Over the last few years, the U.S census gathered that nearly 475,000 people left the state of Texas for a few very common reasons. Be sure to stick around to hear what they are and why Michigan plays a significant role in all of this. Let’s get to it.
Even though Texas has earned the reputation of being an ideal place to live, work and play, things are changing and texasview.org has gone as far to say the equilibrium has shifted from a favorable rating to one of the worst states on several important levels.
I know what you’re thinking, Andrew you’re a Michigan Realtor, you’re going to be incredibly biased because you’re this die hard Michigan guy on the internet. First off, die hard is a little excessive, I'll leave that role to Bruce Willis. I’m just compiling all the data and research from several sources from Texas to Michigan and throwing it all out there for you to do what you want with it. So if that sounds good be sure to do your thing below, because it helps me more than you know, and I really enjoy making videos for people like you and being a Michigan resource for all your real estate needs.
A lot of outbound Texans believe that the true advantages of living in Texas are dwindling down so quickly that it opened their eyes to several of the other states across the country which provide some more appealing options, Michigan being a pretty common one if you can believe that.
REASON #1 - WEATHER
Kicking this list off with one of the biggest reasons people are moving out of Texas to states like Michigan, is the weather. Don’t get me wrong I know Texans like their heat, but it gets to a point where it begins to be a little irritating, sweating 24/7 and what not. Of course, there’s also the news articles about global warming, and the predictions that Texas will start and continue to have hotter and hotter days. The Texas view stated in the year 2000 there were 80 dangerously hot days, with a forecast of 113 dangerous days by 2030 and 131 by 2050. Of course, this is just a prediction, but it doesn’t take a PHD to notice that 4 of the 15 hottest cities in the U.S are in Texas, which is based on the number of days that exceed 90 degrees. Those four cities are Austin, San Antonia, Dallas and Houston. And again, Texans like their heat or else they wouldn’t be living there, but what gets a little unbearable is the consequence of the temperatures rising is that the dewpoint is rising as well, making that heat a lot more humid.
In my opinion, wearing a T-shirt and shorts year round sounds all fine and dandy, but there’s one HUGE aspect that would be missed, which is a top factor for why several Texans are moving to Michigan, and that’s the four distinct seasons. Yes, as a Michigander we complain quite a bit about winter, plowing sucks, salt sucks, cold sucks, people suck at driving in it, but I think at the end of the day, we couldn’t live without it just like Texans can’t live without their heat. It creates so many wonderful attractions in the state, from all the winter sports and hobbies to the natural beauty the white powder creates. There are still people in this world who have never seen snow and that blows my mind to this day. Just imagine for a second, not sweating 24/7, or having to change your shirt 12 times a day, you have nice 75-80 degree summers, without too much humidity, a canvas worthy fall and winter and an awkward transitioning season we call spring. It doesn’t get better than that.
REASON #2 - NATURAL DISASTERS
With weather in mind, that transitions nicely into reason #2 why people are leaving Texas to Michigan and that’s the natural disasters. I’m not oblivious to the fact that Michigan has had its fair share of tornadoes over the years, some very miniscule while others caused a tremendous amount of damage, but in Texas there’s earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and wildfires. The Texas review stated that in 2021, more than 200 earthquakes of 3+ magnitude hit Texas, and according to scientists, the oil industry has a lot to do with it as they happen mainly in the oil mining areas. For those of you living in Texas or have lived there, what’s your thoughts on that? As far as tornadoes, there have been over 9,500 witnessed tornadoes between 1950 and 2021, and that number is said to be increasing yearly. In terms of Hurricanes, of course that’s not something that happens all the time or every year for that matter, but it is said one hurricane will smack along the gulf coast every three years or so. For wildfires, in 2022, there were 371 individual fires burned that affected over 210,000 acres of land. Here in Michigan, we don’t get earthquakes, our great lakes don’t have hurricanes and our floating mitten is surrounded by too much water to be that dry. Texas is known to be the most disaster prone state in the U.S and has experienced over 360 noteworthy disasters since 1953.
REASON #3 - HEALTHCARE
Stepping over to Reason #3 Texans are running to states like Michigan, is the healthcare system. Health insurance is known to be relatively expensive in the state of Texas, and their residents feel it’s making a huge impact on their income. The commonwealth fund found that Texans spent more than 14.2% of their median income on premium contributions and deductibles. I was reading on everytexan.org that 5.2 million Texans were uninsured in 2021, which makes up about 18% of the population, and that equates to about 19% of the total uninsured population across the country. I’d say that’s pretty significant. Of course, this isn’t set in stone forever, but several sources mention the hardship in enrolling and the renewal of Texas Medicaid. Another statistic this source mentions is 1.4 million people out of that 5.2 million of uninsured people are non-U.S citizens. It’s not so much that the healthcare system doesn’t provide good care in the south, but in perspective to Michigan, Newsweek ranks the university of Michigan hospitals #11 in the country, whereas the Houston Methodist hospital ranks 20th on the list. With inflation as high as it is, and understanding healthcare is going to be something you need your whole entire life, it’s understandable that this is one of the top reasons people are leaving Texas for states like Michigan.
REASON #4 - EDUCATION
Moving along to reason #4, the standard of education. Of course Texas isn’t at the bottom of the list when it comes to education standards by any means, but the state is at a below average ranking of 34th place across the country according to texasview.org. These results were based on higher education and pre-k through 12th grade. The scoring system touched on, the percentage of adults with degrees, how many students completed 2 and 4 year degrees, tuition fees, children attendance, reading and mathematics compared to national averages, percentage of students who graduated highschool, readiness for college and the financial burden for students going into university degrees. Michigan is not at the top of the list either, but according to report card on American education, Michigan ranks #10 based on school choice grade, charter school grade, digital learning, homeschool burden, teacher quality and academic standards. Most sources have these two states 3-4 spots away from each other in the rankings, one being better than the other and vice versa.
All in all, this may not be the #1 reason to move from Texas to Michigan, but I wanted to bring it up, because it is a reason people are moving out of Texas, and at the end of the day it depends what you want to get into, some industries are more suitable in Texas, whereas others are better in Michigan.
REASON #5 - TRAFFIC & TRANSPORTATION
Transitioning into reason #5, why people are moving from Texas to states like Michigan is the traffic and transportation situation. Of course, Texas is a gigantic state with several large metro areas that could swallow Detroit whole in size and population, but the complaint is that public transport needs to be more adequate for Texans with longer commutes, because I can imagine that travel time for work may be a little longer for Texans than Michiganders. In Michigan, that commute time is roughly 25 or so minutes. With the transportation issue in mind, the congestion on the roads is a whole other issue altogether. So many people are flocking over to Texas for jobs, family, warmer weather, etc. and now there’s getting to be more and more delays and I could imagine, a lot more frustration. With over 17 million licensed drivers on the road in Texas, you could imagine there’s probably a little congestion. In 2022, Texas was naked among the top states for the most fatal road accidents. From January to June 2022, there were over 3,600 deaths from traffic related accidents.
IN 2021, there were statistically, 1.56 deaths for every 100 miles traveled which is up 4% from the year prior. In 2021, there were over 15,000 serious accidents on the roads in Texas, with around 19,500 drivers and passengers sustaining life threatening injuries. These numbers are high, horrible and concerning, but in perspective to the state of Michigan, they will look much worse, since the population in Texas is nearly 3x what Michigan's is. So with that being said, the 10 million plus people in Michigan according to the U.S department of transportation had about 1,084 motor vehicle deaths in 2020, whereas the 29 million plus population in Texas had 3,874 motor vehicle deaths. If we are talking 1,000 deaths per 10 million people, Texas is still sitting a little higher. I’m just hoping one day we all have autonomous cars that travel hundreds of miles per hour with a 100% success rate where there’s no human error and I can go see the Hollywood sign in as little as 30 minutes. Maybe I’m dreaming.
REASON #6 - POPULATION & OVERCROWDING
Traffic and transportation spills into reason #6 pretty good and that’s the population and overcrowding. People are flocking to Texas for family, weather and of course the job opportunities, but several Texans making their way out of there simply feel like the state is bursting at its seams despite the size. With the growth in all their job markets, Texas acquired 170,307 new residents in just a year's time, and the state has come in 1st over the years for the number of fortune 500 companies moving to the state, but the downside to that is the huge increase in population. It doesn’t matter what state, or metro area you’re in, chances are the infrastructure of these cities and towns can account for this drastic increase in population, so I can understand how there could be a headache or two there.
In Michigan, we complain about finding a parking spot in our little cities of Royal Oak and Ferndale, I can’t imagine how long it would take in those larger, busier metro areas. My hair is turning gray just thinking about it. Unrelated but related at the same time, I could imagine this could jab a little bit at the community feel a lot of these areas used to give off. For example, when I went to New York a little while ago, that was a night and day difference to Michigan of course. It was incredibly overwhelming to be bumper to bumper not only with cars, but with people just walking on the sidewalks and when I dug a little deeper into the lifestyle of a new yorker I found a common feeling from residents, and that was the population being so incredibly large that you almost never see the same faces everyday so that “community feeling” never truly establishes and that’s why you’ll find most people have headphones in with their head down and keep to themselves. I thought that was an interesting point. Again, I don’t know if residents of Texas actually feel this or not, I was just observing from afar.
REASON #7 - FAMILY & JOB OPPORTUNITIES
Stepping on over to reason #7, and I won’t spend too much time on this one, just because it’s a given and that’s family and job opportunities. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the worst state in the country, if your family lives there you will most likely make do and move closer to them. I mean just look at Ohio for example. I’m just kidding… Then there’s the job opportunities. There’s great opportunity in Texas, and there’s great opportunity here in Michigan, it just depends on what industry you’re looking for. Chances are there’s a better opportunity to be a cowboy in Texas than there is in Michigan, and chances are your snow plow business would do better in Michigan. It’s all preference.
REASON #8 - POLLUTION
Now onto reason #8, and not to get into any political climate or anything, I just found this point to be interesting and a very common reason why several people are moving out of Texas, and that’s pollution. I say political, because I’m not just going to point fingers at these corporations or these executives or politicians, I’ll just touch on what the Texas View organization and other sources have provided in terms of how the state ranks among others. Something I didn’t know is that Texas leads the U.S as the most polluted city. Texas is known to have some relaxed laws regarding setting up industries resulting in a drastic increase in toxic emissions. I’m sure all these policies and laws are in the works to be fixed the best they can, but as of 2020 this has been pretty noteworthy. In the year 2020, there was a staggering 16.7 million pounds of toxic substances pumped into Texan waters, and many of these substances are found in the drinking water. Texas is also one of the top areas in the world for greenhouse gas emissions.
The Permian Basin in west Texas emitted over 200 million tons which is 25% more than a gas field in Russia being the 2nd biggest greenhouse gas producer according to the Texas view. Since there is a manufacturing boom in the state, it is predicted this trend will continue in the wrong direction. Again, I’m not oblivious to what has happened with Michigan over the years including the Flint water crisis, which put lead in all the nearby residents’ water and they received aid from everyone across the country providing water bottles so they could go on with their lives. At the end of the day, manufacturing companies come with a downside of emitting something that’s harmful for the world, but as technology increases and disposal options are more researched, I hope larger steps can be made in the right direction for all countries across the globe.
REASON #9 - HOME PRICES & REAL ESTATE
Alright stepping over to reason #9, we’ll nerd out a little bit on home prices. It’s no secret with the demand and popularity of Texas that homes are becoming more and more expensive. I have worked with several clients from Texas who said the homes there cost an arm, leg and a first born child. Of course, it depends on what area you’re looking at, but chances are you’re looking at one of the popular ones. When it comes to finding a new state or area to call your home, home prices play a crucial role, because if you can’t afford your home, it probably doesn’t make sense for you to be living there, and nobody wants to be house poor so you can’t actually go out and do stuff from time to time. Texas has one of (if not the fastest) growing real estate markets across the country. The national increase in home prices was 18.3%, but in Texas, it was just under 20%. Over the last 5 or so years, the cost of purchasing a home in Texas has increased 63.9%. That’s like looking at a $300,000 home and saying dang it, it’s over $490,000 now. In 2022, Michigan had a typical home price of $234,000. In Texas, the typical home price was around $315,000. So in an affordability standpoint it makes a little bit of a difference. In comparison to their cost of living, it’s actually relatively similar for your everyday items, but with housing being your number one expense every month, it’s something that needs to be factored in.
REASON #10 - PROPERTY TAXES
Since we are on the topic of home prices, I'll give you reason #10 which affects your affordability for purchasing a home and that’s property taxes. Even though Texas is known to have a lower cost of living, the property taxes are still high. A lot of people say well, Michigan property taxes are high, but actually, the state of Texas has worse. Granted they aren’t too far off from one another, Texas ranks 45th in the country for the highest property taxes. Texas view states that Texas has no state property tax, so homeowners pay 100% of the valuation of their properties. The property tax rate in Texas is 1.6% whereas in Michigan it comes in at 1.53%, which can definitely make a difference on your bottom line.
For those of you that stuck around until the end, what are your thoughts about the Michigan and Texas comparison? Throw them in the comments below.
If you’re looking to buy, sell or invest in the wonderful state of Michigan, don’t hesitate to find my contact information in the description and I would be happy to be your go-to resource.
Andrew McManamon is a Michigan REALTOR® with Signature Sotheby’s International Realty and provides real estate services to Buyers, Sellers and Investors throughout SE Michigan including Livingston County, Oakland County, Washtenaw County, Genesee County & beyond. Andrew has become one of the rising stars of Michigan real estate agents. Prior to his real estate career Andrew was responsible for managing a senior living facility in Brighton, Michigan as a dining supervisor and an activities assistant. Andrew’s passion to help people is unlike any other, and he continues to strive to be best resource he can be. Andrew graduated from Cleary University in Howell, Michigan with a double major and currently resides in Brighton, Michigan.