People Are Fleeing Florida Because the Sunshine State Is No Longer Paradise

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: Apr 07, 2024

New data from 2022 has revealed that many people are fleeing Florida — for various reasons. While many people are still flocking to live in the Sunshine State, Florida is seeing droves of residents deciding to start over in other states.

Those who have recently left Florida have chosen a few different states to move to. In many ways, this data has proven to be quite surprising to analysts.

Census Data

According to newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 500,000 residents of Florida left the state to go live elsewhere.

A view of tall buildings in Miami, Florida seen in the daytime.

Source: Sergio Arteaga/Unsplash

This mass departure seems at odds with the many other statistics that have shown how Florida has gained many new residents, as people from all over the world — and the United States — have jumped at the chance to live in the state.


Where Did Florida Residents Go?

This new data also shows where, exactly, these Florida residents decided to move. For the most part, people chose to move to other southern states.

A bird’s eye view of downtown Atlanta, Georgia seen in the daytime.

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The number one state former Florida people moved to in 2022 was Georgia. However, Texas and North Carolina were close behind. Of all the people who left the Sunshine State in 2022, more than 20% of them went to these three states.

Other Popular States

However, some chose to live in other states rather different than sunny, southern Florida — and this fact has surprised some analysts.

Many people on a beach in California in the daytime.

Source: Herson Rodriguez/Unsplash

Data reveals that, in 2022, California was the fourth top place where people in Florida chose to move to. As much of red and blue politics has been about the difference between California and Florida, this is intriguing. New York also took the seventh spot in this migration list.

Why Are People Leaving?

As every story is different, there are a variety of reasons why people may be fleeing Florida — even as many other people flock to the state.

A father and daughter on a beach together walking and holding hands.

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The mass amount of people who have chosen to move to Florida in recent years may even be why some Floridians have chosen to start over in a new state. After all, this influx of new residents has caused Florida’s inflation to skyrocket when compared to other U.S. states.

A New, Expensive Florida

Thanks to the many different people who have moved to Florida in recent years, many old-time residents of the state feel that a new — more expensive — Florida is being created.

Big, luxury homes seen in Miami Beach, Florida in the daytime.

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Many wealthy people have come to call the Sunshine State home, as they moved there because it has lower taxes than other places. However, these new, wealthier people have ended up pricing out middle-class residents in certain communities. 


A Change in the State

Thanks to this mass migration of people moving to Florida, native Floridians have increasingly felt that the state is changing, and not necessarily for the better.

Many people sitting down at tables in a coffee shop in Jacksonville, Florida.

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One family with two children even claimed that, though they loved Florida, they chose to move to South Carolina because of all these new people moving to the state. Florida had become incredibly expensive, full of people, and had terrible traffic.


A More Affordable State

Therefore, many natives have chosen to move to more affordable states, which is likely why they chose to stay in the South. Southern states in the U.S. are often cheaper to live in than coastal or Eastern states.

An aerial view of water, a beach, and homes alongside it in North Carolina.

Source: Parsa Mahmoudi/Unsplash

As Florida had become too expensive for them, these people moved to places like Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina, three states that still have lower costs of living.


People Are Still Moving to Florida

While this latest U.S. Census Bureau data reveals how many people have fled Florida, it also shows how many people moved to the state. Thanks to this data’s results, it appears people are still moving to Florida.

A close-up of palm trees underneath a cloudy blue sky in Florida.

Source: Jorge Vasconez/Unsplash

In 2022, more than one million people moved to Florida. These people came from all over the world, not just from other states in the U.S.


From Blue State to Red State

Many politicians, such as Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, have claimed that many residents of blue states are flocking to red states like his. In many ways, this is correct, though this migration may have nothing to do with politics.

A sunset view of Boynton Beach, Florida, with boats in the water and cars parked in a lot.

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This latest data does confirm that California and New York held the top two spots of states that saw their people move to Florida in 2022.


An Addition to Florida’s Population

As this data analyzed all parts of Florida’s population movements in 2022, analysts can see how the state grew and lessened in certain areas.

An aerial view of the beach and town of St. Augustine, Florida in the daytime.

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Even though the state did see almost 500,000 people leave, more than one million moved to various parts of its regions. Therefore, the state still experienced a surplus of about 500,000 new residents.


Why People Are Moving to Florida

There are many different reasons why people have chosen to move to Florida. This mass migration trend began during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it hasn’t seemed to let up yet.

Many different boats out at sea off the coast of Florida during the sunset.

Source: Sergio Arteaga/Unsplash

Though Florida’s cost of living may have risen recently, many people are still moving there because it is cheaper than in some areas of the west and east coast. Meanwhile, others are enticed by Florida’s weather. The state’s lack of income tax has also drawn many in.