Is Florida Eating New York's Lunch?

Last year was a banner year for those trading the New York chill for the Florida sun. More Empire Staters packed up and moved to the Sunshine State last year than any year in history; a 39% uptick in relocations. And it’s not just retirees. Unfavorable tax policies, growing homeless populations, and recent crime spikes have all contributed to a Florida population rate that is outpacing New York’s, including so-called one-percenters, such as Donald Trump and Carl Icahn. In fact, recent census data revealed that 1.6 million former New Yorkers (or 8% of Florida’s total population) now call Florida home. Does that mean it’s a better bet? Those who argue “yes” often point to the numbers, which don’t lie, they argue. There is indeed a reason as to why so many New Yorkers are heading south, where their money can last longer, their health can benefit from warmer climates, and their sense of safety can be markedly improved. Others say that ‘blue state’ policies are a better choice in the long run and that as the effects of the pandemic recede, New York will rise in popularity once again. It is in this context that we debate this question: Is Florida Eating New York’s Lunch?