Number Crunch

Actually, Not a Ton of People Are Moving to Florida

It turns out it’s mostly tech moguls who have the stomach for the Sunshine State

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1.38%, or 297,851 people: That’s how much Florida’s population is expected to have grown annually by April, according to the state’s November 2020 Demographic Estimating Conference, per The Wall Street Journal. The state is expected to have added close to 298,000 residents since April 2020.

When the pandemic created a sudden shift to remote work, it appeared that it was resulting in an exodus of white-collar professionals from expensive cities like San Francisco and New York City to locales with lower costs of living and better weather (and, in some cases, less stringent shutdowns), like Austin and Miami.

However, reports of the “mass techxodus” to Miami notwithstanding, larger trends indicate that nearly as many people have been leaving the state of Florida as people moving in, with hurricanes, heat, and rising home prices driving those departures. The Journal writes that there were actually fewer moves into Florida from other states in 2020 than any time in the last nine years. The boom in luxury developments in the state appears to suggest that it’s turning into a playground for the wealthy, rather than emerging as an attractive destination for opportunity-seekers.

Bloomberg, too, reports that while enthusiasm from the Manhattan elite and the Wall Street crowd for Florida was high in the early months of the pandemic, it has already begun to fizzle. “The main problem with moving to Florida is that you have to live in Florida,” one investment banker told Bloomberg.

Looks like many would rather not be the subject of a “Florida Man” headline.

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