Fewer out-of-state residents are applying for Florida driver's licenses, and it's not because they've donated their car to their favorite public radio station. Population experts say Northerns are no longer flocking to the Sunshine State the way they used to, according to this report from the Associated Press.
In a recent five-year period, Florida license applications dropped by 30 percent:
- 2003: more than 585,000 applications.
- 2008: approximately 410,000 applications.
The biggest decline came from New York, which has long been Florida's top feeder state. New Jersey saw the second-largest drop in applicants.
Why the decrease? Theories range from the recession to hurricanes to the so-called 9/11 effect: After the 2001 terrorist attacks, many New Yorkers relocated to other states. That figure peaked in 2005 and is now leveling off, demographer Jan Vink told the AP.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimated Florida's 2011 population at about 19 million, up slightly from the previous year. According to this Sun-Sentinel report, lower taxes and home prices should help draw more out-of-towners to Florida.