Debating between moving to Charlotte vs Houston? As two iconic southern cities, the decision is a challenging one. Although they are located in two different states (North Carolina and Texas), their strengths and weaknesses are quite similar.
Charlotte is a bustling city located at the border of North Carolina and South Carolina. It is known for being the second largest financial hub in the nation, featuring companies such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, TIAA, and PNC. The city is also big for sports, serving as the home of the Charlotte Hornets (NBA) and the Carolina Panthers (NFL). The NASCAR Hall of Fame is also located in Charlotte City Center.
Heading southwest to Houston, Texas, there are also an endless list of perks and benefits for residents of this city. Nicknamed “the world capital of space exploration,” Houston, Texas has been the site of some of the most famous space-related events since 1961. During that year, the Johnson Space Center was established. Today, it is the main NASA center for the International Space Station. Additionally, Houston has also been named as the “world capital of air conditioning.”
Located in southern Texas, residents of Houston have access to the beaches in and around Galveston. Locals also enjoy places such as the Theater District, high-end restaurants, multiple museums, and beautiful suburbs.
What’s the best strategy for choosing between Charlotte vs Houston? Compare and contrast the pros and cons of moving to both cities to better understand which is suited to your life. Discover what it’s really like to live in both Charlotte and Houston.
Pros & Cons of Living in Charlotte vs Houston
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Living in Charlotte Pros
Nestled on the southern border of North Carolina, Charlotte is a vibrant and exciting place to live. Comprised of various neighborhoods — many of which are upscale and full of charm — there’s always something to do in the city.
In the Charlotte City Center, you’ll find the vast majority of corporate employers. Many of the companies located in this neighborhood are part of the financial industry. This part of the city is also home to a variety of attractions, including museums, art galleries, and sports venues. Popular places to visit include the Spectrum Center, Discovery Place Science, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Truist Field, and the Bank of America Stadium (where the Carolina Panthers play all home games).
Outside of the City Center, there is an excellent selection of restaurants and stores scattered close to residential neighborhoods. Several of the most popular communities include Dilworth, Elizabeth, and South End.
Public schools in Charlotte are highly rated from elementary school through high school. 19 area schools have been awarded perfect or near-perfect ratings by GreatSchools.org.
Another perk of living in Charlotte is the low cost of living. Unlike many major cities, Charlotte’s Cost of Living Index (94.8) is below the national average of 100.
Living in Charlotte Cons
Two of the main downsides to living in Charlotte is a lack of public transportation, as well as the increased possibility for natural disasters. When it comes to natural disasters, the main risk comes from flooding associated with hurricanes that have moved inland.
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Living in Houston Pros
Located in southern Texas, Houston has a wide array of attractions, amenities, and conveniences for its residents. Much like Charlotte, Houston has a similarly shaped city center. Within this area, you’ll find several neighborhoods — including the Theater District, the Houston Skyline District, and the Central Business District. This part of the city features major employers, upscale hotels, performing arts venues, and superb restaurants.
Often overlooked, one of Houston’s biggest strengths is its ample green spaces. No matter where you reside, there are parks, trails, and other outdoor spaces minutes from home. Top green spaces in Houston include Memorial Park, Donovan Park, Midtown Park (which includes a dog park), Wildcat Golf Club, Shady Lane Park, Sam Houston Park, and Discovery Green.
Houston is also praised for its one-of-a-kind attractions that are appropriate for a wide range of ages. Be sure to plan your visit to the Houston Zoo, Minute Maid Park (home of the Houston Astros), Space Center Houston, and other top destinations.
Moving the family to Houston? The city’s schools are nothing shy of exceptional. 11 local schools have perfect 10/10 scores from GreatSchools.org.
Living in Houston Cons
One of the biggest complaints among residents of Houston is the hot and muggy weather. Being miles from the Gulf of Mexico, the area is prone to high humidity — even outside of the summer months. Houston is also at-risk for hurricanes and major flooding.
Also, despite having numerous green spaces throughout the city, Houston consistently ranks low for the overall health of its residents.
Comparisons of Charlotte vs Houston
Population and Demographics
The population and population density of Houston as compared with Charlotte is significantly higher. The median age of residents in Charlotte versus Houston is about the same, with Charlotte being slightly higher.
- Charlotte Population (as of 2020): 873,570
- Houston Population (as of 2020): 2,313,238
- Charlotte Population Density: 2,833.6 people per square mile
- Houston Population Density: 3,611.9 people per square mile
- Charlotte Median Age: 34.4
- Houston Median Age: 33.3
- Charlotte Male vs Female: Male – 48%, Female – 52%
- Houston Male vs Female: Male – 50%, Female – 50%
- Charlotte Median Household Income: $65,359
- Houston Median Household Income: $53,600
- Charlotte Educational Attainment: 89.4% high school diploma or higher, 44.8% bachelor’s degree or higher
- Houston Educational Attainment: 79.7% high school diploma or higher, 34.3% bachelor’s degree or higher
The Cost of Living in Charlotte vs Houston
The cost of living in Charlotte as opposed to Houston is nearly identical. Rent, home prices, groceries, and health care all cost roughly the same in both cities. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four needs to make $85,510 in Charlotte, and $73,970 in Houston.
- Charlotte Cost of Living Index: 94.8
- Houston Cost of Living Index: 94.1
- Charlotte Average Monthly Rent: $1,639
- Houston Average Monthly Rent: $1,304
- Charlotte Median Home Price: $393,500
- Houston Median Home Price: $320,000
When looking at the benefits and drawbacks of living in Charlotte vs. Houston, comparing crime rates is crucial. In terms of overall crime, violent crime, and property crime, Charlotte is the safer city.
- Charlotte Total Crime Rate (per 100K): 4,665
- Houston Total Crime Rate (per 100K): 5,392
- Charlotte Violent Crime Rate (per 100K): 739
- Houston Violent Crime Rate (per 100K): 1,072
- Charlotte Property Crime Rate (per 100K): 3,926
- Houston Property Crime Rate (per 100K): 4,319
For individuals who prefer a more mild climate, Charlotte is the top choice. Houston is known for its extreme heat and humidity, while Charlotte has cooler overall temperatures throughout the year.
- Charlotte Climate Type: Humid subtropical climate
- Houston Climate Type: Humid subtropical climate
- Charlotte Average Rainfall: 43 inches
- Houston Average Rainfall: 49.77 inches
- Charlotte Average Daily High Temperature Range (Yearly): 51°F – 89°F
- Houston Average Daily High Temperature Range (Yearly): 63°F – 95°F
- Charlotte Average Daily Low Temperature Range (Yearly): 45°F – 58°F
- Houston Average Daily Low Temperature Range (Yearly): 47°F – 77°F
For those without a vehicle, exploring the ins and outs of Charlotte vs. Houston public transportation is a must. Both cities offer excellent options for commuting by bus and rail, and are walkable/bikeable in select locales.
- Charlotte Public Transportation System: Charlotte Area Transit System
- Houston Public Transportation System: METRO Public Transit
- Charlotte Types of Public Transportation: Bus, rail, walking, biking, taxi
- Houston Types of Public Transportation: Bus, Metrorail, walking, biking, taxi
Charlotte in comparison with Houston has the best opportunities for individuals working in the financial industry. Alternatively, Houston has an abundance of career openings for individuals in a variety of industries — including health care and customer service.
- Charlotte Per Capita Income: $39,834
- Houston Per Capita Income: $33,626
- Charlotte Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
- Houston Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
- Charlotte Top Employers: Duke Energy, Wells Fargo, Atrium Health, Novant Health, Amazon, and Lending Tree
- Houston Top Employers: Walmart, Memorial Hermann Health System, H-E-B, Houston Methodist, McDonald’s Corp, and United Airlines
Popular Major League Sports Teams
Sports fans have plenty of teams to cheer on in Charlotte or Houston. However, many argue that Charlotte has better sports teams overall.
- Charlotte: Carolina Panthers (NFL), Charlotte Hornets (NBA)
- Houston: Houston Astros (MLB), Houston Rockets (NBA)
Charlotte vs Houston Distance
How far is Charlotte from Houston? The total distance is 1,038 miles. For those who are looking to make the journey by vehicle, the average trip time is just over 15 hours. Thankfully, the vast majority of the journey is interstate driving, which helps expedite the trip.
Prefer to let us do the driving so that you can take a plane ride to your new home? Not a problem! While we carefully transport your belongings to either Charlotte or Houston, you can fly directly into either city. Charlotte is serviced by Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), which serves as a major hub for travel on the East Coast. When flying to Houston, you’ll travel to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), which is another major airport in the South.
Charlotte vs Houston: Where Are You Moving?
Make A Move is ready to be your partner in facilitating a smooth and effortless move. After comparing the benefits and disadvantages of Charlotte vs Houston, and deciding which city is the right fit for you, be sure to book your relocation services. From packing, to loading the truck, to setting up each room to your liking, our top-rated movers can do it all. Also, as an agent for Bekins, our team has access to the best moving trucks and relocation resources in the industry. Contact us today at 704-378-8588 to get started with your move to Charlotte or Houston.