Despite being a few states away, Texas and Florida are pretty similar. They have warm weather, their coastline borders the Gulf of Mexico, and you don’t have to pay income tax either place.
But there are quite a few differences in cost and other factors that may sway you one way or the other. If you aren’t sure which state is for you, compare Texas vs. Florida.
Think about everything from housing and schools to beaches and taxes. Consider if you want to live in a big city or a small town, on the coast or inland. Determine if you want to deal with hurricanes or other major storms.
Then, you can determine if you’ll feel more at home in Texas or Florida.
Before getting into the details of Texas vs. Florida, it’s important to look at the two states overall.
|268,596 square miles
|65,758 square miles
|Austin is capital and fairly central
|Tallahassee is the capital and up north
Texas is much bigger than Florida both in terms of population and size. Its capital is also more central, so it is easier to access from much of the state.
Both states have plenty of big cities as well as small towns. Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas each have over a million people, and Austin is close with over 950,000. Over 40 cities have at least 100,000 people in Texas.
None of the cities in Florida have over a million people. Jacksonville has about 890,000, while Miami comes in second place with over 454,000. Other cities with more than 100,000 residents include Tampa, Orlando, and St. Petersburg.
Cost of Living
The cost of living can vary in both states depending on if you live in a big city or a small town. A cost of living index from early 2021 placed Texas in 14th place with an average of 92.3 where 100 is the average.
Florida sits in 29th place with an overall score of 100.7. While neither state is in the top 10 for most affordable, they also aren’t too expensive.
However, you should consider certain cities and towns in both states. You may find that a city where you want to live in Florida is cheaper than a city you want to live in Texas.
That’s a difference of about 20%. Of course, a lot of factors go into home prices, from size to location to features. Still, if you want to save money on a home, Texas is a great place to consider.
If you want to live in Florida, you may be able to find cheaper homes in smaller cities. Then, you can still live where you want and save money.
Related: Small Towns in Texas to Retire In
If you can’t afford or don’t want to buy a house, you can rent. Compare the Texas vs. Florida cost of living for a renter.
In Texas, you can expect to pay $1,045 on average for an apartment. Renters in Florida will pay about 10% more with an average rent of $1,175.
Both rates are very similar to the average rental cost across the United States, which is $1,098. Texas comes in just under that number, meaning it’s more affordable than Florida.
Utility costs also matter when answering, is it cheaper to live in Texas or Florida? The aforementioned overall cost of living index lists different categories, including utilities.
In Texas, the utility score is 103.3, so utilities cost more than the national average. Florida utility costs come in just under Texas with a score of 103.1.
Because of the generally warmer weather, you can expect higher utility costs in the summer in both Texas and Florida. However, the northern areas of both states may have to pay for some heating during the winter.
That same cost of living index also breaks down the average cost of groceries in each state compared to the others. An average grocery bill in Texas has a score of 91.2, so it comes in quite a bit cheaper than some states.
Unfortunately, groceries in Florida cost more than the country average. That category gets Florida a score of 106.9, meaning your bill will cost almost 16% more in Florida than Texas.
If you prefer to eat out in Texas, you can expect to spend about $14 per meal per person. A meal out in Florida will run you roughly $19, about 25% more.
Transportation in Texas costs about 9% less than the national average, with a score of 90.9. In Florida, you’ll pay a little more than average since the score is 101.7% for that state and category.
Getting around both states can be hard, but Texas can be especially difficult. It can take you over 10 and a half hours to get from El Paso to Houston, for example. However, Miami to Pensacola is still quite a drive at just under 9.5 hours.
Both states have multiple highways that make it easy to travel by car, including interstates and state highways. Florida’s interstates include I-4, I-10, I-75, and I-95.
Texas has quite a few more interstates than Florida, such as:
You can also find plenty of state highways in both Florida and Texas. Some of the state and interstate highways have tolls to help pay for construction and other costs.
Of course, airports are another important part of transportation both within Texas and Florida and to and from those states. Texas has airports in its major cities, including Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.
You can travel to and from an airport in Florida cities such as Orlando, Miami, and Jacksonville. Many of these airports are great for domestic and international travel.
Some cities, like Dallas and Houston, have two airports. And the Miami area includes airports in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach.
Another comparison you may want to make is Texas vs. Florida taxes. Whether you make a lot of money or not, your taxes can have an effect on your cost of living and overall budget.
Like other states, Texas and Florida have unique tax systems. If you’re looking to move from a different state, you may find you save money on taxes, or you might spend more on them.
Still, your overall tax burden in Texas is about 8.19%, while in Florida, it’s 6.97%.
Consider some types of taxes and how Florida and Texas handle them. Then, you can estimate how much you’ll have to pay in taxes if you move to a particular state.
Fortunately, Texas and Florida are two states that don’t charge an income tax to residents. That means you’ll only need to pay federal income taxes.
Your income taxes will depend on your income, and the federal tax system has different brackets. Still, if you move from a state that does charge state income tax, you can save money no matter if you move to Texas or Florida.
Whenever you purchase something in Florida or Texas, you will need to pay a sales tax. The sales tax in Texas is 6.25%, which is slightly higher than Florida’s rate of 6%.
Certain counties may add their own sales tax to purchases, so keep that in mind when deciding where in either state you want to live.
The property tax rate in Florida is 0.98%, but Texas doesn’t have any state property tax. If you want a big house or you own an expensive car, Texas might be the right place for you.
Still, Florida’s rate is less than 1.08%, which is the average across all 50 US states.
If you want to work for yourself, you should compare Texas vs. Florida for owning a business. Both states rank in the first and second spots for the best states for business owners, though Texas slightly beats out Florida.
Multiple factors make these states great for starting a business. Of course, the lack of a state income tax means you can put more money into your company. And since Texas doesn’t charge a property tax, you can save money by investing in commercial property.
The low sales tax and average cost of living are also helpful. That way, you don’t have to struggle financially while you get your business off the ground. When you do become successful, you can keep your company running in either state.
You can’t compare these two states without covering Texas vs. Florida beaches. Texas has beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. The state has about 367 to 3,359 miles of coastline, depending on if you count tidal inlets or not.
Using the same metrics, Florida has a longer coast at 1,350 to 8,436 miles. Florida also has a coastline on both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
Some of the best beaches in Texas are in and around Galveston and South Padre Island. They’re similar to the beaches in western Florida, such as Pensacola and St. Petersburg. The Atlantic beaches, like Miami and Jacksonville, are also great.
The weather is a great reason to move to Florida because you’re more likely to receive more sunshine there than in Texas. However, Florida is also much more humid, and rain can come and go throughout the day.
Texas can get just as warm as Florida, but the humidity isn’t quite as high. But the northern part of the state, such as in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, can get cold in the winter. It may not get as cold as northern states, but it’s worth considering.
The last year has given both states quite a lot of weather changes, so Texas vs. Florida weather isn’t as simple as it use to be. Still, Florida tends to be a bit warmer than Texas, which may be a good or bad thing depending on the person.
Florida is also in a more high-risk place than Texas when it comes to hurricanes. Now, Texas isn’t immune to hurricanes, especially on the Gulf of Mexico coast. But it’s easier to avoid hurricanes in Texas than in Florida.
Certain parts of Texas can also experience tornadoes, though. Some of them can be pretty destructive or otherwise disruptive to your day.
Texas can have a variety of natural disasters, such as the aforementioned hurricanes and tornadoes. Other disasters can come from:
- Extreme heat
- Extreme drought
- Severe storms
That’s right, you may experience earthquakes, though they aren’t as common as in states like California. Power outages can also occur in Texas, which can be particularly difficult during extreme temperatures.
In Florida, natural disasters tend to happen from hurricanes and tropical storms. But wildfires, power outages, and even tornadoes can also occur. And of course, floods can happen after a major hurricane makes landfall.
Texas vs. Florida doesn’t differ that much, so you can expect a lot of the same storms and potential disasters. But does Texas have more natural disasters than Florida? For better or worse, Florida is more prone to natural disasters than Texas.
Florida comes in 21st place when it comes to the states with the most crime. The crime rate is about 384.9 per 100,000 people, which is close to the national average. In 2018, it had the third-highest number of murders in a single state.
Cities, like Florida City, Lake City, and Opa Locka are some of the most dangerous cities nationwide when it comes to crime.
When it comes to crime, Texas is a bit more dangerous than Florida. The state comes in at number 17 with a violent crime rate of 410.9 per 100,000 residents. It had 1,322 murders in 2018, just above Florida.
Texas comes in at fifth place for the number of incarcerated people per capita. Florida is in 14th place for that metric. That means the answer is yes if you want to know, Does Florida have less crime than Texas?
Moving back to some costs related to living in Texas vs. Florida, there’s the cost of healthcare. This can include doctors’ visits, prescriptions, procedures, and anything else that helps you take care of your health.
The cost of living index health score in Texas is 94.5, so it’s just over 5% less expensive than the national average. At 98.6, Florida is also under the national average. But it’s not quite as affordable as healthcare in Texas.
Child care costs can also be expensive no matter where you live. In Florida, the average cost of child care per year is $9,238, or just under $770 per month.
Meanwhile, the cost in Texas isn’t too much higher. Each year, the average child care cost is $9,324, so you can pay about $777 monthly.
Of course, your child care costs can depend on where you live and how many children you have. Make sure you do some research on the specific city where you want to live to get a better estimate.
Once your kids reach school age, consider if one state has better schools than the other. When it comes to high schools, you should know how schools and states rank nationally.
For example, Florida is 6th place with 50 schools (8.3%) ranking in the top 5% of all schools in the country. Texas ties with Illinois for 19th place and 7.2% of the state’s schools rank in the top 5% overall.
That list contains 110 high schools across Texas, so quite a bit more than Florida. Still, Texas has more people, so it makes sense that there’d be more schools.
Related: Florida vs Arizona: Pros and Cons
Another thing to consider is when and if your kids will go to college. Both states have some fantastic state schools. In Texas, you can go to many of the University of Texas schools, such as Austin and San Antonio, with UTA being well-known across the country.
Florida has the University of Florida, Florida State University, and other colleges. You can also find plenty of community colleges and private schools in Texas and Florida.
If cost is a factor, know that Texas ranks in 37th place with an average cost of $12,012 for in-state tuition. Florida schools cost a bit more, with an average price of $14,615 in 26th place for the highest tuition costs.
Should I Move From Texas to Florida?
Comparing Texas vs. Florida is important whether you want to move between states or from somewhere else. While both states are about average in terms of cost of living, Texas is slightly cheaper.
From a lack of income and property taxes to more variance in weather, you can’t go wrong with Texas. But if you prefer warmer weather and don’t mind the slightly higher costs, Florida might be right for you.
Related: Pros and Cons of Living in Texas