Lone Star vs. Golden State: Why Texas Outshines California

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It’s essential to consider every detail when relocating to another, especially from one prominent state to another – like California to Texas. While people have their preferences on where they live, statistics show that Texas is better than California in almost every area.

Texas is better than California due to the lower cost of living, the business-friendly environment, job market growth, and no individual income tax or corporate tax. Texas also has lower crime rates and a thriving education system, while California is struggling to stabilize.

Texas and California Skylines - Texas View

Why Do People Favor Texas Over California?

Texas is out-performing California in nearly every department, from the cost of living to education, job market opportunities, and low tax rates.

Many people take the initiative and move from California to Texas. Millions continue to follow suit, and when you look at the statistics and listen to peoples’ reasons, it’s not hard to understand why they move.

Let’s delve into the differences between taxes, lifestyle, cost of living, and the job market to understand why Texas is better than California.  

Are Taxes Higher In Texas Or California?

According to the Tax Foundation’s 2022 State Business Tax Climate Index, California’s tax system ranks 48th, while Texas is ranked 14th.

According to the Tax Foundation, these are the tax statistics for California in 2022:

  • The highest individual income tax rate at 13.3%
  • The Highest overall state and local tax burden of 13.5%
  • Businesses in California are subject to corporate income tax of 8.84%
  • California sales tax of 7.25% and local sales taxes of 2.5% combine for 8.82%

The taxes in Texas for 2022 are significantly lower, according to the Tax Foundation:

  • Texas levies no individual income tax
  • There is no corporate tax
  • Gross receipt tax of 0.5 – 2%
  • State sales tax rate of 6.25% with max local sales tax of 2% combine for 8.2%
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The tax differences are glaring, and as such, many Californians made the jump to move to Texas.

The US Census Bureau data has shown that Texas has experienced a significant increase in population over the recent years, with the number of residents in the state growing by four million in the last decade.

An examination of the data also indicates that a considerable portion of the new residents in Texas is people who previously lived in California.

Cost of Living

There is not only evidence from studies that highlight the contrast in taxes between California and Texas. People and businesses that have moved out of California cite high taxes and the high cost of living as reasons for their departure.

On the other hand, people moving to Texas, an estimated 1,000 per day, often mention the low cost of living and the absence of personal income and corporate taxes as factors for their decision to relocate.

The population growth in Texas over the past decade has been so substantial that the state has gained two extra seats in the United States Congress.

Californian Gov. Gain Newscom reported that in 2020, California experienced the first-ever population decline in state history, leading to congressional seat loss.

The Painted Ladies of San Francisco California sit glowing amid the backdrop of a sunset and skyscrapers. - Texas View

Kids’ Skills Compared To Kids In California?

Children achieved much higher academic results in Texas compared to California. Why the educational system in Texas flourishes, the Californian educational system is plagued with protests from unhappy teachers and kids.

The Texas Education Agency released its first public school ratings in three years in August 2022, and results show that academic outcomes for students are higher than ever.

The following table illustrates the academic achievements of 8451 schools and 1195 school districts:

 A (%)B (%)C (%)NR (Not rated) (%)
Schools (8451)27.946.119.46.7
Districts (1195)33.1549.43.5
Student Grades

Some educational institutions and districts are not assigned ratings, as they may be alternative education programs or specialized treatment facilities.

In contrast, California’s overcrowded classrooms stress the education system, worsening significant challenges characterized by inadequate resources to meet student’s academic, psychological, and language needs.

Low-Income Neighborhoods

Many schools need more full-time nurses or counselors. In specific low-income neighborhoods, libraries are not readily available, and janitorial services need to be more consistent, resulting in some teachers having to purchase their cleaning supplies and clean their classrooms.

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This situation starkly contrasts California’s 1950s and early 1960s, when the state invested heavily in education, urban infrastructure, highways, and universities.

The divide between the rich and poor has only widened due to contentious political debates over education, taxes, and property values.

Texas Panhandle Storm - Texas View

What Natural Disasters Do Texas And California Have?

Texas experiences at least one natural disaster annually, with some years experiencing multiple meteorological incidents. The state is prone to floods and hurricanes. On the other hand, California has had a high frequency of recorded natural disasters since 1953 and is particularly susceptible to severe earthquakes.

Hurricanes are a significant concern in the region and have, on average, caused the most destruction and loss of life. Two notable examples of this in recent years were Hurricane Ike in 2008 and Hurricane Harvey in 2017, which both caused significant damage along the Texas coastline.

These types of storms form in warm water climates, and when they encounter low-pressure systems, they become whirling storms of high winds and heavy rainfall.

Texas experiences an increased number of hurricanes, second only to Florida in the United States, due mainly to its location along the Gulf of Mexico.


Several severe and deadly earthquakes have hit the state of California over the past several decades, ranging from 6.9 in San Francisco in 1989 to 6.7 in Southern California in 1994.

The types and frequency of natural disasters in California and Texas can vary. While California is mainly known for its earthquakes and wildfires, Texas is also prone to various natural disasters, like tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes.

In terms of quantity, the frequency of natural disasters in Texas might be higher than in California.

Young woman in Texas leaving a store with a sale. - Texas View

Does Texas Have A Higher Standard Of Living?

Texas’s cost of living and business sector booms and continues to grow while California struggles to stabilize. There has been an impressive influx of people moving to Texas, many of whom are Californians. One of the primary reasons for this migration is the expanding job market in Texas.

Several Fortune 500 and technology companies are relocating from California to cities like Dallas and Austin, bringing with them their employees. The opportunity for remote work enables some people to maintain their employment in California while residing in a more budget-friendly country area.

When people think of California, they associate it with picturesque coastal views or iconic cultural landmarks such as Hollywood and the wineries in Napa Valley. While the state does have many attractive features, the high cost of living is a deal-breaker for many living the West Coast lifestyle.

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Lower Cost of Living

Texas has a much lower cost of living and offers a range of options for entertainment and culture. Unsurprisingly, many people exchange their sunglasses and surfboards for cowboy boots and more affordable housing costs.

While California is known for its near-perfect weather, entertainment, and cultural opportunities, more is necessary to make many people overlook the high living costs.

Texas has a more reasonable cost of living and boasts various cities that can cater to different needs and preferences. Dallas, Austin, and Fort Worth have thriving arts scenes, while more rural areas are perfect for nature and animal enthusiasts.

The state’s large size also means that there are many different places to choose from, making it easier to find the perfect place to settle.

FAQs About Texas vs. California

You might have more questions about Texas and California, so here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

How Do Crime Rates Compare Between Texas And California?

Texas’s average violent crime rate measures 24.8 / 100, and its property crime is 38 / 100. California scores 25.2 / 100 for violent crimes and 37.1 / 100 for property crimes.
The US average for violent crimes is 22.7 / 100, and property crime is 35.4 / 100.

Employment Rates Of Texas And California

Texas’s Unemployment Rate is at 4.00%, compared to 4.00% last month and 4.90% in 2021. It is lower than the long-term average of 5.97%.
California’s Unemployment Rate is at 4.10%, compared to 4.00% last month and 5.80%i. It is lower than the long-term average of 7.22%.


Author Profile

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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