Whether you're just starting to consider relocating for another state or you've already planned the logistics of your interstate move, uprooting your life and settling down somewhere new can be as stressful as it is exciting. To help you decide where to move and get to know your know state, our Where To Move in 2021 guide explores the unique attributes of some of the most popular states people move to, including cost of living, climate and geography, employment, and cultural attractions.
1. Fast facts
Find out where the over 580,000 Americans who moved to Florida in 2018 relocated from.
We've collected data on house prices, household income, and cost of living for Jacksonville.
Compare the Sunshine State's average temperature and precipitation against the national average.
Discover the best cities in the state for jobs and top industries in Florida.
Learn about Florida's unique food and drink, arts and culture, outdoor activities, and sports.
|Total population: 21,477,737
Median age: 42.4
Largest city: Jacksonville
Florida is the most popular state to move to, with over 587,000 Americans making the move to the Sunshine State in 2018. Where exactly do all these new Floridians come from?
2. Cost of Living in Florida
*Cost of living data is not available at the state level. In this article, cost of living data is based on the largest city in the state.
House prices in Jacksonville, Florida’s largest city, are about 49.5% below the national average.
The cost of living in Jacksonville on par with the national average, with a 25% lower median household income.
Here's how the cost of living in Jacksonville breaks down:
Cost of Living
|Jacksonville, FL||United States||Difference|
|Basic utilties (based on 915 sq ft apartment)||$137.59||$160.89||-17.5%|
|Food (per person, monthly)||$373.19||$343.43||+8.0%|
2. Florida Climate and Geography
Florida features a diverse landscape of islands, marshes, springs, and swamps, as well as small lakes, rivers, and ponds. The state is divided into four regions:
Gulf Coast/Atlantic Ocean coastal plains: Generally flat, and fronted by barrier islands, sandy beaches, and coral reefs
Upland hilly area in the north and northwest: Rolling hills that stretch across the Florida Panhandle.
Swampy Everglades: In the far south, the Everglades are a protected area by numerous bays, channels, small lakes, and thousands of tiny islands.
Florida Keys: An archipelago of about 1,700 islands stretching southwest from the southeastern tip of the Florida peninsula to the Gulf of Mexico.
Thanks to its subtropical latitudes and its proximity to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Sunshine State is known for its hot, humid summers and mild winters. It’s not all sunshine, though—Florida is also prone to severe weather such as hurricanes.
- Britton Hill: The state’s highest point, at 345 feet above sea level.
- Everglades: An officially designated International Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site, the Everglades are the largest subtropical wilderness in the country, with an average elevation of just 8 feet above sea level.
4. Employment in Florida
According to Forbes, the Sunshine State is the 5th best state in the country for business, with 2.5% job growth.
11 cities made WalletHub’s list of the top cities for jobs, with Orlando in the top spot at #3 and Hialeah bringing up the rear in the 159th spot.
- THE GOOD: Orlando offers the most job opportunities in the country. Hialeah also exhibits some of the nation’s highest employment growth. If you’re looking for a short commute, Tallahassee has the second shortest average work and commute time.
- THE BAD: Miami has some of the least affordable housing in the country. Miami and Hialeah also have some of the lowest median annual incomes.
Here’s how all 11 cities that made the list rank:
|113||Port St. Lucie||50.32|
Top industries in Florida include:
- Hospitality and tourism
- International trade—40% of all US exports to Latin and South America pass through Florida
- Aerospace and aviation
Major employers and corporations with headquarters in Florida include:
- Disney Cruise LInes
- Office Depot
- Royal Caribbean International
- Spirit Airlines
5. Florida Culture and Entertainment
Food and drink
Fresh seafood, tropical fruit, and of course, key lime pie, reign supreme in the Sunshine State. There are lots of other cuisines to explore thanks to the large number of transplants from other states and regions, including “Floribbean” cuisine—a Florida twist on other culinary traditions, often with southern, Caribbean, or Asian influence.
Arts and culture
Get your culture fix at one of Florida’s many food, art, and cultural festivals, celebrating everything from frog legs and kumquats to seafood and shark teeth. History buff? Check out the St. Augustine Historic District, built in the 17th century, or for something a little more recent, take a trip to the Kennedy Space Center—the site of some of the most important shuttle launches in American history.
If you prefer your arts and culture to come with an added dose of adrenaline, Florida is home to some of the nation’s best amusement parks, including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens and the second largest Legoland in the world.
If golf is your game, look no further than Florida—Florida has more golf courses than any other state. If you prefer to relax, you’re in luck too. The Sunshine State is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, so there are miles of beaches to explore, and there are more than 700 natural hot springs throughout the state where you can soak away your sorrows.
Active folks will enjoy Everglades National Park—the second largest national park in the country, spanning 1.5 million acres of subtropical marshes and swamps. Dry Tortugas National Park and Wekiwa State Park are also both worth a trip.
The Sunshine State is home to a number of pro sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays (MLB), Miami Heat and Orlando Magic (NBA), Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL), and the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL). Baseball fans in particular will appreciate that Florida hosts spring training from the MLB’s Grapefruit League every year. And of course, we can’t forget the Daytona 500, which kicks off racing season every February at the Daytona National Speedway.