Some Positive and Negative Consequences of Florida Becoming the Nation's Fastest-Growing State

L. Cane

For decades, Florida has attracted people who've wanted to move to warmer areas and those who sought a state without an income tax, and who were looking for a lower cost of living.

However, in the past couple of years, the number of people relocating to Florida has increased dramatically. And it's not just retirees that are moving to the sunshine state. This type of Florida migration has meant that, according to the Census Bureau, Florida was the nation's fastest-growing state in 2022.

This type of growth arguably is going to have both positive and negative impacts on the communities and the people who call the sunshine state home. Here are some consequences - both positive and negative - of Florida's dramatic growth.

Economic Growth - People Moving to Florida Bring Their Money With Them and Contribute to Florida's Economy: According to the website for the Office of Florida's Chief Financial Officer, Florida outpaced the nation for economic growth in 2022. Specifically, the site indicated that migration to Florida is bringing in billions of dollars to Florida's economy since those migrating to Florida are large earners.

For example, the average family income of those moving to Florida was cited as $120,832. This is higher than the average family income of Floridians which is said to be around $61,777, according to the Census Bureau.

Higher Home Prices and a Shortage of the Workforce in Some Key Professions: It makes sense that if you have more people wanting to live in existing housing in Florida, then the price of those homes and apartments is going to rise. According to Norada Real Estate investments, between 2020 and 2022, the real estate appreciation rate in Florida was over 50% in some areas.

Rising housing prices have priced some essential and other workers out of the state. And this creates a shortage of essential workers like teachers, firefighters, and nurses. As a result, some Floridians wait longer for doctor's appointments or medical care.

Additionally, many businesses are struggling to find employees to fill lower-paying jobs like wait staff or cashiers. As a result, Floridians are having to serve themselves or use kiosks to compensate for a smaller workforce.

Possible Improved Infrastructure and New Amenities: With so many new residents in Florida, it makes sense that the sunshine state will need improvements to its infrastructure and new schools and other amenities.

Governor Ron DeSantis has recently proposed an infrastructure initiative that, if passed, would invest 4 billion dollars to improve Florida's current infrastructure.

In addition, some Florida cities are building new schools and other amenities to accommodate a growing population. For example, in 2022, southwest Orange County gained two new high schools and a middle school.

Development is Pushing Out Orange Groves, Farms, and Other Natural Attributes: If you've lived in Florida for a long time, you may remember orange groves, farms, and undeveloped beach property from your childhood. But as you look around today, you probably see fewer of these.

As development in Florida becomes more aggressive, you may also see more development in previously sparse areas.

Realtor and Florida native Sharon Wooten told VOA News of Florida:

“It’s changed a lot. The farmland is gone. … I think if we take care of our natural resources, and we don't grow too fast, it's OK. And, I think, if we are choosy about what comes in... “As long as it's good growth, it's OK..."

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