As the saying suggests, "Everything is bigger in Texas," but that doesn't necessarily mean it's better.
The Lone Star State's population boom has gone bust. After years of expansion, Census data shows people are leaving Texas in droves.
Curious why? Buckle up for reasons you may not expect. From increasing crime and traffic congestion to an oppressive climate, you'll see why people are leaving Texas in 2023.
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Texas has experienced an upsurge in crime rates, notably violent crime, ranking as the 11th highest state in the US for violent crime rates. A Safewise report revealed that Texas saw a 6.6% increase in crime, which is 16% more than the national average.
The surge in violent crimes was the main cause of this increase. In Texas, there are 4.6 incidences of crime per 1,000 people. Additionally, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio are among the top Ten U.S. Cities with the highest rates of violent crime, according to a recent FBI report.
The Metropolitan cities are also among the most populous in the country, hence crime is more likely to occur there. Economic conditions, drug trafficking, and gang activity are only a few of the causes of the rise in crime rates in Texas.
The broad landscapes and flat terrain that are typical of Texas can be both a blessing and an impediment.
While the lack of hills or mountains offers uninterrupted views of the horizon and stunning sunsets, it can also limit opportunities for other things.
Here are a few reasons why:
- Limited Outdoor Recreation - Rock climbing, hiking, and skiing are popular outdoor activities in other states with more varied topographies, but they are few and far between in Texas.
- Monotonous Scenery - Some people, especially those accustomed to the natural beauty of mountain ranges, forests, or beaches, find the flat, featureless environment to be monotonous and unattractive.
- Severe Weather - The flat terrain may also worsen weather conditions that can be dangerous and cause property damage, such as dust storms, tornadoes, and hailstorms.
- Boredom - Some people may eventually grow bored and disinterested in living in a flat landscape.
With that in mind, people are choosing to move from Texas for a variety of reasons, including seeking adventure, the need for change, concerns about the climate, or employment prospects.
The cities in Texas, the second-most populous state in the U.S. are expanding at a rapid pace. By 2050, The Texas Demographic Center projects that there will be over 40 million people living in the state.
Texas is an attractive choice for those looking for employment opportunities, affordable housing, and an appealing atmosphere, which explains why the population is growing in the cities.
However, metropolitan cities are having trouble with overcrowding concerns that are hurting public services, housing, and transportation in light of a growing population. Amid the rising cost of living, housing shortages, and increasing traffic, more people may decide to ditch Texas for other states.
Although the Texas oil and gas industry is well-known, it has come at a steep cost to the environment. One of the largest concentrations of air pollution in the nation occurs in Texas.
The state has a substantial pollution problem that could harm its citizens' health, lower the standard of living, as well as suppress its economy.
According to a recent air report, the following Texas cities were among the most polluted in the nation:
- El Paso-Las Cruces
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington
- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land
In light of this, it's not surprising that Texas’s pollution would cause individuals to move to other states.
Besides having a lower cost of living than the national average, Texas has a reputation for inexpensive real estate. But this is starting to change. The state's expanding population has resulted in a rise in housing demand, which has driven up costs.
A home in Texas now costs about 64% more than it did five years ago, compared to an average nationwide increase in housing prices of about 18%.
So why are the home prices in Texas so expensive today? It's a complicated question, and the likely cause is a confluence of variables. They include high property taxes, a shortage of new housing developments, and high demand from a quickly expanding population.
While there is no quick fix for this issue, it's important to engage with a reputable real estate professional who can guide you through the state's competitive real estate market. Visit our website to connect with local experts who can assist you in finding your ideal home.
Natural disasters including floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and severe storms are common in Texas. For instance, Hurricane Harvey in 2017 severely damaged and caused widespread flooding in Houston and other parts of Texas, resulting in over $125 billion in damages. At least 90 people lost their lives as a result of the storm, while thousands more were left homeless.
Similar to this, Winter Storm Uri in 2021 caused power outages, water shortages, and infrastructure damage, bringing record-low temperatures and snowfall in Texas. Besides killing over 100 people, the storm also left billions of dollars in damage. Despite the state making progress in enhancing its infrastructure to handle them, natural disasters continue to pose a significant risk to residents.
Texas has the second-largest public education system in the country with more than 5 million children enrolled in over 9,000 public schools. The state's graduation rate is lower than the national average, and it is ranked 43rd in the nation for overall educational quality.
The Texas Education Agency's (TEA) most recent data reveal the following about the state accountability ratings for 2021:
- A "Met Standard" rating was given to 93% of campuses and 87% of school districts in Texas.
- Only 2% of campuses and 3% of school districts were given an "Improvement Required" rating.
That said, the quality of public education in Texas is subject to several variables such as funding, standardized testing, and teacher shortages. Although the state has some top-notch schools, they're often in affluent suburbs and are out of reach for many citizens.
Traffic and Transport
Given its sheer size and growing population, traffic and transportation are major problems that significantly affect the daily lives of many Texans.
Here are some of the most significant issues:
According to a recent urban mobility report, Texas has four of the top 10 most congested U.S. cities. They include Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.
Data from the Texas Department of Transportation shows Texas had the second-highest number of highway fatalities in the U.S. with 3,606 deaths in 2020. Speeding, distracted driving, and drunk driving are all causes of the majority of fatalities.
Owing to the state’s insufficient public transit system, many citizens have to depend on their vehicles to move around. In 2019, Texas drivers wasted an estimated $6.9 billion in time and fuel, with an average of 52 hours wasted in traffic, according to the Texas Transportation Institute.
Despite its size and bragging rights, Texas certainly isn't for everyone. Before packing up the U-Haul, weigh the Lone Star State's pros (jobs, low costs, diversity) against its mounting cons (regressive politics, blackouts, extreme weather). Talk to Texans themselves to get an insider's view beyond the hype.
If you're still unsure, put Texas on the test drive. Book a trip and experience the state firsthand. Walk in hundred-degree heat. Talk to friendly locals over a plate of barbecue. See if the view from Austin is worth the bureaucratic mess. To learn more about the Texas reality vs the Texas tale, contact us today. We'll honestly answer any questions to help you make the best choice for your future.Posted by Richard Soto on