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17 Reasons Why No One Wants to Live in Texas

The Lone Star State has just 105.2 people per square mile on average, which makes it one of the 50% least populated U.S. states. While geogr...

The Lone Star State has just 105.2 people per square mile on average, which makes it one of the 50% least populated U.S. states. While geography may account for some of this, other factors are at play. This article takes a comprehensive look at the 17 biggest reasons why Texas isn’t the happiest, healthiest, or most affordable state to live in.

Scorching Summers 

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In 2023, the Texas Tribune reported, “The average temperature in Texas this summer was 85.3 degrees, putting it behind only 2011 for summer misery.” With average highs consistently over 80 degrees, the intense heat and relentless sunshine can be insufferable, particularly in urban areas like Dallas and Houston. Sky-high cooling bills or extreme discomfort are the only options!

High Property Tax

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Texas has no state income tax, but it makes up for that with above-average property taxes, which are some of the highest in the nation. This can make even cheaper housing unaffordable in the long run, especially in major cities and desirable neighborhoods. Many residents move to a state where home ownership comes with less of a monthly tax burden.

Low Wages

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While job opportunities are plentiful, wages don’t always reflect the state’s booming economy. Industries like oil and gas are prominent, yet only the more qualified, technical, or managerial positions enjoy a healthy salary. The minimum wage in Texas currently sits below the national average and doesn’t increase in line with living costs, making life unaffordable for many. 

Tornado Alley

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Twisters are serious business and can be a common threat in parts of Texas, particularly the central and northern regions. These parts of the state lie squarely in the aptly named ‘tornado alley’ and experience a higher frequency of twisters than elsewhere in the U.S. Many Americans, especially families, prefer to live somewhere safer with fewer natural disasters.

Huge Socioeconomic Divide

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Prosperity isn’t evenly distributed in Texas, with the wealthy elite and corporations living in stark contrast to low-income families who struggle to afford even the most basic essentials, like food and housing. America’s Health Rankings places Texas 32nd out of 50 states for income disparity, making it one of the 18 worst states in America for uneven distribution of wealth.

Barren Landscape

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Texan rural areas are generally flat, featureless stretches of hot, arid desert. While places like Hill Country offer attractive scenery and there are some forests in the east, the majority of central Texas lacks natural variety in its landscape, which can be unappealing to some people, particularly those who crave waterways, greenery, or mountains.

Cost of Living

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Previously one of the most affordable states to buy property in, Texas house prices have skyrocketed in recent years, although wages remain low. The problem is most noticeable in major Texas cities, especially in the most desirable neighborhoods, like Highland in Dallas. People on average incomes are often forced into less attractive or more rural areas.

Conservative Politics

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Politically, Texas leans strongly toward the Republican vote, and this influences the social and cultural landscape, particularly in certain areas. Those with more liberal or democratic political feelings may feel frustrated or misunderstood in Texas and choose to live somewhere more in keeping with their progressive ideologies, like California or Washington.

Overly Relaxed Lifestyle

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Outside of major cities, rural Texas offers a snail-like pace of life befitting the hot climate, which quickly saps a person’s energy. Here, time seems to move a little differently. Neighbors gather on porches to chat, and fishing and gardening are popular pastimes. Many young people, in particular, find this pace of life frustratingly dull and yearn to escape to a livelier state.

Air Pollution

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According to IQAir, “Dallas is among the most polluted cities in the United States for both PM2.5 and ozone air pollution.” This means the air contains more inhalable particulate matter than is deemed safe by the World Health Organization. People with children or respiratory problems find this statistic especially worrying and often try to relocate to other, less polluted U.S. cities.

Poor Education System

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The quality of public schools varies greatly across Texas, but the education system faces significant challenges in general. Overall, school funding is insufficient and unevenly distributed, with low-income areas having fewer resources, larger class sizes, less well-trained teachers, and reduced access to educational materials like books and equipment.


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The Texas Tribune reports that “most Texas agencies neither report nor prosecute hate crimes… Of the thousands of hate crimes that were reported in Texas since 2001, only 36 were prosecuted as such.” While the state has made progress in terms of tolerance and reducing racism, many modern Americans want to live somewhere more inclusive and safer for people of all backgrounds.

Questionable Drinking Water

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Texas has some of the worst tap water in America, and many residents don’t believe their main water is safe to drink. This is particularly true for people living in low-income communities and rural areas. Although authorities are aware of the problem and are taking steps to improve potable water supplies, many residents don’t consider Texas tap water to be ‘worth the risk.’

Limited Public Transportation

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Car ownership is high in Texas and essential in some rural areas. Even in major cities like Houston, public transportation options are limited, making life difficult for young people, the elderly and disabled, or those who cannot afford to run a vehicle. Many residents seek metropolitan areas with better transportation links, like light rail and reliable bus networks. 


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The warm, humid climate of Texas makes it the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, especially during the summer months. These pesky insects can be a nuisance, especially at dawn and dusk, and cause itchy, sometimes painful, bites that can become infected if scratched. Constant vigilance and mosquito repellent are often necessary when outdoors in the summer.

Power Outages

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Texas’s power grid has come under scrutiny in recent years. Governing reports, “There have been 263 power outages across Texas since 2019, more than any other state, each lasting an average of 160 minutes and impacting an estimated average of 172,000 Texans.” This can be frustrating and severely disrupt businesses, schools, homes, and essential services.

Long Allergy Season

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Texas experiences long and intense allergy seasons, particularly in the spring when ‘cedar fever’ affects much of the state. At this time, mountain cedar pollen causes allergy sufferers to have constantly itchy eyes, runny noses, and headaches. Many people sensitive to pollen and other airborne allergies seek to abandon Texas for a state with clearer air.


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