The unprecedented population drain from New York to Florida

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Florida’s economic recovery has happened more quickly than in other states, with the second largest drop in unemployment in the nation — and has consequently the state has seen an unusually large influx of young New Yorkers who are looking for work.

While Florida has long been the destination for New York retirees, far less migration has occurred among young adults. According to the five-year American Community Survey conducted by the US Census from 2007 to 2011, the most common ages of migrants to Florida were 18, 19, 21, 24, 28, 40 and 55.  More telling: The number of New Yorkers moving to Florida in their 30s and 40s are about equal to those who are retired.

Why?  Drawing back to my column from this morning, New Yorkers may not be able to afford to remain home, or can’t find work there. 

According to the “Freedom in the 50 States Report”, New York residents have the least freedoms in the nation, taking into consideration a range of fiscal, regulatory and civil rights factors.  While Florida ranked 23rd on this list overall, the Sunshine State ranks a much more favorable 11th regarding its fiscal and business climate.

Floridians may have to wear seat belts, but nobody has suggested that they can’t drink Big Gulps while doing so; and if they earn money selling Big Gulps, they pay no state income taxes on those profits.

In contrast, New Yorkers pay the highest state and local taxes in the country, at 14% of income.  In total, of all the people living in New York in 2000, nearly 9 percent have moved to other states.

Florida’s message? Keep coming here (…and bring some delis with you).