While California offers much to love, many people have come to realize that similar amenities can be found in Texas — at a fraction of the cost. From basic expenses like groceries, transportation and childcare to more costly endeavors like housing, your dollars go further in the Lone Star State. In fact, earning a living wage in cities like Temple, TX takes approximately 28.5% less income than it does in the Golden State.
In 2021, the most popular interstate move was from the west coast to America’s southwestern most state. Whether you’re a prospective resident or just a curious wanderer, read on to understand the factors and trends that differentiate the cost of living in Texas vs. California.
Housing & Rent
The Lone Star State’s population has been consistently growing for the past two decades and at one of the fastest rates in the nation. In contrast, California started to see a decline in population for the first time in over a century beginning in 2020.
Several economists have attributed the population shifts to one of the most pressing moving costs — housing. According to a USA Today report, the median home value in California was 2.7 times higher than in Texas in 2021. For example, in Temple, you can find a home at 34% below the national average with median listing prices at approximately $410K in 2023.
Rent prices are also lower in Texas than in California, with the potential savings reaching upward of $1,000 a month.
Food & Groceries
Your primavera is going to be less pricey in Texas. The price of groceries in the Lone Star State is almost 6% less than the national average, leading to an estimated average annual food cost of $8,660 for a family of four. In comparison, the same size family in California pays an average of more than $10,000.
While just two states away, the price of fuel in Texas was approximately $2 less than the west coast in 2022. Curbed by its access to more than 4 million barrels of oil a day and one of the lowest gas taxes in the country, Texans enjoy much lower transportation costs as the largest oil producing state in the U.S.
Texas also ranked No.19 in the nation for highway performance and cost effectiveness, compared to California’s No. 47 ranking — meaning what little tax dollars you do pay in Texas have a much greater impact over a longer period.
Did you know that Texas has no state income tax and no state property tax? That equates to a higher percentage of your hard-earned paycheck remaining in your bank account and more money for enjoying Texas’ lifestyle. Additionally, Governor Greg Abbott signed an $18 billion tax cut package for Texas property owners in 2023, saving homeowners an average of $1,300 a year in property taxes.
Regardless of the expense, when comparing the cost of living in Texas vs. California, the Lone Star State is a stellar choice. Take advantage of our cost-of-living calculator and see how much you could save in Temple — then get ready for a higher quality of life with abundant opportunity.