By: Sheridan Meek, Senior Research Economist, Florida Chamber Foundation
|Register for the 2024 Florida Economic Outlook & Jobs Solution Summit to dive into Florida’s record movement to 14th largest economy in the world and other metrics impacting the future of Florida and your business>
In 2018, the Florida Chamber Foundation set off towards the goal of aligning businesses, policy leaders, and philanthropic partners around a strategic plan to create an environment that fosters growth in support of Florida becoming the 10th largest economy (if measured as a country). At that point, if Florida were a country, it would have been the 17th largest economy in the world, competing with the likes of Indonesia and Turkey. To some, this goal may have seemed unrealistic, yet the Florida Chamber Foundation Board of Trustees thought differently and saw the opportunity to unite the business community around a strategic goal to spur economic growth in Florida.
Today, less than halfway through the Florida 2030 Blueprint’s journey to 2030, Florida is now the 14th largest economy in the world. Over the past five years, Florida’s economy has surpassed Indonesia, Spain, and Mexico, adding $510 billion in gross domestic product (GDP), and is now only $570 billion below current #10, Italy’s economy. This economic growth transpired amidst, and after, a global pandemic, highlighting Florida’s resiliency as our economy grew by 55%, further establishing Florida’s global presence.
Florida’s economic size is measured by GDP, which is the total value of all final goods and services produced in Florida – but economic growth is indicated by progress across many facets of Florida’s economy. As we track Florida’s movement on the 39 goals in the Florida 2030 Blueprint’s Six Pillars Framework, we can see how our successes have fueled this jump to 14th largest economy, as well as where opportunities for investments and policy changes exist to champion Florida and grow it to being among the top 10.
When the Florida 2030 Blueprint was published, Florida was in a period of change. While there was excitement around opportunity, there was no aligned vision on how to grow the state’s economy and ensure communities have the tools necessary to achieve economic prosperity. In other words, we knew that no income tax and great weather wouldn’t be enough – Florida needed a research-driven plan to grow responsibly. The Florida 2030 Blueprint sought to foster an environment in Florida that would thrive in a season of change, being able to adapt and grow its education system, workforce, infrastructure, and business climate to not just accommodate this growth, but to advance as an economy exponentially because of it. We, and so many others, have used TheFloridaScorecard.org to benchmark our headway, and we have seen the future of Florida play out right in front of us through the progress in many key areas of Florida’s economy. As we chart the progress towards 2030, it is encouraging to see Florida’s business community more united and results coming to fruition that were first outlined in the Florida 2030 Blueprint.
At the inception of the Florida 2030 Blueprint, Florida’s GDP was $930 billion and has now grown to nearly $1.5 trillion. Florida’s $1.44 trillion (according to most recent annual figures) in gross domestic product ranks us above Mexico and behind South Korea. Florida had 21 million residents at the time and is now nearing 23 million while preparing to see another 2.8 million net new residents by 2030. Florida’s labor force has grown by over a million people in the five years since the Blueprint was released, greatly outpacing the just over 700,000 that were added in the five years prior to its release. At that time, Florida was also realizing an influx of $879,000 per hour in income migration, and today sees five times that, ranking not only #1 in the nation but experiencing more income migration than the rest of the top 10 states combined. People vote with their feet and their income, highlighting Florida’s national and global presence through the influx of people and resources to the state.
Looking at Florida through the Blueprint’s Six Pillars Framework gives insight into how many factors support the state’s economic growth. The Talent Supply and Education Pillar highlights the vital role that the workforce plays in the foundation of an economy, fueling its current growth, diversification, and helping us continue to flourish. Today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce, meaning that the success of today’s students is key to tomorrow’s labor market, business climate, and ultimately, the size of Florida’s economy. Since the Blueprint was released, Florida has experienced an increase of 5.5 percentage points in the portion of Floridians who have a post-secondary degree or certification. This increase is fueled by a top-tier education system. Florida ranks #1 in the country for higher education, as well as #1 for 4-year institution affordability, seeing a nearly 20% decline in inflation-adjusted in-state tuition and fees since 2018.
To grow into a globally competitive economy, Florida has maintained a global presence in trade and tourism. Florida’s exports have increased by 23% since 2018, recovering to new historical peaks after the pandemic. Florida welcomes the highest number of overseas visitors in the country as the tourism industry shows resiliency with new record highs in overall visitation.
The Florida 2030 Blueprint was designed to be bold, not incremental – evidence of the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s belief that the future of Florida is bright. The growth of Florida’s economy to 14th in the world is a substantial movement towards the top 10, a sign that Florida has already turned the past five years of opportunity into success. This rapid economic growth was possible through the Blueprint’s work to support business, policy, and philanthropic leaders to align their efforts and deploy strategic investments. As we look ahead to 2030, the progress Florida has made is the strongest indicator that a competitive and prosperous top 10 global economy is achievable if Florida’s business community continues to unite for good.
Join Me and Your Florida Business Peers Virtually at the January 25 Florida Economic Outlook & Jobs Solution Summit — Florida’s Premier Economic Forecasting Event
The Florida Chamber Foundation’s research team remains dedicated to providing you with the metrics that matter to securing the future of Florida and your business. I hope you and your management team are making plans to join me and your Florida business peers at the virtual 2024 Florida Economic Outlook & Jobs Solution Summit on January 25 from 1:00pm-4:00pm ET. During the Solution Summit, we will discuss important topics impacting the future of your business, including Florida’s workforce shortage, property insurance crisis, income migration, potential impacts of the 2024 election, and more. If you are unable to watch the live summit, it can be viewed up to two weeks post-event.