Traffic, Cost Of Housing Seen As Deterrents To Moving To The Sunshine State

Dec 27, 2017

Residents in Florida's biggest cities may be reluctant to recommend their hometown to people looking to move.

The USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey asked about deterrents to moving to a community, and 72 percent of people listed traffic congestion as "a problem" or "a big problem."

Of them, residents living in South Florida and Tampa Bay were twice as likely to identify traffic as a problem as compared to residents in North Florida, said Susan MacManus, the survey director and a University of South Florida professor of political science.

“Growing pains can be really, really big in some places, and less so in others,” she said.

Other deterrents, such as the cost of housing and a lack of public transportation, were also seen as bigger problems among residents in Tampa Bay and South Florida.

MacManus said cities with an aging population are concerned about appealing to younger residents who can fill jobs in the service sector. These attitudes could affect how well communities can attract new businesses and young professionals, she said.

“It is true that growth, while some will say it's terrific for economic prosperity,” MacManus said, “others would say what about the quality of life?”

The Sunshine State Survey is an annual phone poll of about 1,200 Florida residents, age 18 and older. Questions focus on the economy, social issues and state policy.