40 cities in Texas with over 100,000 residents.
- On the other hand, there isn’t a single city in Florida with more than a million residents.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Did you know that Florida is among the most popular tourist destinations globally? Keep reading to find out more.
Comparative Analysis of Living in Florida vs. Texas
I arrived at the final decision on which state would be ideal for you to call home by doing a comparative analysis. Here are ten ways to contrast living in Florida vs. Texas.
LIFE EVALUATION STANDARDS
IDEAL PLACE TO RESIDE
Cost of living
I’ll further explore these factors to help explain the findings.
1. Comparison of Life Between Both Florida and Texas
Let’s look at what life looks like in each state and start with a comparison chart:
Population of 30,029,572
Population of 22,244,823
Size of 268,596 sq miles
Size of 65,758 sq miles
The capital is Austin which is in a central location
The capital is Tallahassee, and it is up north
Life in Florida
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Florida? I am sure it is the stunning beaches! And you are not wrong. There are some of Florida’s highlights:
- The Sunshine State is situated in the southeastern United States.
- It is the only place to have coastlines on both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
- Florida is the third-most populous state in the United States.
- It has nearly 21 million people jammed into its relatively small territory of about 65,000 square miles.
Florida cities are Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and St. Petersburg.
Let’s now dive in and look at how Texas is.
Life in Texas
Conversely, Texas is the second-most populous and second-largest state in the United States, with over 29 million people living across 268,000 square miles of land. These are Texas’s top five cities Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, and Fort Worth.
What, though, differentiates life in Texas from life in Florida? Let’s dig a little further and find out more.
2. National Average Cost of Living In Florida vs. Texas
I have used information from BestPlaces.net to compile the following comparison table. The nation’s average is represented by a score of 100. A lower score is preferable for cost-cutting. And the other way around.
CATEGORY OF COST OF LIVING
Food and grocery
It is evident from the table above that Texas has a lower cost of living. However, there are specific locations in both states that deserve your attention. Florida may have more affordable cities than Texas, depending on the area you wish to settle down.
That amounts to a difference of almost 20%. Naturally, many variables affect property costs, such as:
However, if you’re looking to cut costs on a house, Texas is a state to consider seriously. There are probably cheaper places to reside in Florida if you want to move there. In this way, you can continue to save money and live in the location of your choice.
Price of Renting
Renting is an option if purchasing a home is out of the question:
- The average cost of a one-bedroom rental in the Lone Star State is $1,045.
- Tenants in the Sunshine State can expect to pay $1,175, which is a 10% increase from the national average each month.
- Both prices are relatively close to the monthly average of $1,098 for rental housing.
- In comparison to Florida, the cost of living in Texas is lower.
You can find more details about the cost of living for renters in Texas vs. Florida here.
When deciding whether Texas or Florida is more affordable to live in, utility prices should also be factored in. Utilities are just one of many areas included on the previously mentioned total cost of living index.
- Texas’s utility quality score of 99 indicates that the state’s utility prices are lower than the nation’s average.
- Florida’s utility costs are 101, second only to Texas’s.
- Utilities will cost more in Texas and Florida throughout the summer because of the greater temperatures.
- However, Northern parts of Florida and Texas may be required to cover some of their winter heating costs out of pocket.
Cost of Groceries and Food
Council for Community and Economic Research data suggest that Texas’s living cost is lower than in Florida. There are some details:
- The average food bill in Texas is ranked 91.2, making it significantly less expensive than other states.
- The price of food in Florida is higher than the nation’s average. With a score of 106.9 in this category, Florida has bills about 16% higher than Texas.
- The average cost of a restaurant lunch in Texas is $14 per person.
- A restaurant lunch in Florida would set you back nearly $19, a 25% increase from the nation’s average.
Winner: The winner is Texas, as the cost of living is 10.7% cheaper than Florida’s.
3. State of the Economy
The economies in both Texas and Florida are quite big, as shown in this summary table.
Nominal GDP in 2022
2.356 trillion dollars
1.07 trillion dollars
GDP Growth from 2021 to 2022
Increase from 2.1 trillion
Increase from 1.02 trillion dollars
Texas and Florida are doing well in terms of economic growth, and as a result, both states are good options for setting up businesses or raising a family.
Below, I’ll compare and contrast a few more key features of the two jurisdictions.
On October 1, 2023, Florida will have a $12 per hour minimum wage, up from the current $11 per hour. The median household income in Florida is about 50,000.
The Texas minimum wage for 2023 is currently set at $7.25 per hour. The median household income here is 8% higher than Florida.
Service Workers’ Minimum Cash Wage
Both economies rely heavily on the service sector. Employers in both states can legally pay their service employees less than the minimum wage if they work in an industry where tips are customary.
Texas minimum cash wage in 2023 is $7.25 an hour. The minimum cash pay in Florida is higher than that of Texas, which is $11 an hour.
Rate of Unemployment and Poverty
As of March 2023, the unemployment rate in Texas was 4%, the 12th highest unemployment rate in the nation. Its poverty rate is 13.4 percent.
In January 2023, Florida’s unemployment rate of 2.6% was lower than the national average and the Texas rate. At 12.4%, Florida’s poverty rate is higher than the U.S. average but less than Texas’s.
Winner: I can say that the winner is Florida, which has lower unemployment rates and low poverty levels.
4. State Income Tax
Each state has a reputation for having a manageable tax load. For clarity, let’s examine the various tax categories.
Personal Income Tax
Both states do not impose an income tax burden on individual earnings. They are two of the few remaining states that do not levy income taxes on their citizens.
The state of Florida’s sales tax is between 6.0 and 7.5 percent. Texas has a variable sales tax of 6.25 percent to 8.25 percent. Large purchases like refrigerators and vehicles may cost Texans an extra 2.25 percent in sales tax.
Taxes Relating to Properties
Texas has no state property tax. Regarding property tax rates, Texas is the seventh highest in the United States, at 1.60 percent. The current average is only 0.99%; thus, this is far lower.
The Tax Foundation reports that Florida has the country’s 26th highest effective property tax rate, at 0.91%. Both Floridians and Texans are exempt from paying state tax on income.
Winner: Regarding taxation, Florida comes out on top of the overall tax burden. Let’s continue contrasting living in Florida vs. Texas by discussing other issues.
5. Mode of Transportation
The Texas costs score of 90.9 indicates that its transportation costs are lower than the national average by around 9%. With a score of 101.7%, Florida is slightly more expensive than the national average for this category.
It may be challenging to travel around both Texas and Florida State, but Texas may prove more so. Let’s examine the numerous transportation options available.
Recommended reading: 30 Insanely Useful Small Travel Gifts
Highway connections between the two states are plentiful, with interstates and state roads available. There are several interstate highways in South Florida, including 1- 4, 1- 10, 1- 75, and 1- 95.
When compared to Florida, Texas has many more interstates, including I-2, I-10, I-14, I-35, I-40, and I-69.
The Sunshine State and the Lone Star have many state roadways. Tolls offset the costs of maintaining and building certain sections of state and interstate roadways.
Airports play a crucial role in the transportation networks inside and between Florida vs. Texas. Huston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin are just a few of the main cities in Texas that airports service.
Cities in Florida, like Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami, all have airports that you may fly to and from. Airports like these are convenient for both domestic and international flights.
Winner: Texas has better roads and more airports.
6. Opportunities and Development
There is a growing awareness that Texas and Florida have enormous untapped potential for economic growth:
- They have done reasonably well considering the global economic impact of the pandemic.
- Businesses have moved from New York and California to Texas and Florida.
- One major factor that helps make Florida and Texas so attractive to financiers and business owners is the absence of property and state income tax, respectively.
Winner: It’s a tie due to the absence of property and income taxes. That’s why property values in both states are skyrocketing right now. Let’s dive into the geographical features now.
7. Geographical Features
The physical characteristics of Texas and Florida are poles apart. Let us begin with Florida.
Florida’s Geographical Features
Florida’s coastline is longer than that of any other U.S. state that is geographically next to it. That is a significant contributor to the state’s rising home price index. Land near the coast is always in high demand.
It’s common for Floridians to spend their free time listening to the waves while relaxing on the beach. Let’s move on to Texas because Texans are short on chances like that.
Texas’s Geographical Features
Southeastern Texas is home to a sizable stretch of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico, known as the Gulf Coast. Popular places to visit include Galveston Bay in particular.
Many other bodies of water can be found further inland, including:
- Lake Texoma.
- Lake Travis and Lake Austin.
- The Colorado River basin.
- The Guadalupe River system at New Braunfels.
Many families go sailing, tubing, and jet-skiing in these spots. Florida has more coastal homes than Texas, but the State of Lone Star has more area to roam.
Winner: It’s a tie in Texas vs. Florida after this round. Florida is the best place to see sea animals and coastal nature, whereas Texas is the best to see desert wildlife.
Let’s look at what the citizens of Texas and Florida do for fun.
8. Entertainment and Recreation
What’s the difference between life in Florida vs. Texas regarding things to do and places to go? After all, it’s important to have a good work-life balance.
Take a peek at Florida.
When I hear fun, Florida automatically comes to mind. Florida has so many options for entertainment that it can be difficult to narrow down your options. They include:
Florida has many coastlines, but its most notable feature is its renowned beaches. Some of the nicest beaches may be found:
- On the Panhandle at Destin Beach.
- In the South at the world-famous Miami Beach.
- On the coast of the Gulf at Sanibel Island and Clearwater Beach.
Fun destinations and theme parks for those looking to entertain the kids have the option of going to:
- Disney World
- Universal Studios
There are eleven major league sports teams in Florida, including:
You can catch some of the most exciting games from clubs like the Miami Heat, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Florida Panthers in Florida. Texas also has its fair share of exciting activities.
The cities there are where you may find the best nightlife, the most vibrant bar scenes, and the most exciting live performances.
A few of the state’s other top natural attractions include:
- Texas Hill Country
- Big Bend National Park
- Mustang Island
Winner: Undoubtedly, Florida wins in this sector. Let us look at which place has a suitable climate.
9. Weather Conditions
Florida is mostly known as the Sunshine State. Texas is also renowned for having hot temperatures. The humidity level is the primary distinguishing feature. Florida has a higher likelihood of sunshine but also a high humidity level.
People migrate to Florida because of its climate. Surprisingly, though, it is also a leading cause of emigration from the state.
Winner: Texas, as its summers, have less rain and is hotter, thus perfect for summer holidays. But what about safety?
10. Crime Rate
Despite having a higher crime rate than the rest of the country, Texas is the safest state in the West South Central area. As of 2023, there are 4.6 crimes per 1,000 people and 21.9 property crimes in Texas.
Florida Violent crime is down to 3.92 per 1,000 residents (1 in 255), while property crime is down to 17.46 per 1,000 residents (1 in 57), reflecting a downward trend.
Winner: Florida wins here as it is safer than in Texas. And since I’m on safety and well-being, let’s go even further.
11. Medical Care
Since it is common knowledge that Florida has higher medical costs than Texas. But what benefit do patients receive for the additional expense?
According to a study by WalletHub, there is no difference in the healthcare systems in these two states. The difference is the cost of health insurance, but the services were ranked equally.
Winner: Texas, because it has a cheaper health insurance plan.
12. Cost of Caring for a Child
Childcare is expensive worldwide. It’s a major contributor to families’ out-of-pocket costs. The overall cost of childcare in Texas and Florida is remarkably similar.
The annual cost of caring for a newborn in Texas is roughly $9,324 while caring for a child aged four is approximately $7,062. Yearly childcare costs in Florida are $9,238 for infants and $7,282 for children ages four and up.
Winner: Florida is cheaper than Texas in this sector. The cost of child care exceeds that of higher education in Florida and Texas. And since I’ve started talking about education, let’s examine it as well.
13. Learning Institutions
Florida ranks highly in education, according to U.S. News. K-12 education has been successful. And it’s especially high up the ranks for universities like Florida State University.
However, Texas is rated much lower than the national average, falling into the bottom third. And by considering indicators such as:
- The rates of high school completion
- Funding per pupil in public schools
- Scores in mathematics and reading comprehension,
- Adults with a BA or above.
Winner: The findings have led me to believe that Florida is superior to other states regarding educational opportunities. This leads us to the overall question, which is better, Texas vs Florida?
Where Should I Live? Texas or Florida? Verdict!
I think both options are good. Texas and Florida are great states to call home.
The two states have a lot going for them, but if I had to choose between the two, I’d move to Texas. This is because:
- The cost of living is lower.
- The job market is robust in Texas.
- The people of Texas are warm and welcoming.
- The state offers a wide variety of housing options.
But Florida is also an option if:
- You want a sunny and warm weather throughout the year.
- It has access to top-rated beaches.
- The state has strong sports culture.
- Florida doesn’t impose income taxes.
When moving to or from Texas vs Florida, weighing the pros and cons of each is necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Better to Live in Texas or Florida?
It is better to live in Texas. There are many available jobs in Texas, and the cost of living index is lower than in Florida.
Is It Cheaper to Live in Texas or Florida?
It is cheaper to live in Texas compared to Florida. Here, Texas beats Florida.
Is Texas or Florida Better to Retire?
Texas is the better place to retire compared to Florida. Texas was ranked first as the best place to retire by Bank Locations, a resource for banking and credit unions, in 2023.
Is It Hotter in Texas or Florida?
Florida is hotter than Texas. Florida has the highest average temperature in the United States, 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Texas is the third-hottest state, with an average temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
All things considered, Florida or Texas can be the perfect area for the appropriate person to settle down. Florida’s tourist business provides both economic benefits and personal enjoyment because of the state’s beautiful beaches.
Conversely, Texas is less expensive overall and has much to offer, both urban and rural. Ultimately, it’s all up to what you want and think is best.
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