© 2023 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Study Looks At The Where And Why People Move To Florida

Graph of Florida being the number one out-of state destination to move to
Hire A Helper
Florida's population continues to grow and it seems it is the top out-of-state destination to move to.

We’ve all seen the signs of Florida’s population growth: more housing complexes are being built, traveling to work takes a few minutes longer than before, the parking lots have less empty spaces. But where are all these people coming from?

In a study on migration, HireAHelper found that in 22 states, Florida is the top destination for those who decide to move out.

“Specifically, one in every eight out-of-state moves went to Florida,” said Jaclyn Lambert, head of media relations for HireAHelper, a digital marketplace for small moving companies.

The report finds that Florida is the top destination for people from states like North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Maine, Tennessee, Connecticut, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Indiana.

The study shows that the Florida cities that have the highest net population gain - that is, people moving in versus those leaving - are Sarasota and Jacksonville. Both rank in the top four nationally. 

However, Miami was on the opposite end of the spectrum, with the third largest net population loss in the country. This, according to the report, demonstrates a common trend - people are moving from big cities to smaller ones.

The data comes from HireAHelper’s database of information they had gathered from over 25,000 moves they conducted during 2019.

Will Tyson, a USF Associate Professor of Sociology, says this type of data could prove useful, even if it is only from one company.

“I'm just encouraging that they're putting out this report to give a broader sense of what trends are out there,” said Tyson. “And what those of us who are scholars, journalists, and people as well can learn.”

Infographic showing why Americans moved in 2019
Credit Hire A Helper
Using U.S. Census Bureau Data, HireAHelper looked at the reasons why people moved in 2019 - no matter where their destination. The top reasons: found a new or better home, new job or job transfer, and setting up their own household.

HireAHelper also looked at U.S. Census Bureau Geographic Mobility data when it came to understanding why people moved anywhere.

The top reasons included buying a new or better home, starting a new job or being transferred, and establishing a family household.

But for many moving to Florida, it comes down to money.

“They'll move to Florida because it's so affordable,” said Lambert.

And with the third highest population among U.S. states, it’s apparent that people consider Florida to be more than just a vacation destination.

“Having lived here for almost 16 years now and having made that move down to Florida myself many years ago, I think the perception of Florida is changing from a place where people vacation or go to retire [to] Florida is a place where people actually live,” said Tyson. “There's more of a stronger perception that people actually do live here.”

Vanessa Henry is a WUSF/USF Zimmerman School digital news intern for spring 2020.
WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.