Posted: September 15, 2021 by Kelly Murphy-Redd
According to Florida’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, our state grew by an estimated 329,717 new residents between April 2020 and April 2021. reports Florida was the No. 1 destination for relocating Americans in 2020. They used internal metrics, U.S. Census Bureau data, and a Pollfish survey. More than 2 million customer transactions from U-Haul migration stats shows Florida was the third most popular state, with Tennessee number one and Texas, number two. Though different sources have different results, by any measurement, Florida is popular.

2020 National Association of Realtors analysis shows 28% of the people who moved to Florida came from Texas, nearly 15% relocated from New York, and over 6% from California.

According to the report, 65% of the people who moved were between the ages of 25 and 44 and most people moved between August and October of 2020.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports 33,565 New York residents got Florida driver's licenses between September of 2020 and March of this year, a 32% increase from the same period the year before.

Why? People have always cited the fact Florida has no state income tax, lower property taxes and lower cost of living. The Best Places’ Cost of Living index reports the national average cost of living is 100, Florida scores 102.8, California scores 139.9 and New York scores 120.5. The weather is often said to be a reason. But, the reasons are adding up. Covid-related loss of jobs, income, affordable housing and restrictions in cities are now reasons.

New Yorkers interviewed by West Palm Beach TV said they moved here because Florida’s schools have been open. They feel Florida is “moving forward” where New York is “stagnant.” The New York transplants also talked about feeling “free” here in Florida. The escalation in crime and New York being the Covid hotspot are reasons as well. More New Yorkers moved to Palm Beach County than any other in Florida. WPTV reports New York as the number one source of Florida transplants with New Jersey second, followed by Georgia, Illinois, and California.

Those labeled as “powerful” have moved to Florida.

Business Insider reports Venture capitalist David Blumberg told NPR that he left Silicon Valley in December for Hallandale Beach, an enclave between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. He cited Florida's "lighter regulatory touch" as a driver in his decision to move. "They're pro-business," he said, "and they're active about it." Tommy Hilfiger is in Palm Beach as is Charles Schwab.

PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, managing director of venture capital firm Founders Fund (Airbnb, Stripe and SpaceX), cofounder of CIA-backed startup Palanir, and the first big investor in Facebook bought a home in Miami. Other new Miami residents include billionaire hedge fund manager Dan Loeb, Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen, and Keith Rabois, a venture capitalist who made early investments in companies like DoorDash and Airbnb and served as an exec at PayPal, LinkedIn, and Square.

Again, there are differing reports of which state is number one for people moving. Here’s what North American has reported: (Florida in the top eight)
Source: North American Moving Services, 2020 US Migration Report

I return to the 330,000 who moved here in the last year. Everyone believes this trend will continue. Economic developers need to assess the talent moving to the state. What kind of jobs are available and what will be needed? Educational institutions will need to assess the needs of these new residents. Transportation needs will expand as well as infrastructure and municipal services. The environment will be impacted. Healthcare will be impacted. There are always pros and cons to everything. Recognizing this and planning for changing demographics is vital to maintaining the quality of life for our state.