Is Texas Bigger Than California?

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Texas and California are two of the most popular states in the U.S. They usually top the list for anyone thinking about moving, constantly being compared to determine which state is better for living. Today, we’re sharing an in-depth answer to the question: is Texas bigger than California?

Texas is bigger than California by area, where the former occupies 268,596 square miles and the latter stretches over 163,695 square miles. The Lone Star State is about 1.7 times larger than The Golden State, although California has a higher population and larger water bodies than our state.

View of mountains and forest from the June Lake Loop Road in California USA. - Texas View

Is Texas Bigger Than California?

Regarding the total area of each state, Texas is significantly larger than California. Texas is the biggest state in the contiguous U.S. and the second-biggest state across the entire United States.

Some interesting facts about our state vs California include the following:

  • Texas is about 1.7 times larger than California.
  • Texas is approximately 68 percent bigger than California.
  • The whole of California can fit into Texas.
  • Texas makes up around 7 percent of the total area of the United States.
  • Assuming the same population density as New York City (more than 27,000 people per square mile), the world population can fit in Texas.

The only state larger than ours is Alaska. As folks in Alaska like to say, “if you split Alaska in half, Texas would be the third biggest state in the country”.


Texas is the second-largest state in the United States and the biggest state of the 48 contiguous U.S. states. Texas occupies a total area of 268,596 square miles or 695,662 square kilometers. It’s divided into 254 counties, the largest one being Harris County.

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According to these measurements, Texas would be the 40th biggest country in the world if the state was a country on its own. It’d also be larger than any country in Europe (except Russia).

On the other hand, the total area of California is 163,695 square miles or 423,967 square kilometers. It’s divided into 58 counties, the largest being Los Angeles County.

By area, California is the third-largest state in the United States. The order of the 5 largest states in the United States by area goes as follows:

  1. Alaska (665,384 square miles/ 1,723,337 square kilometers)
  2. Texas (268,596 square miles/ 695,662 square kilometers)
  3. California (163,695 square miles/ 423,967 square kilometers)
  4. Montana (147,040 square miles/ 380,831 square kilometers)
  5. New Mexico (121,590 square miles/ 314,917 square kilometers)

That said, Texas can simultaneously fit 15 of the smallest states in the United States. These states are Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland, West Virginia, South Carolina, Maine, Indiana, Virginia, and Kentucky.

USA States Map - Texas View


While Texas is undoubtedly bigger than California, the Golden State is the absolute winner regarding the number of people living there. That’s right, California beats us in being more populous. California is the most populated state in the United States, while Texas comes in second place.

The Lone Star State has a population of 29,527,941 residents, according to the 2021 estimation of the United States Census Bureau. On the other hand, California has a whopping population of 39,237,836 residents.

Since California is smaller than Texas and houses more people, it also possesses a higher population density.

In 2020, California had a population per square mile of 253.7, which grew from 239.1 in 2010. Our state’s population per square mile was 111.6 in 2020, which climbed from 96.3 in 2010.

Following California and Texas in the order of the most populated states in the United States are Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, and Michigan.

Does Texas Have a Longer Coastline Than California?

Thirty states in the United States have coastlines, Texas and California included. You may think Texas has a longer coastline than California since it has a larger area, but that’s not true.

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California has the fifth longest coastline in the United States, whereas Texas has the seventh-longest coastline. The top 7 U.S. states with the longest coastlines are ranked as follows:

  1. Alaska (33,904 miles/ 54,563 kilometers)
  2. Florida (8,436 miles/ 13,576 kilometers)
  3. Louisiana (7,721 miles/ 12,426 kilometers)
  4. Maine (3,478 miles/ 5,597 kilometers)
  5. California (3,427 miles /5,515 kilometers)
  6. North Carolina  (3,375 miles/ 5,432 kilometers)
  7. Texas (3,359 miles/ 5,406 kilometers)

Does Texas Have Larger Water Bodies Than California?

While it’s true that Texas is bigger than California by total area, which state has larger water bodies? In other words, which state has more of its area covered in water? As you’ll find out from the following table, the answer is California.

 Total areaLand areaWater area
Texas268,596 square miles or 695,662 square kilometers261,232  square miles or 676,587 square kilometers7,365 square miles or 19,075 square kilometers
California163,695 square miles or 423,967 square kilometers155,779  square miles or 403,466 square kilometers7,916 square miles or 20,501 square kilometers
Texas Vs. California Land Area and Water Area

The Golden State is smaller than The Lone Star State, but California is 4.8 percent water, whereas Texas is 2.7 percent water.

Texas and California FAQs

What Is the Only US State Bigger Than Texas?

The only state bigger than Texas is Alaska. The total area of Alaska is 665,384 square miles, while Texas is 268,596 square miles.

Is It Cheaper to Live in Texas or California?

Yes, living here is significantly cheaper than living in California. The main reason is the housing cost.


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Christian Linden Texas View Headshot 3 - Texas View
Author at Texas View | Texas View

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.

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