Living in Florida has always been a popular choice for Americans (and many Europeans and Latin Americans) who want mild winters, low taxes and great beaches. But in recent years, moving to Florida has reached new heights of popularity.
The numbers are impressive. For example, between July 2020 and July 2021, the state added 211,305 residents. Florida ranked as the No. 1 state for net migration – the number of people moving in vs. the number moving out – in 2020 and 2021.
There’s no sign of the trend slowing, either. The number of people moving to Florida in the first few months of 2022 is even higher than the rate in 2021.
Why Are People Moving to Florida?
It’s easy to see why so many people want to move to South Florida and other parts of the Sunshine State. While every person has their own moving story, almost everyone benefits from the following aspects of living in Florida.
- Zero state income tax
- Some of the best-rated beaches in the world
- Low property tax rates
- More entertainment options than just about anywhere else
- A culture that blends the best of the U.S., Latin America, and Europe
- Huge events all year round
- If you enjoy water-related activities, it’s the best place to be
- Being able to say the following and mean it: “I will never have to shovel snow again”
Florida also features some of the fastest-growing cities in the nation, where job opportunities, affordable neighborhoods, great restaurants, and a laid-back, tropical, or sub-tropical lifestyle await new residents. Those cities include Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, St Petersburg, Orlando, and Jacksonville.
States People Leave to Live in Florida
Where are all of these people coming from? It’s no surprise to Floridians (or New Yorkers) that numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show more people leave New York to live in Florida than any other state. There’s always been a strong connection between the two states, with many New Yorkers vacationing in Florida and some eventually making a permanent home there. That number has grown in recent years.
But Americans from many other states are also starting to choose Florida in higher numbers.
Here are the top states people are leaving to move to Florida, using census bureau data.
- New York. The number of New Yorkers moving to Florida reached 57,488. That’s nothing new, as New Yorkers have come to Florida since the late 18th century. Even black and white Hollywood movies such as “It Happened One Night” and “Some Like It Hot ” revolved around people “running away” from New York for Florida. In reality, New Yorkers enjoy lower taxes, warm weather, and a business-friendly environment.
- Georgia. In 2019 alone, 49,681 people moved from Georgia to Florida. Why make such a relatively short move? Because Georgians want to escape high state income taxes and enjoy the job opportunities in every major city in Florida.
- Pennsylvania. Like New Yorkers, the 34,965 people who made the move from Pennsylvania to Florida likely wanted to escape higher taxes and harsh winter weather. Like New York, Pennsylvania – the nation’s fifth-biggest state – has lost population in recent years.
- Ohio. In Ohio, 30,335 decided to leave the Buckeye State and make the move to Florida. The Midwest is another area where many people have migrated to Florida. The Tampa Bay area is especially a popular destination for many Midwesterners who are drawn to the growing economy in the Tampa Bay area (and the many great sports options).
- California. If any state on the list is a surprise, it’s California, a state most people associate with a place people move to rather than a place they leave. Data shows that 28,628 people moved from California to Florida. It makes sense for Californians who want a warm climate without the high taxes.
- New Jersey. In 2019, 28,222 people moved from New Jersey to Florida. Many did so for the very same reasons that people moved from New York – weather, taxes, lower cost of living, and more affordable homes and rentals.
- North Carolina. Like the people in Georgia, North Carolinians benefit from living close to Florida – 28,207 moved south in 2019.
- Texas. In 2019, 26,174 left Texas for Florida. The states share many common attributes in terms of taxes and cost of living. However, many make the move because of a new job, retirement, or to live closer to more (and better) beaches than they have in Texas.