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January 3, 2023

Flocking to Florida: Is Everyone Moving to the Sunshine State?

  • Atlas Van Lines
  • Migration
In analyzing data from the last three decades, starting with the first Atlas Van Lines Annual Migration Patterns Study released in 1993 and ending with today’s stats, we noticed that many things have changed over the years: Illinois and Indiana are no longer the sought-after states they once were, shipments to Alaska have decreased significantly, and New York is also losing its appeal. 

Amid all these changes, one thing has remained the same: Movers are continuing to choose Florida as their next destination. We used to hear people say: “When I retire, I’ll move to Florida”, but in recent years, many decided to fast-track that decision and enjoy the palm tree-filled skies of the sunshine state sooner rather than later. 

Also, Florida is no longer a destination just for retirees. According to a recent study, more millennials are moving there than ever before, citing the lack of an income tax and a friendly business environment as their main driving forces. On top of that, during the pandemic many Americans decided to retire early. 

In the last couple of years, moving to Florida in search of better job opportunities has remained an important trend, but there is a twist to it: Since an increasingly higher percentage of Americans are now working remotely, many relocating to Florida get to keep their current job. So, why not send your daily emails from the comfort of your St. Petersburg, Orlando, or Tampa home and enjoy the beautiful weather of the sunshine state during your lunch breaks? 

And if the cost of living is important to you, there is good news and bad news: The good news is that most cities in Florida are under the national average, and the bad news is that bigger cities like Miami are considerably above this average. 

Looking for an affordable home in one of the top destinations for Americans? That may be a challenge. Florida is such a hot commodity that there just aren’t enough homes for buyers, according to, which can only mean one thing: If you get your hands on a residence, chances are you’ll be in it for a while. This also means that, despite the cost of living being under the national average, the land of gators is starting to look less affordable each year. 

Some of the people moving to Florida are hoping to rent and if that is the case, they may not be in luck, as rent increases at high rates, the current median rent being around $2,895 per month in Miami. 

You are probably wondering: Are people EVER moving out of Florida? Yes. Ironically, the top catalyst for everyone moving to Florida – the weather- is also the main reason why people are leaving the beautiful state. A high percentage of movers cite the heat and humidity as the main driving factor, while others refer to a volatile housing market. 

Combined, these trends lead to an interesting outcome in 2022: Florida became the third largest state in the U.S. and the fastest growing one for the first time since 1957, according to the Census Bureau. 

Budding entrepreneurs may find themselves thinking about starting a new business venture and according to The Chamber of Commerce, the sunshine state might be the best location for it, as it ranks 9th in corporate taxes, and it comes in second on unemployment insurance tax. 

Are you just visiting Florida? There are plenty of things to do, starting with amusement parks, golf courses, boat rides and ending with countless shopping opportunities and a memorable nightlife or concert scene. If you’re more laid-back, grab your towel and head to one of the many sunny beaches – don’t forget the sunscreen, as experts say you can get sun burned even in January. 

The past couple of years have been keeping many of us away from our friends and family, and if a big reunion is what you have in mind, don’t rule out Florida: There are fun things to do for everyone, from small children to seniors!

And if you feel your stomach rumbling, there are a few local treats to help with that: stone crab, Cuban sandwiches, boiled peanuts, key lime pie and the allegedly chicken-tasting gator that may come in the shape of marinated ribs or deep-fried bites (please report back if you’ve tried it!). 

In terms of restaurants, the possibilities are endless and very diverse, so, if you’ve ever wanted to check out a sunny destination and try as many international cuisines as you possibly can, Florida seems to be that place!

Whether you are planning to relocate to Florida for its sunny beaches, fun-filled cities or simply to start that business you’ve been talking about for years, one thing is certain: Atlas can help you go new places – we’ve been doing it for decades!

In 2022, Florida becomes the fastest growing state for the first time since 1957, which also matches Atlas® Van Lines’ Annual Migration Patterns Study.