Is it better to live in Texas or California?

Is it better to live in Texas or California?

I have lived in both Texas and California, so I have my own views. I lived in Houston for 2 years and 1 year in Dallas. Now I live in the bay area (Cupertino), California for the last 6 years.

Personally I love California but Houston & Dallas were also good but not great :). I will list some of the pros and cons from my perspective.

PROS – California

  • Great weather year-round.
  • More job opportunities in silicon valley (I am an IT professional)
  • Culturally diverse (I love this being an immigrant myself)
  • Tons of great places to go around (San Francisco, Los Angels, San Diego, lots of national and state parks – Yosemite, Lake Tahoe (skiing), Redwood parks, beaches (you can also do whale watching), Disney.
  • Las Vegas & Grand Canyon are not that far.
  • Most of the public schools are good.

CONS – California

  • The cost of living is VERY HIGH + higher taxes(rent for a 2 bedroom apt in the bay area will be around $3000 or more and buying a home will cost around 1 million or more in good areas). You can hardly save any money.
  • – There could be economic cycles (like the 2000 dotcom bubble and 2008 market crash which can cause massive layoffs and home price devaluation).
  • – Most of the cities are highly polluted and air quality is bad.
Is it better to live in Texas or California
Texas or California

PROS – Texas

  • The cost of living is very low ( I remember paying $700 for a 1BR apt, now I looked up for the same apt and it is $800 after 10 years so not bad.
  • For $300–400K you can buy a palace-like home).
  • Everything is BIG, from homes to parking lots.
  • Less polluted.

CONS – Texas

  • Summer can get really hot (cannot live without AC, but North Cal you can manage without AC).
  • People are not very friendly and once in a while, you might get a “why the heck are you here” look if you are an immigrant :). But Austin, Houston, and Dallas have diversity.
  • A lot of people carry guns, so watch out :). In the office that I worked from I used to sit beside a window that had a bullet hole and it was on the 3rd floor. This happened a couple of months before I joined this company. Someone shot there during day time when people were luckily out for lunch. When they came back from lunch they saw this bullet hole and the bullet pierced through a couple of walls and ended up in the restroom. I was very nervous initially to sit beside that window. 🙂 I am not saying people just go around shooting but guns are more prevalent there.
  • The public schools are not great(compared to CA), a lot of private schools are available but expensive.

The only reason for me to go back to Texas would be if I need to save money, but I don’t see myself leaving California just for saving money. 🙂

Is it better to live in Texas or California?

Of course in the first place it is worth mentioning that both states are huge, and there is a great deal of cultural and practical diversity in both places: Beverly Hills is VERY, VERY different from Bakersfield, and Austin is quite different from, say, some random town in the panhandle. That said…

California is massively more scenic:

There isn’t a Yosemite or a Big Sur in Texas. I’ll admit that the Hill Country west of Austin is certainly pleasant, but it just doesn’t hold a candle to what you can see in California. I enjoyed Austin a lot, but I certainly did miss the sort of scenery that was a quick drive away when I lived in CA.

Ultimately I’d say that California is more pleasant:

At least in the places where most people actually live. San Diego, LA and San Francisco and the surrounding environs are all beautiful cities with great weather and close to lots of interesting stuff to do.

Dallas certainly doesn’t measure up, I’ve never gotten a great vibe about Houston from anyone who wasn’t from there, and again I really liked Austin but not quite as much as I like some places on the west coast.

Texas is definitely cheaper:

At least in the places where people actually live. I’m in the Bay Area at present, and real estate prices have certainly hit insane levels.

This is of course the flip side of a booming local economy in a highly desirable place to live. Certainly, you can get by with less money in Texas—though if you can afford it, CA is a better quality of life.


Some people who have already answered this question have said that Californians are friendlier or Texans are friendlier—honestly I’ve known plenty of people from both places and liked plenty of people from both places.


Ugh. The traffic definitely sucks in both the Bay Area and LA. This is not to suggest that Austin and Dallas don’t have major backups as well, though at least in Texas you can probably afford to live closer to where you actually work…


You know, you’re not moving to ‘Texas’ or ‘California’ you’re moving to a specific place in those states.

Look into where exactly you’re considering moving and try not to take stereotypes about either place too seriously…

Texas or California
Is it better to live in Texas or California?

Conclusion: Texas or California?

I’ve lived in California for a long time and Texas for a short time, plus numerous trips to urban and suburban areas in Texas since.

California: (comparing cities to cities and rural to rural) is more expensive to live – primarily in housing costs, but California has numerous desirable cities, compared to one or two in Texas.

Better food. Better weather. Better economic and employment opportunities as California is home to significant industries like tech, academia, and Hollywood.

Both have significant Latino populations and culture which are native to the region. California has greater ecological diversity and natural beauty and more ways to enjoy nature.

Shares with New York the excitement of being ground zero for American culture. Accepting immigrants and other liberal political viewpoints.

Texas: Hot. Silly accents. Intolerant bigoted Evangelical Christians (So. Baptist) whose churches put up billboards all over highways telling you how to vote and pray.

The closest relation to the environment is drilling for oil. Bad music and isolated culture. Home of President Bush and proud Trump supporters that love war and guns.

Unless you are in the demographic I described regarding Texas and don’t want to see people with different backgrounds, California is a clear choice.

New York vs London

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