If you’re thinking of moving to the US, two of the states you’ll consider living in are California and Texas. There are several comparisons between the two due to their similarities and differences. You might start by knowing the size of both. So, is California bigger than Texas?
Texas is bigger than California. It has a landmass of 261,914 miles compared to California, with 155,973 square miles. But California has more people, with a population of 39.66 million compared to Texas’s 30.1 million. Both states are amazing; check their qualities to know the better one for you.
Although California is bigger in population than Texas, the population of California has been growing at a slower rate compared to that of Texas. So, Texas might one day have the most people in the country. Here, we discuss whether California is bigger than Texas.
Biggest States in the US
Alaska is the biggest state in the US. It’s bigger than the next three biggest states combined with a landmass of 570,641 square miles. Alaska alone accounts for about 17% of the total US landmass. After Alaska, the next biggest state is Texas, with a landmass of 261,914 square miles. California, Montana, and New Mexico complete the top five. Although California has a landmass of 155,973 square miles, it’s slightly bigger than half of Texas. Texas landmass accounts for over 7% of the overall US landmass. But California accounts for around 4%.
However, in terms of population, California is the biggest in the country, followed by Texas. The state of California has a population of 39.66 million. This means that 1 in every 8 people living in the United States stays in California. On the other hand, Texas has a population of 30.1 million. Together, both states contain about 20% of the people living in the US.
Where Should You Live Between California and Texas?
With both states being home to 20% of the overall population in the country, it’s clear that many people find them attractive. If you’re thinking of where to live between the two, you should know what it’s like.
California is known for its year-round pleasant weather. It’s one of the major reasons people visit the state. While this might not be all over the state, its major population centers have good weather. Of course, you must be careful when choosing a location because there are several subclimates within the state.
While most of the state has pleasant weather, there are extremes you have to avoid. There are places like Death Valley, the hottest in the world, and the Sierra Nevada mountains, which are pretty cold. However, you’ll rarely find yourself in remote areas where the weather can be atrocious.
The moderate temperature in California means that winter isn’t much of a problem. You won’t be spending so much on heating the house. Even during the summer, it’s never so hot as to become exhausting.
In Texas, the weather is usually sunny too. So, it has that in common with California. Where they differ is in how hot it gets. In the summer, Texas can be very hot. The hot and humid summer of Texas usually lasts from May to September, with August being the hottest. However, the winters are usually cool, and the temperature rarely goes below freezing. It’s rare for snow to fall in most parts of Texas.
2. Tax Rates
California tax rates are one of the highest in the country. California has the highest income tax rate. The sales taxes are also very high. Residents pay an additional 8% on every purchase after adding the state and local rates. The high tax burden is one reason people leave California. Even though California real estate tax isn’t high, the high cost of property makes it high.
On the other hand, Texas has one of the lowest tax rates in the country. There is no state income tax. Even though it has no income tax, the property tax is very high, so you end up paying more taxes on cheaper homes. Sales taxes are also high at 6.25% and can reach 8.25% when you add local rates.
3. Economic Opportunities
The state has the largest economy in the US, with Texas’ economy bringing only about half of it. There’s business diversity here, and workers are among the best paid in the country. The Texas economy isn’t bad either and has a lot of prospects, even if it’s yet to reach the California level. There are several educational opportunities here too. But the wages here are far lower than what you’ll earn in California.
4. Recreational activities
The lovely thing about California is that no matter what you enjoy doing, you’ll find it here. There are leisure activities for everyone. Plenty of parks, water sports, beaches, skiing, etc. the state has theme parks, wine country, professional sports, and Hollywood. California is the undisputed entertainment capital regardless of where you’re staying in the US.
5. Risk of Natural Disasters
Both states have issues that residents have to deal with. California has wildfires, droughts, earthquakes, flooding, and landslides. Their occurrence varies across different parts of the state. On the other hand, extreme weather conditions are a significant problem in Texas.
Flooding, hurricanes, tropical cyclones, thunderstorms, and tornadoes are common in most parts of Texas. Early spring and fall are very rainy periods in the state. If you choose to live here, you’ll need insurance for all your property. The vulnerability to disaster in both states could lead to higher insurance fees for residents.
6. Quality of life and Affordability
You also have access to a better quality of life in California. The food is great, and the people are nice. It’s a very diverse state where everyone is welcome. You’ll also have access to some of California’s freshest and healthiest fruits and food. The state is also pro-environment, which makes the air quality okay. California is also safer than Texas, especially in some areas.
However, Texas is more affordable. The cost of living in Texas is lower than the national average by about 6%. This is due to lower healthcare and groceries. But where most of the savings come is in housing. Texas has cheap homes, costing about 16% below the national average. The typical value of a home in Texas is $302,730 compared to that of California, which is $790,475. Rents are equally high.
So, there are pros and cons to both states. It would ultimately come down to what’s most important to you and your family. Both states offer great opportunities, but it really depends on what you’re looking for in a place to live. If you want sun all year round, California is the place for you. If you’re looking for more affordable options, Texas should be your pick.