its independence from Mexico in 1836, Texas was a stand-alone republic until it finally joined the Union as the 28th state in 1845.
Today, Texas remains the biggest of the lower 48 states (second only to Alaska) and ranks second only to California in number of residents, half of whom reside in its largest metro areas, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.
A global leader in aeronautics and energy industries, Texas also heads the nation in cotton and beef cattle farming, and serves as headquarters to the most Fortune 500 companies of any state in the Union.
Add to that a wealth of art and cultural activities available in its major cities (especially compared to other larger urban areas of the South) - together with availability of jobs, low housing, and tax costs - and it's little wonder why the state's economy and population numbers continue to increase year after year ...
Major cities: Austin (capital), Houston,
Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, El Paso
Population : 23,507,783
White : 83.2%
Black, African American : 11.7%
Hispanic : 35.1%
High school graduates : 75.7%
Bachelor's degree or higher : 23.2%
Average household income: $38,945
Personal Income Taxes: Oil rich Texas does not tax individual wages, Social Security or retirement income, nor does it impose inheritance or estate taxes, although local sales taxes are high and can reach to more than 8 percent in some areas.
& Real Estate Overview : also see Zillow - Texas Real Estate Home ownership rate : 63.8%
Average home price : $123,400
Average travel time to work : 25.4 minutes
: As elsewhere around the nation, Texas schools may vary in quality depending on location as performance rises and falls with the local tax base. Recently, controversy followed actions taken by the Texas Education Agency to favor the teaching of intelligent design over evolution in the public schools. In 2009, the move forced the resignation of Christine Comer, director of the science curriculum, after more than nine years in the post.
Weather : While Texas generally experiences hot summers and mild winters, its vast expanse also allows for wide variations in climate with drier conditions in the south, and more humid weather in the northwest. Thunderstorms are more frequent in the eastern and northern parts of the state, and tornadoes can become a threat in any area, and at anytime of year.
Texas City Data Forums - Busy forums with exchange of ideas & information on cost of living, schools, real estate & apartments, jobs & employment, with separate message boards featuring tips & advice on moving to Houston, Dallas, El Paso, Forth Worth and San Antonio.
Relocating to Houston - Helpful guide from the official city site with links to information on job listings, apartments & real estate, public & private schools, daily newspapers, voter registration.
Dallas City Web Portal - One-stop browsing for information on local news and what's going on around town, kid-friendly events, area attractions, job listings, city services, cost of living and demographic data, weather facts.