Alabama – a sunny, southern state
The Yellowhammer State – Alabama, is a calm and pleasant place. Situated at the Heart of the Dixie (its other, probably more popular nickname) Alabama has a diverse nature – with the Tennessee valley in the north and the Gulf of Mexico in the south.
Alabama has a population of around 5 million. Montgomery is Alabama’s capital and the largest city is Huntsville, with both having a population of around 200 thousand, give or take. Birmingham metropolitan area is the state’s largest metro area with just over a million inhabitants.
Alabama has a rich culture. Harper Lee wrote her most-famous novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” in Alabama, just where the story of the book takes action. Forrest Gump is also “born” there. Last but not least – we all know (and love) Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama!
Alabama has some major pros like fresh seafood and some underrated beaches at the Gulf, good beer to complement your even better barbecue. However, there are some major cons.
Many places are closed on Sundays
Selling alcohol is banned in some places
The weather can be turbulent
Expect big cockroaches often
Moving to Texas
Texas is an economic giant and has an advantage over Alabama in terms of numbers. Most people find the climate and food here are also more suitable for their tastes.
Austin is the capital, but it’s far from the largest, despite numbering nearly a million. Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio are both much larger.
Most of the state’s economy is in high-tech fields, mainly aerospace and medicine. The GDP of Texas exceeds US$1.9 trillion, ranking second in the United States.
The state has abundant natural resources, especially oil, but tourism and higher education also bring benefits. The largest employers are the University of Texas at Austin, MD Anderson Cancer Ctr and MD Anderson.
Houston – the Space city
This is where most of Houston’s nicknames come from. The Lyndon Johnson Space Center is a major technology center. It is the main center of NASA’s manned spaceflight and the birthplace of the famous saying “Houston, we have a problem!”
Texas Medical Center
As a global medical leader, the Texas Medical Center with the largest number of medical institutions in one place has more than 100,000 employees, receives 10 million patients every year, and has a GDP of 25 billion U.S. dollars.
A very liberal state
The state’s liberal laws allow large African American, Asian, Hispanic, LGBTQ, and Christian communities to co-exist peacefully.
The Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars all play in their respective major leagues. They have a fanatical following and are very popular! Other cool places worth visiting include the Bishop Arts District, John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza, Sixth Floor Museum, Dallas Botanic Gardens and Botanical Gardens, Dallas World Aquarium and Six Flags Texas!
Traffic congestion is one of Houston’s biggest problems. Commuters in Houston spend more time on the road than most Americans, an average of one hour or more per day.
Due to the hot and humid weather, Houston is a huge breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Due to its proximity to the ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Houston is prone to floods and hurricanes.
There is no state income tax in Texas, but this is a trap. This makes up for the 8.25% sales tax, which is on the high end in the US.
Austin vs. Montgomery
Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, has some major advantages over Austin and they can all be summarized by being generally cheaper. Montgomery has lower average home price, cheaper food, housing and transportation. However, Austin is considerably bigger with a larger and better-paid labor market. This can easily be seen by the unemployment rates and by the average income.