Many believe that driver's license exchange data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is a reliable indicator of where relocators to Florida are coming from. That's because changing one's driver's license to a Florida version shows a desire to become a permanent resident.
Such data shows that large numbers of relocators - more than 500,000 - received Florida driver's licenses in 2022. This data also gives a clear indicator of which states were sending the most relocators to Florida in high numbers in 2022. It also shows the Florida counties that relocators are going to, as follows:
New York: DMV data showed that 64,577 New Yorkers opted for a Florida driver's license in 2022. The amount of state income tax a New Yorker has to pay varies from 4 percent to 10.9 percent. However, Floridians do not pay a state income tax.
The average home in the state of New York is around $413,443. However, in New York City, that average jumps to around $785,000.
In contrast, the average price for a home in Florida is around $405,000.
New Jersey: The garden state had 32,184 license swaps in 2022, which was up just slightly from 2021. New Jersey has a graduated income tax, with rates varying from 1.40 percent to 10.75 percent. The average home price in New Jersey is around $475,000.
California: The golden state had 30,168 license swaps, and while that's less than half of New York's numbers, that is up 98% from 2017, when there were only just over 15,000 swaps. For comparison sake, California's state income tax ranges from 1% to 12.3%. Its average home price is around $760,000.
Where in Florida are Relocators Moving To?: According to Florida Realtors, the top six Florida counties that had the highest population gains were:
Miami-Dade with 59,113
Broward with 40,212
Hillsborough with 38,330
Palm Beach with 37,637
Orange with 37,146 and
Lee with 30,713
It's Possible That New Groups of People are Embracing the Sunshine State: Since Florida may still seem like a bargain to some relocators, some people theorize that new types of residents are heading to the sunshine state.
Fashion designer Alvin Valley told the New York Post that he's seen the demographics of Palm Beach change recently, saying:
“First it was the billionaires. Then it was the rich following behind them. Now you have the middle class.”
Not Everyone is Happy About Florida's New Residents: In 2022, Someone in Florida's Palm Beach county placed notes on cars with New York license plates which read:
“If you are one of those ‘woke’ people — leave Florida. You will be happier elsewhere, as will we."
Law enforcement investigated the matter and determined that there was no criminal wrongdoing.
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