Florida Chamber of Commerce

Breaking Down Migration In and Out of Florida

By: Sheridan Meek, Senior Research Economist, Florida Chamber Foundation

Florida has seen rapid population growth over the past few years, adding over 1 million net new residents since the release of the Florida 2030 Blueprint. Looking ahead to 2024, the Florida Chamber Foundation has forecasted another 225,000-275,000 new Floridians in its recently released economic predictions for 2024.

Florida’s recent historic levels of population growth are due to the exponential changes in overall net migration. However, when you break down the growth by inbound and outbound migration, migration out has remained steady, growing 1.5% per year on average over the past 10 years. Meanwhile, migration into Florida grew an average of 3.7% per year. Trends in these metrics were clear – more and more people are moving into Florida, with little change to the number leaving. However, as we looked at what is happening in Florida’s economy going into 2024 (slower – but not negative – economic growth), we anticipate that a slowing economy will go hand in hand with slower population growth.

This slower migration will be due to increases in out-migration, rather than declines in in-migration. Florida continues to have a reputation as the best place to live and work, which attracts new residents. Florida has seen gains in population over the last 5 years from states like New York, New Jersey, and Illinois, that greatly outpace any migration out of Florida. However, as Florida attracts new residents, the rapid population growth also contributes to higher prices. The low cost of living that Florida used to boast has waned, and those who moved here in pursuit of more affordable living could be looking elsewhere.

Another metric that supports this is where these people are moving. Latest data shows that we lost the most people to Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. These are states with either no income tax and/or a lower cost of living than Florida. The trend remains the same if you go back further – over the past five years we have lost the most net residents to North Carolina, Texas and Georgia. We expect to see a continued outflow of people to those and other similar states in 2024 – but we also see that there is clearly an opportunity to right the ship as affordability increasingly reveals itself to be the big pressure point here.

In the graph below, you can see the comparison of migration into Florida verses migration out of Florida. The past few years, migration into Florida has been the driver of net migration, while migration out has remained steady. So, an expected rise in migration out of Florida, based on trends we are seeing in housing and cost of living, is what will lead to that smaller growth in 2024. Although the growth will be smaller, it will still be substantial, and could even be more sustainable. Gaining residents from 37 of the 50 states over the last five years has created momentum that Florida can capitalize on, especially if this upcoming year’s trends are used as fuel towards protecting Florida’s cost of living and keeping Floridians in Florida.


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