Why People Flocked to Florida Last Year
Florida has recently attracted many new residents. In fact, it was the number one state that people moved to in 2022.1 In fact, three Florida cities appear on Bankrate’s rankings of the best places to live in America and best states for retirement.2
After decades of rapid population increase, Florida now is the nation’s fastest-growing state for the first time since 1957, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Vintage 2022 population estimates. The state’s population increased by 1.9% in 2022, surpassing Idaho, the previous year’s fastest-growing state.
For the third most-populous state to also be the fastest growing is notable because it requires significant population gains. Today, the Sunshine State is home to more than 22 million residents.3
One of the reasons some people are moving to Florida is the state's tax climate. Florida has no state income tax, which means residents can keep more of their hard-earned money. Additionally, the state has relatively low property taxes and no estate or inheritance tax, potentially making it an attractive destination for retirees and high-income earners looking to maximize their financial benefits.
As one of nine states without an income tax, Florida may appeal for high-income households from states like New York and New Jersey that have top individual income tax rates of 10.9% and 10.75%, respectively.4
Given that the state constitution bans the imposition of an income tax by the state government, this fiscal situation isn’t likely to change in the near future. To introduce new taxes or fees of any kind, a supermajority of two-thirds is required in both the state House and Senate.
Other taxes in Florida are also low or moderate compared to other states. The sales tax hovers around 7% and a corporate tax rate of just 5.5% potentially helps sustain economic growth over time.5
Growing Diverse Economy
Florida had the third-highest rate of new business formations per capita in 2022, behind only Wyoming and Delaware, according to Economic Innovation Group.6 The state’s three primary metro areas – Tampa, Orlando, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale – have also seen economic growth thanks to the growth of industries like finance and healthcare.7
The Sunshine State held on to its No. 2 ranking in the 2023 Chief Executive Best and Worst States for Business survey of CEOs. The state’s tax structure and limited pandemic-motivated business shutdowns boosted Florida’s popularity among some business owners, potentially helping kick off a stronger stream of migration to the state.8
Florida experienced the highest percentage of corporations relocating their headquarters to the state in America, according to data compiled by Hire A Helper from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.9
Florida had 86% more corporations move their headquarters into the state compared to the number of companies that chose to move their head office out of Florida, leading the nation, Broken down city, three cities in Florida are among the 10 with the highest net gains: Jacksonville (+67%), Tampa (+49%), and Miami (+33%).10
Read why Miami is hot for business relocation.
Expanding Job Market
Florida’s population growth has been a boon to its $1.4 trillion economy – already the fourth-largest in the country. The state’s $1 trillion GDP and diverse economy may attract many individuals in search of better career opportunities.4
In 2022, the Bureau for Labor Statistics reported that Florida ranked second in job growth, adding approximately 440,000 positions throughout the year. Moreover, the state boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates, tied at sixth place with a mere 2.7%, which is notably lower than the national average of 3.4%. Only smaller states such as Alabama and South Dakota have lower rates. Remarkably, since the inception of state-level data collection in 1990, Florida's employed population has now exceeded that of New York for the first time.11
Recent years have seen a surge in Florida's employment sector, propelled by fields like tourism, healthcare, aerospace, and technology. The state's generally business-friendly atmosphere, combined with the ongoing influx of companies, has contributed to the number of job openings. This has drawn both those in search of work and professionals aiming to further their career paths.7
Warm Year-Round Weather and Natural Beauty
Many people move to Florida to escape harsh winters in other parts of the country, generally seeking a more comfortable and active lifestyle throughout the year.4 Commonly known for its sunny, warm climate with mild winters and hot summers, most cities in Florida see between 230 to 300 days of sunshine each year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).12
For those drawn to the water, Florida's extensive coastline, which stretches over 1,300 miles, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. In addition to its beaches, the state also offers numerous natural attractions including Everglades National Park and the Florida Keys, where residents and visitors commonly enjoy diverse ecosystems and wildlife.13
Cost of living and diverse lifestyle options
From bustling city centers like Miami and Tampa to peaceful coastal towns like Naples and Sarasota, Florida provides a diverse range of communities for people to call home. The state's mix of cultures, entertainment, and recreational activities may also contribute to its appeal as a desirable destination for relocation.
Compared to other major metropolitan areas in the United States, Florida offers a relatively affordable cost of living, with numerous housing options to suit different lifestyles and budgets.14
In 2022, Florida greenlit over 212,000 residential building endeavors, markedly outpacing New York's 41,254 and California's 118,065. This uptick in construction has bolstered the housing supply in the Sunshine State, helping to moderate housing prices.15
For instance, 17.6% of homes in Florida are priced under $100,000, while in New York, such affordable homes are less common, making up a single-digit percentage.16 Consequently, 69% of people living in Florida own their homes, in comparison to 54% of those in New York.17 It's also worth noting that Florida has a smaller homeless population.18
Though Florida was once known for its affordability, its cost of living now closely mirrors the national average, according to RentCafe. In fact, six out of the nation’s top 20 hottest renting hubs are located in Florida. Namely, Miami is reemerging as the nation’s most competitive rental market.19
The median rent in Orlando is $2,153, in Tampa it's $2,255 and in Miami it's $3,066. All are notably higher than the national median rent of $1,967.20
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