Both Florida and Texas are Popular Right Now, But Which State is a Better Place to Live or Retire?
A Florida versus Texas comparison of quality of life factors and resident polls.
According to the US Census Bureau, Florida and Texas have add more residents than most other US states, for many years .
Why Are So Many People Moving to Florida and Texas?
Are these states really better places to live?
Of the two, which state is better?
These two large fast growing states have some important things in common.
- They both have beaches along the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
- They are both susceptible to hurricanes because of their proximity to that warm body of water.
- Neither state currently collects an income tax from its residents.
- They both offer their residents the best asset protection laws in the country. These laws provide more protection of IRA’s and pensions, equity in a home, insurance proceeds and more.
But how do they compare when it comes to other common quality of life factors that matter?
Quality of life factors Florida versus Texas
Cost of Living Florida Versus Texas
The overall cost of living in Florida is lower in #20 Texas (with #1 being the lowest cost) than #28 Florida according to information derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research.
Cost of Living Winner: Texas has a lower overall cost of living but it’s far from the least expensive state to live in.
Crime Rate Florida Versus Texas
The overall crime rate in Florida is lower at #33 than Texas #36 according to FBI reporting (rates are per 100,000 of population for both property and violent crime). Overall crime rates in both states are higher than the national average.
Crime Rate Winner: Florida has a lower overall crime rate than Texas, but it’s crime rate is still higher than most other states and has been for years.
Healthcare Quality Florida Versus Texas
The overall quality of healthcare in Florida at #36 is better than Texas at #43 according to the US Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Healthcare Quality Winner: Florida rates better here but both states rank solidly in the bottom half of all US States in health care quality.
Overall Tax Burden Florida Versus Texas
The overall tax burden in Florida is the 4th lowest of the 50 states while Texas comes in at #13 according to a study by Wallethub. The study looked at the combined burden of state and local excise, individual income, property and sales taxes.
Overall Tax Burden Winner: Florida’s overall tax burden is lower but both states shine here. Lower tax rates are one of the main reasons people are moving to these states in such large numbers.
Weather Florida Versus Texas
According to statistics available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) you would have a slightly better chance for sunshine on a daily basis in Florida than you would in Texas. However, the humidity is higher in Florida.
Truthfully, most of us enjoy warm weather with low humidity which is what modern heat and air conditioning provide for us indoors, but there are few places that provide that outdoors all year round.
Most people moving to Florida do so for the weather. Buyers moving to Florida will even tell me humidity doesn’t bother them or that they actually like very humid days. This is ironic because years later when they want to sell and move out one of the main reasons is the weather, with high humidity being the main culprit.
Weather Winner: Tie. Both states deliver on warmer overall temperatures than northern states. However, they don’t offer the warm comfortable temps with low humidity year round that many people really desire, and this can lead to regret.
Housing Costs Florida versus Texas
Do you consider the cost of owning a decent home a quality-of-life factor? I do, because whether you’re still working or retired, being financially secure is less stressful and constantly worrying about money can lead to health issues.
For most people, the cost of housing including paying a rent or a mortgage payment, consumes most of our income on a monthly basis.
- Rental cost for a 2BR in Texas is an average of $897. That will cost you $1,074 in Florida.
- Average home price in Texas $247,210. In Florida it’s $297,390*.
If you believe that owning a similar home at a much more affordable price will improve your quality of life, then Texas would win this contest. If you believe that investing your money or signing on the dotted line for a 30 year mortgage for a home whose value won’t drop drastically after purchasing, possibly leaving its value far below what you owe on the place, then Texas may be a better place for you to buy a home, than Florida.
Home Price Winner: Texas, lower cost than Florida to buy a similar home plus home values that are more stable.
FYI: The Florida Move Guide explains how home prices in Florida increase faster than most other states during good economic times and sink faster and farther during recessions. Economic downturns happen about every seven years on average.
Florida was the overall winner over Texas in our comparison, using the categories above.
- Texas and Florida have both been adding more residents than most other states.
- There are other states that have higher overall quality of life scores. The ironic thing is that every day people move from some of these high quality of life states to places like Texas and Florida, which have lower scores, yet expect the move will improve their life.
- A state’s overall quality of life rating is important to know when considering a major life-changing event such as long-distance relocation. However the quality of life of the particular town you move to, can be far more important.
- My research shows that most of the safest places in Florida that also offer a high quality of life, now come with an equally high home price tag. By comparison, Texas is one of a handful of states that has lots of towns with high quality of life factors, very low crime rates and still somewhat affordable home prices.
Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”
- Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.