By Gay Cororaton, MIAMI REALTORS® Chief Economist
More people moved into Florida than moved out in 2022, the highest level of net and gross migration since 2005. In 2022, 738,969 people moved to Florida, while 489,905 people moved out of Florida, with a net inflow of 249,064 moving to Florida, according to the US Census Bureau’s state-to-state migration estimates for 2022.
New York, New Jersey, and California are Top Origins of People Moving to Florida ®
Florida gained people (net) from 36 states, led by New York (69,901), New Jersey (37,373), and California (22,144).
There has always been a net migration of New Yorkers into Florida – even during the Great Recession— but the gross and net migration rose to the second highest level in 2022 when 91,201 New Yorkers moved to Florida while 21,300 Floridians moved to New York, with a net flow of 69,901. The number of New Yorkers moving to Florida (gross) is 59% higher than the level in 2019 when just 57,488 people moved to Florida. Compared to 2021, gross migration was down somewhat by 1%. Migration hit its highest level on a net basis (73,022) and gross basis (98,535) in 2005 prior to the Great Recession and housing market crash.
In the case of California, Florida has only had a net migration from this state since 2016, with net and gross migration hitting its highest levels in 2022. In 2022, 50,701 Californians moved to Florida, comprising the second largest out-of-state movers. However, there were 28,557 Floridians moving out to California, yielding a net migration for Florida of 22,144 people (third largest level next to New York and New Jersey). The number of Californians moving to Florida (gross) is up 77% compared to the level in 2019, at 28,628.
Net migration of people from New Jersey has always been positive since 2005 and even during the Great Recession, with gross and net migration hitting its highest level in 2022. In 2022, 47,000 people moved to Florida, and with 9,627 Floridians moving to New Jersey, this state had the second highest net migration flow to Florida, at 37,373. The number of people from New Jersey moving to Florida (gross) is up 67% compared to the level in 2019, at 28,222.
Illinois and Pennsylvania round out the top five. More people have moved from Illinois to Florida than vice-versa since 2005, but the gross migration is the highest in years ( 35,262) and net migration the second highest (21,184). More Pennsylvanians have also moved to Florida than vice-versa since 2005, but gross migration (35,384) and net migration (19,370) are the highest in years.
Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee New York, New Jersey, and California are Top Origins of People Moving to Florida
However, Florida lost population to 14 states and the District of Columbia, led by Georgia (-11,390), North Carolina (-10,319), and Tennessee (-4,667). Florida has always lost population to these three states and the outmigration in 2022 compared to past years is not unusually large compared to past years.
Florida has mostly had a net outflow of people to Georgia since 2005 except in 2019 (+3,446). In 2022, Florida lost people to Georgia (-11,390), an increase compared the prior year ( -4,440).
Florida has also mostly had a net outflow to North Carolina except in 2005 (275), 2009 (671), and 2013 (+4,546). However, the outflow in 2022 is lower than in 2021 (-15,864).
Florida has also mostly had a net outflow to Tennessee since 2005 except in 2012 (634), 2015 (2,011), and 2016 (+3,721). The outflow in 2022 is larger than in 2021 (-2,037), but it is less than in 2019 (-6,966).
Why are People Moving to Florida?
Florida’s warm weather and the absence of a state tax have always been a factor attracting movers to Florida, but what’s causing the rise in net migration to Florida, especially from states like California, New York, and New Jersey in 2021 and 2021? Lower housing costs compared to states like New York, California and New Jersey, a strong job market, and early retirement could be factors in explaining this surge in migration to Florida.
Florida’s home prices and housing costs are still affordable compared to New York, California, and New Jersey, according to our recent analysis of housing costs as of 2022. The annual median selected owner cost in 2022 for owner-occupied units with a mortgage in Florida in 2022 was $20,952 compared to $21,300 nationally. The District of Columbia had the highest annual selected owner costs ($34,716), followed by Hawaii ($32,196), California ($32,076), New Jersey ($30,636), Massachusetts ($29,868), and New York ($28,260). Owner costs were also higher in the states of Washington ($26,724) and Texas ($22,848) than in Florida.
Florida’s strong job growth is also a factor attracting people to the state. In September 2023, Florida’s nonfarm payroll employment was up 3% year-over year compared to 2.1% nationally, and the third highest in the nation after Nevada (3.4%) and Texas (3.1%).
Florida has the highest number of business applications among all states. In 2022, the state had 609,722 business applications, higher than states like California (488,029), New York (297,356) and Texas (467,704).
Early retirement could be partly a reason. Among the 55+ years old population, the labor force participation rate as of September 2023 stood at 38.8%, down from 40.3% in February 2020. The overall labor force participation is at 62.8% compared to 63.3% in February 2020.
 The US Census Bureau’s state-to-state flows are estimated from the American Community Survey and the data series is only available since 2005, except in 2020 when the no estimates were released because of the effect of COVID-19 on data collection. The US Census Bureau also releases a net domestic migration estimate when it releases its population estimate every July 1 and the components of population change. In the July 2022 vintage population estimates, the net domestic migration for Florida from July 1, 2021 to July 1, 2022 was 318,855, which is also higher than the net domestic migration during the period July 1, 2020-July 1, 2021 of 243,933.