Fun in the sun, Top 10 economy, no income tax – Florida is an enticing move for many New Yorkers. Whether you want to escape the concrete jungle of NYC or the brutal winters of Buffalo, the state of Florida is a super popular destination. With year-round warmth, much lower cost of living, vibrant culture, and a host of activities & opportunities, it’s a pretty clear winner! Relocating from NY to FL offers a plethora of benefits, but before you head down to the Sunshine State, be sure to check out this convenient guide for a seamless transition.

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What to Know About Moving from New York to Florida

For many New Yorkers looking for a sunny change of scenery, moving to Florida is at the top of the list. From taxes to things to do and eat, here are a few things you should know.

Taxes

First off, it’s always a good idea to know how much you’ll have to hand over. But you’ll be pleasantly surprised. New York is notorious for taxation. The northeastern state takes the #1 spot for the highest taxes in the nation. Florida lifts the heavy tax burden from your shoulders in several ways. Currently ranked #46 out of 50 states for overall tax burden, the Sunshine State takes less out of your pocket. First off, the state of Florida doesn’t assess a personal income tax; by comparison, NY state taxes income on a graduated scale with rates that range between 4% and 8.82%. The base sales tax rate in New York is 4% (though in places like NYC, it’s as high as 8.875%, after tacking on the city and local taxes). In Florida, the base rate is higher, at 6%, but depending on the city, you may pay an overall sales tax rate than you did in New York. For example, the total sales tax rate in Miami is 7%.  Finally, Florida’s average effective property tax rate is just .98%, which is below the US average of 1.08%. This rate is substantially lower than New York’s effective property tax rate of 1.68%.

Economy and Job Growth

New York State is home to NYC, one of the greatest cities in the world for business and commerce. However, as a whole, NY doesn’t rank particularly well when it comes to overall economic ranking. Florida, on the other hand, keeps shining! While New York sits at #33, the state of Florida breaks the Top 10 at #9. It comes in #12 for the business environment, #31 for employment, and an outstanding #3 for growth. For comparison, the state of New York is #23 in the business environment, #39 in employment, and #37 in growth – not exactly stellar. And as of the beginning of 2020, Florida comes out on top in terms of both the unemployment rate (3.9% vs. 4.2% in NY) and future job growth (41.6% vs. 30.7% in NY).

Weather and Climate

Are you looking for an escape from frigid winters? The changing of the seasons can be nice, but when you have to deal with particularly brutal winter weather year after year, it might be time switching things up. In Florida, you don’t have to contend with icy roads, snow shovels, or windshield scrapers – there’s virtually no snow here! With a winter low of 49°F and summer high of 91°F, the Sunshine State sees about 55 inches of rainfall (compared to 47 inches in NY) and nearly 240 sunny days (compared to 224 in NY). One downside is the humidity, but in our opinion, it’s worth the year-round.

Geography

Both states sit along the Atlantic Ocean, but that’s basically where the similarities end. Located in the southeastern corner of the continental US, Florida sits on a peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Cuba and the Bahamas are reasonably close, only about 50 and 90 miles off the southern coast. Florida is also an extremely flat state with miles of beaches contrasting the geography of NY, which is dominated by mountains, lakes, and forests. Three regions define the Sunshine State: the Florida Uplands, the East Gulf Plain, and the Atlantic Coastal Plain.

Housing and Cost of Living

Aside from the weather, this is probably the top reason for relocating from New York to Florida. There’s no two ways about it, New York State (and especially NYC) is super expensive. The current cost of living index is a jaw-dropping 187.2 (compared to the US average index of 100). Florida only has a cost of living index of 102.8, just slightly above the US average. And it keeps getting better. The median home list price in Florida is $299,000, along with a median monthly rent price of $1,780. NY State has a median list price of about $328,677 and a median monthly rent price of $3,200. If you’re coming from New York City, where the median list price is $652,307, you’re sure to breathe a sigh of relief.

Things to Do

Of course, New York is home to one of the greatest metropolises on the globe. But Florida is in a league of its own in many respects. When it comes to fun stuff to do, the Sunshine State has one of the highest concentrations of destinations, activities, and experiences of any state. Want to lounge on a tropical island? Check. Want to party through the night? Check. Want to see 1,350 miles of coastline and beaches? Check. Want to explore the amazing landscape and wildlife of a swamp? Check. And let’s not forget to mention that Florida is home to The Most Magical Place on Earth – Walt Disney World!

Educational Opportunities

This fact might or might not come as a shock, but Florida is definitely a powerhouse when it comes to education rankings. Currently sitting in third place in the country (just behind New Jersey and Massachusetts), the Sunshine State also holds the #1 rank in higher education. Acclaimed colleges & universities in Florida include University of Florida (#34 nationally), Florida State University (tied for #57), the University of Miami (tied for #57), University of South Florida (#104), the University of Central Florida (tied for #166 nationally), and Florida Institute of Technology (tied for #202 nationally).

Culture, Diversity, and Demographics

As a gateway for immigrants, New York is a place of diversity and history. NYC, in particular, is one of the most ethnically & culturally vibrant cities in the world. That said, Florida is no slouch, either. When considering the most diverse states in the US, Florida comes in at #8 (compared to #5 for NY). This diversity is attributable to its immigrant history, along with substantial contributions from the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and the South. As for race & ethnicity demographics, Florida is 53% White, 26% Hispanic & Latino, 15% Black, 3% Asian, and less than 1% indigenous American. New York is 55% White, 19% Hispanic & Latino, 14% Black, 9% Asian, and less than 1% indigenous American.

Transportation and Traffic

Again, you may be surprised, but Florida also scores high in transportation rankings. Holding down the #7 spot, the state ranks high in several categories: public transit usage (#18), road quality (#7), and bridge quality (#3). New York does come in at a respectable #16, which is bolstered by the Big Apple. As for commute times, Florida sits in traffic at the #12 spot, with an average of 27.8 minutes. Guess who takes the crown for the slowest commutes? You guessed it – New York at 33.7 minutes.

Crime Rates

Are you concerned about crime? When it comes to public safety rankings, Florida has a little room for improvement. It’s not at the bottom of the list, but at #30, it sits in the middle of the pack. New York, in contrast, fares better at #12. When comparing violent crime, Florida comes out on top with an index of only 23.4 vs. 28.2 for NY. Property crime goes to New York, with an index of 24.9 vs. 37.3 for Florida.

Food

The food, the food, the food. Okay, you might be coming from the Big Apple. It’s hard to compete with the wide diversity of cuisine there. But there’s a magic to the food in Florida. Chalk it up to being kissed by year-round sun or the colorful tapestry woven by multiple influences (the Caribbean, Latin, Southern, European, the list goes on). Like seafood? We got stone crab, smoked fish, Cedar Key clams, Apalachicola oysters, and more. Like super fresh fruit? Our oranges, strawberries, and kumquats are legendary. Are you looking for something different? Try the local delicacies of conch fritters and gator bites. Of course, you can’t leave out Cuban sandwiches, key lime pie, and strawberry shortcake!

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Best Places to Live in Florida

The Sunshine State is full of sun-kissed locales to call home. Here are some of the best:

Tampa

Nestled on Tampa Bay, just east of the Gulf of Mexico, the Big Guava enjoys breathtaking weather year-round, a stable economy, and thriving communities. With some of the country’s most beautiful beaches just a short drive away, living in Tampa may feel like a permanent vacation.

Cape Coral

Also known as the “Waterfront Wonderland,” Cape Coral sits just across the Caloosahatchee River from Fort Meyers. Miles of canal waterways and access to the Gulf make this one of the top sailing and fishing destinations in the country. If you love life on the water, Cape Coral may be the place for you. Click here to read more.

Miami

The southernmost metropolitan area in the contiguous U.S., vibrant and bustling Miami, is home to approximately 500,000 residents (though the greater metro area boasts a population of 6.2 million). Here, you can soak in the Art Deco architecture of Miami Beach or hop in the car for a day trip down to the Florida Keys. One thing’s for sure – you’ll never run out of things to do in sunny Miami.

Hollywood

If Miami’s hustle and bustle isn’t quite your speed, look north to Hollywood. Sitting between Fort Lauderdale and Miami, this South Florida town is home to about 150,000 residents. While it’s not the Hollywood of the silver screen, Florida’s version has 7 miles of beaches, 60 parks, and a robust job market. Find out more about moving to Hollywood, FL.

Jacksonville

Florida’s largest city (by size and population) boasts the most extensive urban park system in the country, plus access to beautiful beaches, a thriving job market, and affordable living. Learn more about living in JAX with our helpful Jacksonville moving guide.

Lakeland

Located between Tampa and Orlando, Lakeland is known for its quaint old Florida charm and beautiful historical architecture. Affordable home prices, a growing job market, and proximity to Florida beaches and attractions are just a few reasons why young families, professionals, and retirees are attracted to the Lakeland lifestyle.

West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is what you get when you mix white sandy beaches, palm trees, and a tropical climate with designer shops, historic architecture, and well-manicured country clubs. Known for its shopping and tourism, about 100,000 people call this suburb community home, and they enjoy the best of Southern Florida living. Learn more about moving to West Palm Beach.


Cost of Moving from New York to Florida

On average, it costs about $3000-$5000 to move from New York to Florida. Though this might sound expensive, consider that you are hauling your stuff about 1150 miles down the East Coast. The total cost of your move will depend on several variables, including your origin and destination cities, the time of year you’re moving, the size of your household, and which services you require. The best way to get an accurate estimate is by scheduling an in-home or virtual (no contact) walkthrough with a licensed and insured interstate mover. Get free moving quotes from the best New York to Florida movers now!

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Devin Barroga

Ever been bitten by the wanderlust bug? It's a powerful force, one which has captivated Devin for his entire life.... Read More