10 Reasons Why Residents Are Leaving Florida

Think about this: Florida, famous for its endless summer days and theme park wonders, is also where a surprising number of people decide to leave.

It’s an odd reality, right? Florida attracts with one hand and waves goodbye with the other.

So, what’s the real story here? Here are ten key reasons residents are saying goodbye.

1. The Tourist Tango: A Double-Edged Sword

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Image Credit: Suncoast Aerials/Shutterstock.

Florida’s tourism, the backbone of its economy, brings a mix of fortune and frustration. The state, known for its beautiful beaches, Disney World, and SeaWorld, saw a record-breaking surge in tourism in 2022. In fact, Central Florida’s tourism industry generated a staggering $87.6 billion in economic impact, a 31% increase over 2021, according to a report ¹ by Tourism Economics.

This financial boost is undeniable. Visitor spending in Central Florida alone jumped by 38% to $55.5 billion in 2022, surpassing pre-pandemic levels by $7.5 billion. In Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties, tourism is a significant economic driver, creating jobs for residents and contributing billions in taxes for local government services, from schools to public parks.

However, while tourism fuels the economy, it also brings challenges for locals, such as congested roads and crowded beaches.

This paradox has been a longstanding issue, pushing some residents to seek quieter, less tourist-dominated locales. The region welcomed 74 million visitors in 2022, translating to a vibrant economy but also to an overwhelming influx of tourists that can disrupt daily life for locals.

2. Wildlife Woes: More Than Just Alligator Tales

Florida’s diverse wildlife, from alligators to panthers, is part of its charm and its challenge.

Stories of pet-snatching alligators and invasive cockroaches have created a perception of danger, particularly among the elderly. While such incidents are rare, they’re enough to drive some residents to consider safer, less wildlife-rich environments.

3. The Traffic Tribulations

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Image Credit: Dmitry Kalinovsky/ShutterStock.

Traffic in Florida’s major cities is another growing concern. WalletHub ranks ² Miami’s traffic among the worst in the nation, with Tampa and Orlando not far behind.

As more people move to Florida, the roads become increasingly congested, leading to frustration and a desire for a change of scenery.

4. Political Polarization

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Image Credit: Ground Picture/Shutterstock.

Florida’s political landscape has become increasingly polarized ³, making it a central figure in the national cultural war. This charged atmosphere is unsettling for many, especially those who prefer a politically neutral environment.

The desire to escape this tension is driving some residents to seek more politically harmonious states.

5. The Hurricane Factor

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Image Credit: Felix Mizioznikov/Shutterstock.

While Florida averages one ⁴ hurricane a year, the potential for devastation is a constant concern.

For newcomers and even long-time residents, the fear of hurricanes can overshadow the state’s natural beauty, leading them to reconsider their choice of residence.

6. Population & Infrastructure: Growing Pains

Florida’s population growth ⁵ brings infrastructure challenges, including the need for more roads, schools, hospitals, and emergency services.

The strain on resources and the resulting quality of life issues are prompting some residents to explore less crowded options.

7. Economic Considerations: The Rising Cost of Living

The cost of living in Florida is on the rise ⁶. Though still affordable compared to some states, the increase is noticeable, especially for long-time residents.

Higher costs for housing, utilities, and transportation are major factors influencing the decision to relocate.

8. Safety Concerns

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Image Credit: JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock.

Despite reports of a 50-year ⁷ low in crime, questions about the accuracy of these statistics have arisen.

The reality of safety in Florida, particularly in certain areas, is a significant concern ⁸ for many residents, prompting them to seek safer environments.

9. Insurance Premiums: A Soaring Expense

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Image Credit: Inside Creative House/Shutterstock.

Florida’s high insurance premiums, particularly for cars and homes ⁹, are a financial strain. With major insurance companies leaving the state and fewer options available, the cost of insuring property in Florida is becoming prohibitive for many.

10. Real Estate Prices: Skyrocketing Costs

Finally, the rising cost of real estate in Florida is a key factor in the decision to move. One report shows a 73.5% ¹⁰ increase over the last five years.

With home values and rents increasing rapidly, the financial burden is becoming too much for both long-term residents and newcomers.

So, why does Florida remain a land of dual desires, attracting as many as it repels?

The answer lies in its unique blend of beauty, opportunity, and challenges. As people weigh the pros and cons of living in the Sunshine State, it’s clear that Florida continues to be a state that both captivates and confounds.

References

  1. visitorlando.com/media/press-releases/post/new-research-finds-central-floridas-tourism-industry-generated-record-876-billion-in-economic-i/
  2. nbcmiami.com/news/local/stuck-in-traffic-miami-is-now-ranked-as-one-of-the-most-congested-cities-in-the-world/3123391/
  3. thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/342942-how-florida-explains-our-polarized-politics/
  4. tallahassee.com/story/news/hurricane/2023/07/26/florida-hurricane-forecast-june-amo-highest-since-1854-odds-higher-impacts-landfall/70469220007/
  5. /palmbeach.floridaweekly.com/articles/growth-brings-challenges-diversity/
  6. wesh.com/article/cost-of-living-florida/43030786
  7. fdle.state.fl.us/News/2022/November/Florida-crime-rate-drops-for-record-50-year-low
  8. clickorlando.com/news/local/2023/03/08/majority-of-people-dont-feel-safe-in-downtown-orlando-new-survey-shows/
  9. moneywise.com/insurance/home/american-nightmare-for-the-average-joe-florida
  10. floridatrend.com/article/36235/floridian-home-prices-increased-735-over-past-five-years

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Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.