In recent years, Florida has experienced a notable increase in residents leaving the state. It has become clear to some people that Florida isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. The extreme political division, increasing taxes and insurance costs, and the ongoing culture war led many new Florida residents to move out almost as soon as they showed up. 

Over 700,00 Americans Relocated To Florida In 2022

According to the Census Bureau, approximately 700,000 Americans relocated to Florida in 2022, ranking it as the fasting- growing state in the country.

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However, that same year about 500,000 residents chose to leave the state in their rearview. Clearly each individual had their own unique set of reasons for leaving, the general consensus included, increase in property taxes, soaring insurance costs, extreme weather and frustrating traffic, and the ever-intensifying culture war.   

Home Insurance Costs Too Expensive 

A surge in property taxes is closely tied to the increase in housing costs, combined with the frustration of inflation in the state, which is also occurring in all 50 states, not just Florida.   

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New Florida residents have mentioned that their home costs insanely high compared to what they are used to paying living in other states.    

Moved To Florida To Avoid Income Tax

Being one of only nine states in the US that doesn’t have a few for income tax makes Florida a desirable living option for many. 

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Sadly, the no income tax isn’t entirely accurate. The median property tax in Florida increased from $2,226 in 2019 to $3,003 in 2023, and experts believe that number will continue to increase by 6% every year for the foreseeable future. Afterall the state has to recoup its money somehow, somewhere. 

Homeowners Insurance 

Homeowners insurance skyrocketed by 42% in 2023, with the new statewide average being  $6,000 a year.

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In Florida homes are now just as costly as other states, and the property taxes are equal to, or in some circumstances, even higher.   

7 Hurricanes In 2023

The 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season was especially distressing for Florida residents. The state saw 7 hurricanes and 21 storms, three of which were considered major, and one, Hurricane Idalia, left a huge mess in its wake.

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Hurricane Idalia hit Keaton Beach, Florida, on August 30, 2023. It caused serious flooding and destroyed nearly 6,000 homes.    

Not A Permanent Vacation

Many people relocate to Florida in search of the endless vacation lifestyle, however that just isn’t how things roll out once you are settled.  

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Instead of nonstop beach days, trips to Disney World, and pool side cabanas, residents find themselves worrying about hurricanes wrecking their homes, feeling stuck in the suburbs, and battling overwhelming traffic.    

Several Downfalls

Recent arrivals note that living in Florida isn’t what they expected. From bumper-to-bumper traffic to extreme weather, the Sunshine State came as a disappointment to many hopeful Americans.

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Jodi Cummings, who moved from Connecticut to Florida in 2021, told the press, “It wasn’t the utopia on any level that I thought it would be. I thought Florida would be an easier lifestyle, I thought the pace would be a little bit quieter, I thought it would be warmer. I didn’t expect it to be literally 100 degrees at night. [It’s] not anything like I thought it would be.”

Controversial Politics

Politics will inevitably have an influence on every state, especially with the impending presidential election. However, Florida’s political landscape is significantly more polarized than others. 

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Governor Ron DeSantis, has made numerous decisions over the past few years that has created a deep divide among the states residents. From passing the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” to removing books about race in schools, fighting publically with Disney, and changing abortion laws, DeSantis has single-handedly created an internal culture war throughout the state. 

Blue Vs. Red

In addition to these growing concerns, many Americans feel as though the biggest issue in Florida is the continuing culture war between Red and Blue residents.

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As Barb Carter, who moved from Kansas to Florida to be closer to her grandchildren, explained, “You cannot engage in a conversation there without politics coming up; it is just crazy. We’re retired. We’re supposed to have a fun time in our lives. I learned quickly [to] just keep your mouth shut because I saw people in my own community break up their friendships over it. I don’t like losing friends, especially over politics.”  

Florida Should Scare Americans

While some Florida residents applaud the governor for his extreme right-wing policies, many others, including some within the Republican party, are unimpressed with his aggressive decisions.

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Democratic US Representative Maxwell Frost from Florida told the press, “What’s been happening … in Florida should scare every single person across the entire country… [it] should frighten anyone who values democracy, voting rights, civil rights, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness.” 

Isn’t The Promised Land

While it’s too early to tell what lies ahead for the state of Florida, the unfortunate truth is that the state simply cannot deliver the peaceful, affordable, and beautiful life that its postcards promote. 

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If there isn’t a noticeable change, Florida will most likely see even more residents packing their bags in 2024, this will include many who just recently arrived and found themselves wildly disappointed.