Most people agree that Texas is one of the friendliest and most welcoming states in the U.S. For over 20 years, people from around the country and beyond have been flocking to the Lone Star State in search of a better life, and fewer taxes. Since the pandemic, there has been a considerable influx of Californians.
While most locals wouldn’t begrudge you for embracing a new southern lifestyle, the west coast influence has ruffled the feathers of more than a few Texans. Thus, the slogan was born: don’t turn Texas into California. But what does all of this really mean?
Don’t Turn Texas Into California Meaning
Texas is known to be a prideful state with a unique take on patriotism and freedom. It’s the biggest state in the continental U.S.; in reality, it could be its own country. Texas played an integral role in the civil war and has a rich and storied history.
These are just some of the reasons that make it such a distinct part of the country. There are several slogans relating to Texas that locals hold near and dear, like “Texas made”, “Texas proud”, and “Texas tough”. Such regional identifiers are essential to those that value tradition and heritage.
Influx of Californians
Unsurprisingly, when certain people feel that the tradition and identity of their home state is being threatened, they rebel. So, because more Californians are moving to Texas than people from any other state, they’ve become targets. Some Texans fear that the influx of Californians is beginning to influence the local culture.
The popular slogans, “Don’t turn Texas into California” and “Don’t California My Texas” can be heard statewide. As modern phrases tend to, these slogans have made their way into popular culture. You can find Don’t California My Texas memes, Don’t California My Texans stickers, and Don’t California My Texas t-shirts.
It has even made its way into politics. Politicians have latched onto the narrative and suggested that California’s “left-wing policies” have no place in Texas. Local parties worry that the Western implants may turn Texas blue, transforming what was traditionally seen as a red state.
In many cases, the phrase isn’t necessarily a direct dig at the people from California. Those standing behind the slogan simply don’t want the political turmoil and civil unrest that’s been rife in California for some time now. The Golden State is now somewhat of a political symbol in the South.
Unfortunately for Californians, Texas isn’t the only state to adopt such taglines. “Don’t California My Arizona” also made it into the mainstream. However, the reality is, that as the most populated state in the Country, people from California have and always will move to and live in other places.
Is Texas Turning Into California?
It’s not only Californians who are flooding into Texas. The state has been growing in population for over 20 years. These figures have accelerated in the past decade, especially during and after the pandemic. Even large corporations, like Tesla and Hewlett Packard, have moved their headquarters there.
Texas has great weather, a strong economy, friendly people, world-class food, and multiple fascinating cities. It’s also got the added bonus of having no income tax. Unless all of this goes away, it’ll remain a popular destination for out-of-towners. And with that come changes to society and certain traditions.
So, is Texas turning into California? Probably not. But is it changing? Yes, it is. Whether it’s for the better or worse is up for debate – these issues are not unique to Texas. Societies are always changing and becoming more diverse. This doesn’t necessarily mean traditions are lost and gone forever though.
One possible negative for locals is the increasing housing prices. A growing population generally leads to an increase in demand for properties. Over time, this hikes up property values and prices. So Texas-born and bread residents may not be too excited about increases in their living costs.
Politically, the landscape can also change with an influx of new people. While it may not transform overnight, subtle changes take influence over the years, which inevitably have an impact in the long term. However, it’s important to note that Texas can also affect its newcomers.
When people move to a new city or state, they tend to adapt to their new surroundings. As a species, humans are extremely elastic in terms of their cultural attitudes and personas. The end result is often a hybrid of the old and new. For those resistant to change, this type of societal progress is hard to mitigate.
Texas Is A Strong Pull
While Texas might not turn into California, it will change as more people move there. One of the main reasons that California is making all the headlines is that the values and political views of these great states are often polarizing. It’s easy to look at their differences and make a negative take.
But ask anyone who’s visited Texas recently if they had a good time. You can bet your bottom dollar the answer will be a strong yes. The Lone Star State remains an iconic location on the world map and although things are always changing, Texas has an unshakeable character to this day.
Ultimately, a growing population of diverse people is a net positive for Texas. It brings more money, investment, and employment to the state, providing more opportunities for its people.
Why Are Californians Moving To Texas?
California has always been packaged as the perfect place. It has hundreds of miles of beautiful coast with some of the finest beaches in the world. California’s natural beauty is impossible to ignore and the laid-back culture is a thing of beauty.
California’s major cities are also world-renowned. Furthermore, its cities are very different from one another, especially when you compare places like Los Angeles and San Diego. With this in mind, why are so many Californians deserting the west coast and arriving in droves in Texas?
Although Texas is a fantastic place to live, so too is California. But the west coast is becoming increasingly expensive. In most cases, these types of moves boil down to financials. For the most part, you get more bang for your buck in Texas.
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the main reasons behind this trend.
It’s no secret that California’s economy is immense. In fact, if it were a country, California’s economy would rival some of the top nations in the world. However, with that, comes heavy taxes. California’s income tax is the highest in the country and its other taxes aren’t far behind.
For such a prominent state, Texas’s taxes are very fair. Undoubtedly, the biggest draw to Texas is the income tax, or lack thereof. Texas is one of the only states in the country that doesn’t have any income tax. As you can imagine, this is a significant pull for both workers and companies.
Because of the steadily growing population, property prices in Texas are on the rise and have been increasing for some time. Yet still, houses are plentiful and there is no shortage of property options for newcomers. Moreover, the prices are still a lot lower than in California.
In addition to the higher housing costs, there is a serious housing crisis in certain areas of California. For the average person, it’s an extremely difficult place to secure a property. Furthermore, rent prices in California are much higher than the national average.
California is the most populous state in the country and also happens to be a major hub of industry, particularly in the tech world. Although this is good news for ambitious professionals, it means there is a lot of competition. Couple that with the cost of living and California can be a daunting place to set up.
Texas has always been a strong state in terms of work and professional opportunities. As the state has grown, more major companies have either moved to Texas or set up offices there. It’s also got several top universities, providing even more employment.
So transitioning to Texas is a smart financial move for many Californians.
This may seem futile but if you’ve ever spent a significant amount of time in California, you can attest to the unholy amount of traffic throughout the state. It can take hours to travel relatively short distances in the big cities, especially Los Angeles.
Now, Texas is by no means traffic free but if you drive to work every day, you’ll notice the difference immediately. You’ll spend a lot less time behind the wheel which gives you much more free time and contributes to stress relief. That said, Texas roads can get busy too.
Texans and Californians can enjoy tremendous lifestyles. Both states are hives of culture with bustling cities and breathtaking nature. If you enjoy a fast-paced city-style life, you can find it in Texas and California. If you prefer a quieter life in the countryside, both places also give you that.
However, California’s population density, traffic, and costs mean it can be harder to achieve the lifestyle you desire. Texas is full of culture, great food, amazing nightlife, and great people. The welcoming atmosphere is truly unique and it’s a fantastic place to enjoy life.
Do Californians Regret Moving To Texas?
No matter how good or bad a place is, it won’t be for everyone. As we discussed, Texas and California are quite different and in some aspects, they’re polar opposites. So as more Californians make their way across the country, some live to regret their decision.
For many, California is paradise. Try as they might, they may never find a place to live that hits the heights of their hometown. This is especially true for those that embed their lives in the things that California does best, like beaches, nature escapes, or surfing.
Texas has beaches and mountains but very few places on earth have the caliber of beaches and mountains that California does. California is proud of its natural beauty and a lot of work is done to preserve it. Getting to and from these places is seamless, which is easy to take for granted.
California has arguably the best weather in the United States. In some places, there’s virtually year-round sunshine and even the winters are mild. Texas weather can be a little more extreme. Summers get hot and sticky and winters occasionally bring ice storms, snow, and tornadoes.
Finally, the elephant in the room. While it doesn’t mean people can’t get along, the political views of Californians and Texans are often stark in contrast. This can be difficult for some people to accept, making it tough for them to acclimate and make friends.
While some Californians will always miss the west coast and regret a big move, many adapt quickly and embrace their new Texan surroundings immediately.
10 Things To Know Before Moving From California To Texas
If you’re thinking of making a move from California to Texas, there are some things worth knowing. To save you time trawling through internet forums and reading countless articles, we’ve assembled the internet’s top nuggets of info.
So, before you make your final decision, consider these 10 factors and ensure you’re 100% confident with your move.
- You’ll need a car: Texas is big, really big. Driving is a necessity for most people and public transport isn’t as reliable as in California, even in the big cities.
- Weather can get dicey: whatever the season, Texas weather occasionally throws a curveball. This can come in several forms, from summer heatwaves to winter ice storms. Be prepared.
- The 2nd amendment is respected: Texans take their guns seriously so remember that concealed weapons are quite common and you’re likely to encounter many people carrying firearms.
- Texas is travel friendly: Texans are blessed with airport options. Its location means it’s a popular spot for transfer flights. You can find flights all over the world out of Texas.
- Texans are friendly: Southern charm isn’t a myth. If you’re used to L.A. life, you’ll likely find that people in Texas are much friendlier and more welcoming. It’s wonderful!
- Football is life: Football is the most popular sport in the U.S. but in Texas, it’s a lifestyle.
- The property market is booming: the Texas real estate scene is thriving and you should have no problem finding a home once you decide to make the move.
- The live music culture is thriving: while Austin is known to be the live music capital of the United States, you can find amazing music throughout the entire state of Texas.
- Texas takes BBQ seriously: to put it lightly, Texas barbecue lives up to its reputation. To boot, it’s a hot topic so be sure to get up to speed quickly.
- Jobs are plentiful: Texas is growing, especially in terms of its commercial appeal. So, you should have no problem finding work as soon as your boots hit the ground upon arrival.
- Influx of Californians to Texas: economist.com
- Political differences: reformaustin.org
- Current cultural scene: calmatters.org
Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.