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Florida leads nation as destination for residents moving from other states

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(The Center Square) — A new batch of U.S. Census Department data confirmed Florida as the top destination for U.S. citizens moving from one state to another.

From April 1, 2020 to July 1 of this year, Florida had a net migration gain of 818, 762, according to the Census Bureau. That was the most of any state.

Texas came in second, gaining 656,220 followed by North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

California was at the bottom of the list, with a net loss of 1.19 million, with New York coming in second to last with a loss of 882,676 and New York and Illinois at a negative 364,443.

“People vote with their feet,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said recently on Florida’s attraction to residents of other states. “We have had significant in-migration into the state of Florida. Of course, you see the places people are leaving, like California and Illinois, and New York, they all have similar governing philosophies, and people really are fleeing the poor results of those policies.”

The governor said people are moving to Florida, “Because they like the way we’ve done business here. And that’s great but I’m not even asking for people to come.”

Other governors “are just begging anyone to come to their state, but I have not done that,” DeSantis said.

Migration is accounting for all the growth in Florida’s population since the 2020 pandemic, Stefan Rayer, Population Program Director of the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research told The Center Square.

“Natural change — the balance between births and deaths — has been negative since 2020,” Rayer said. “That is, all the growth is coming from migration.”

From 2020 to 2022, domestic migration accounted for more than three quarters of total net migration in Florida, he said.

“International migration was very low at the start of the decade due to the pandemic, but it has increased since, almost reaching the level of domestic migration over the past year,” said Rayer.

Although Florida was still the largest net recipient of domestic migrants in 2022–23, the number of those migrants by almost 125,000 from the year before, Rayer said.

“It’s too soon to tell whether this is the start of a new trend, but migration, whether domestic or international will likely keep driving the state’s population growth going forward,” he said.

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