The COVID-19 pandemic has incited a record amount of change across society. This change has been in some cases good and in other cases not so much. The prevailing supply chain crisis has definitely put a measurable damper on things. However, The Great Resignation has prompted many companies to increase their wages and offer workers better benefits. It has also allowed many people to realize where their true priorities lie and find renewed happiness in other areas of business. Another pandemic-induced phenomenon that social analysts are beginning to notice is a vast increase in the number of people leaving cities like New York and Los Angeles in search of a better quality of life. Many of those hightailing it out of Tinseltown and the like are headed to one place in particular, Texas, and there is a good reason as to why.
The New York Times analyzed and collected data on cities across the United States in 30 different categories and examined it to determine where individuals were moving to and what was drawing them there. They used their methodology to narrow down to a few main areas that seemed to matter most to people in terms of relocation: job availability, level of climate risk, racial diversity, and affordability. Across most of these categories, Texas ranked consistently at the top.
Farhad Manjoo, a key figure in the execution of the New York Times study and a California resident, compared certain Texas cities that had seen exponential growth to some California locations to determine what the Golden State was lacking compared to the Lone Star State. In California’s case, Manjoo found that the overwhelming factor that has been perpetuating the mass exodus is primarily the cost of living. In terms of housing, California is grossly over-priced. Manjoo also pointed out that in many cases the California residents who are paying exorbitant prices are not even reaping the benefits of such things as a commendable school district. On top of that, they are staring the ugly effects of climate change right in the face, perhaps more so than most other areas of the country.
In contrast to California, most cities in Texas not only check off the affordability box, but they consistently rank as some of the most affordable places to live in the entire nation. Money just goes farther in Texas, and many people moving there who are living paycheck to paycheck sans savings in places like California are finding themselves in a much better financial position once they settle in Texas. Marie Bailey, a real estate agent who operates a Facebook group called “Move To Texas From California,” explained that she sold her 1,500 square-foot house in Orange Country and was able to purchase a 5,000 square-foot home set on a 5-acre white sandy beachfront in Texas. I guess it’s true what they say, everything really is bigger in Texas.
In all seriousness though, not only is Texas affordable but it is also noticeably more diverse than other areas of the country and in general, is safer in terms of overall future climate risks. Manjoo wrote that “Texas, now, feels a bit like California did when I first moved here in the late 1980s — a thriving, dynamic place where it doesn’t take a lot to establish a good life. For many people, that’s more than enough.” Texas is a mecca willing and ready to accommodate those aspiring to attain a better, richer quality of life, it’s no wonder why so many are choosing it as their new homestead.