Florida Is Experiencing the Biggest Migration the State Has Ever Seen

By: Lauren | Last updated: Mar 21, 2024

Florida is known for its gorgeous beaches, fun nightlife, and now wildly expensive homes.

So, while Florida has seen a huge immigration from Americans living in other states looking for warmer climates, it’s also seeing a significant migration from its residents who can no longer afford to live there.

Millions of People Moving In & Out of Florida

According to newly released data from the census, an incredible 739,000 moved to Florida between 2021 and 2022.

Illuminated outline of Florida with the state flag in bright colors on a black background

Source: Freepik

On the other hand, almost 490,000 former Florida residents moved out of the Sunshine State during that time.

Florida Realtors Are Hard at Work

With all this movement in and out of the state, Florida real estate agents are working day and night.

For sale sign posted in front of a home in Hollywood, Florida

Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Holly Meyer Lucas, a realtor from South Florida, told the media, “I think this is the biggest migration that we’re going to see certainly in our generation — but maybe in our lifetime.”

Almost 1 Million People Who Moved to Florida Last Year

Of the 739,000 people who moved to Florida in 2021 and 2022, the census reported that the highest percentage of them were from New York.

Parents unpacking moving van in front of the home with a toddler

Source: Freepik

In fact, more than 91,000 people from the Empire State packed up and headed south to Florida, while 50,000 people arrived with their boxes from California.

Why Are so Many People Moving to Florida?

Although no direct poll was taken, the general consensus is that so many people left New York and California for Florida last year to save money.

Aerial view of homes in Boca Raton, Florida

Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Although housing prices are absolutely increasing in Florida, as they are everywhere, it’s still much more affordable than in states such as New York or California.

Work-From-Home Options Have Led to Extreme Migration

As well, it’s important to note that many of these migrants are not quitting their jobs in their home states.

Woman sitting on the beach looking at her phone with her laptop on her lap

Source: EyesWideOpen/Getty Images

Instead, they have the ability to work from home wherever they are, and with the lower cost of living in Florida, it’s a far better option for many.


Some People Are Moving for the Florida Lifestyle

There are also certain people who decided to move to Florida for the relaxed lifestyle and beautiful landscape.

Photo from the back of five people jumping in the water

Source: Freepik

The next generation is looking for a more cohesive work-life balance than the boomers or even the millennials, and being able to spend days off at the beach getting a tan certainly appeals to many.


What Does This Migration Mean for Existing Florida Residents?

Now, what’s interesting about this mass migration to Florida is that it is absolutely affecting the existing Florida residents, and not in a good way.

Skyscrapers overlooking the port and ocean

Source: Freepik

People who were once paying extremely high prices in California and New York have money to spend in Florida, which is creating a significant increase in housing prices.


Middle-Class People Are Moving Out of Florida in Droves

Therefore, because the average home price in Florida is now $384,300, many middle-class families, made up of teachers, police officers, firefighters, and nurses, are leaving for states with more affordable homes.

Nurse holding clipboard/Teacher holding books and an apple/Policeman standing in front of a patrol car

Source: Freepik/Freepik/Freepik

And the census reports that most of them are heading to Georgia, Texas, or North Carolina.


Georgia Is the Most Popular State for Florida Residents on the Move

As Florida’s neighbor, Georgia was the most popular state for those who moved out of the Sunshine State.

Skyline of Atlanta, Georgia, 2023

Source: Prince Williams/WireImage/Getty Images

With an average home price of $340,000, Georgia isn’t one of the cheaper states in the country. And Florida residents still get to enjoy the warm weather as well as being close to their family and friends who didn’t make the move.


Texas Has the Second-Highest Number of Migrants, and Many Are From Florida

What’s really interesting is that while Florida has the most new residents of any state, Texas has the second highest. And many of them are people who decided to leave Florida when the new migrants arrived.

Texas state flag held by a woman by the water

Source: Mike Heffner/Getty Images

In fact, 670,000 people moved to Texas between 2021 and 2022, and many of them were originally from Florida. However, the Floridians moving to Texas didn’t head to Dallas or Austin, instead, they chose small, affordable towns outside the cities.


What Is Next for Florida?

Although it’s impossible to predict the future, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Florida is headed for some big changes.

Palm trees against a blue sky with the sun shining

Source: Freepik

With wealthy northerners and Californias headed to the sunshine, the lives of Florida residents will absolutely change, and the state may see a much bigger exodus this year than ever before.