This month’s Time magazine feature article discusses why moving to the Lone Star State has so much appeal. “Texas feels like the future,” the article states. “It’s ‘America’s America – the place where American’s go to start fresh.”
One of the main reasons: Texas’s economy. Texas’s overall unemployment rate is currently at 6.4%. That’s almost a full point below the national rate of 7.3%. And in 2012, migration to Texas from other states totaled 106,000. Since 2000, that number is closer to a million.
Another major draw is the price of housing in Texas. For $300,000, you can purchase a 3,052 sq. foot, 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom house in Austin. In San Francisco that price point gets you a 210 sq. ft., 1 bedroom apartment. This is why so many people are fleeing California for Texas – from 2005 to 2011, 183 Californians moved from to Texas for everyone 100 Texans that moved to California.
And it’s not just that homes are cheap… with an adjustment made for tax rates and cost of living, Texas has the third highest average income nationwide. In the past twelve months alone, Texas has added 274,700 new jobs, 12% of all jobs added nationwide. In Moody’s Analytics study, seven of the top ten cities for projected job growth through 2015 are in Texas. Who’s at the top of the list? Austin, McAllen, Houston and Fort Worth. Some might wonder if these jobs are really low paying, unskilled jobs… Not necessarily… From 2001 to 2012, the number of lower-middle income jobs in Texas grew by 14.4%, while the number of upper-middle income jobs grew by 24.2%. Nationwide, the middle-class is slowly evaporating, but in Texas, it’s flourishing.
Why has Texas done so well compared to the rest of the nation? Texas Monthly senior editor Erica Grieder credits the “Texas model” in her new book, saying that the “’Texas model’ basically calls for low taxes and low services. It’s a limited government approach.” Cheap land, cheap labor and low taxes have all contributed to Texas’s booming growth. Put plainly, high taxed and higher costs of living in states such as New York and California are not as beneficial for America’s middle-class – which is why they keep coming in droves.
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