Do Ohio winters have you down? Looking for warmer horizons? Moving from OH to FL might be the solution! From Ohio’s frigid wintertime, followed by dreadful rain to a lackluster economy and job opportunities, it’s easy to see why you might be looking for a change of pace in Florida. And, contrary to popular belief, it’s not just for retirees – the southeastern state is perfect for young people and families, too! Before you leave behind the ice & snow for sandy beaches, sunshine, and activities galore, check out the following key factors you should know about the Sunshine State.

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What to Know About Moving from Ohio to Florida

Ready to leave behind the Buckeye State and say hello to the Sunshine State? If you’re planning on relocating from Ohio to Florida, you’ll want to ponder a few facts. From taxation to cuisine, we’ve created this guide to help you enjoy a smooth, stress-free transition.

Taxes

Yep, taxes. They’re unavoidable. The good news? You’ll pay less in Florida! When considering the overall tax burden, the Sunshine State comes in #46 (a lower rank means lower taxation). In contrast, the Buckeye State lands at the #12 spot. Ouch. Here’s a rundown on taxes by category:

  • Property tax: At 1.37%, Ohio has the 13th highest average effective property tax rate in the country.  By contrast, Florida’s average property tax rate is just .93%.
  • Sales tax: On average, you’ll pay less in sales tax too. The Sunshine State has an average sales tax rate of 7.05%, while the average sales tax rate in the Buckeye State is slightly higher at 7.17%. 
  • Income tax: Perhaps the biggest boon of moving to Florida is the fact that the state doesn’t levy a state income tax! Ohio, on the other hand, collects a graduated state income tax of between 0-5%.

Economy and Job Growth

Another big reason to leave behind Ohio is the lack of job opportunities. According to economy rankings by US News, Ohio currently ranks at a dismal #38 overall. Florida, on the other hand, is sitting at an impressive #9 right now. The Sunshine State is also #12 in terms of the business environment and #3 in growth. Thanks to the beautiful beaches, abundant theme parks, and major cruise ship ports, Florida has a thriving tourism industry. Agriculture, the space industry, and international trade also bolster the state’s economy.

As for unemployment rate and future job growth, the state of Florida wins again with a 3.6% unemployment rate (vs. 4.5% for OH) and 41.6% projected growth over ten years (vs. a disappointing 26.9% for OH). Note: this data is from the beginning of 2020.

Weather and Climate

Sick of intense winters followed by dreary rain? Yearning for more sunshine? You can’t go wrong with Florida! With a winter low of 49°F (compared to 20°F in OH), summer high of 91°F, 237 sunny days (compared to only 173 days in OH), and 55 inches of rain, the Sunshine State definitely earns its nickname. While the state of Ohio sees an average of 28 inches of snowfall, Florida essentially sees zero snow. That means no warming up your vehicle forever, shoveling your driveway, or scraping thick ice off your windshield! Yes, you’ll leave behind distinct four seasons in the Buckeye State. But the tradeoff – year-round warm weather, more sunny days, virtually no snow – is well worth it.

Geography

As you know, the state of Ohio is in the north-central region of the Midwest. It’s composed mainly of rolling plains, with Lake Erie along its northern border. In contrast, Florida is in the southeastern portion of America. It sits on a peninsula, with the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The Bahamas and Cuba are close to the southern shoreline, about 50 and 90 miles away, respectively. Florida is low-lying, flat, and spans two time zones. It has three distinct regions: the Florida Uplands, the East Gulf Plain, and the Atlantic Coastal Plain.

Housing and Cost of Living

Florida has a cost of living index of 102.8, which is slightly higher than the US average of 100 and higher than Ohio’s index of 82.6. What about housing prices in Florida? The median list price in FL is $299,000 (along with a median monthly rent cost of $1,780), while Ohio has a median list price of $169,900 (with a median monthly rent cost of $1,095). Even though Ohio is more affordable, Florida makes up for higher living expenses with a fantastic quality of life, year-round warm weather, better opportunities, and an endless list of activities for young professionals, families, and retirees alike.

Things to Do

It’s hard to compete with Florida when it comes to fun stuff to do. Whether you’re a beach bum, outdoor explorer, night owl, or theme park fanatic, there’s always something for everyone to do in the Sunshine State. Home to The Most Magical Place on Earth (aka Walt Disney World), there are numerous theme parks perfect for families and the young at heart. Couple that with tropical islands, vibrant nightlife, 1,350 miles of coastline & beaches, state & national preserves, boating, fishing, hiking, camping, hunting, live music, arts, and shopping excursions, and you’ll never be bored again!

Educational Opportunities

When it comes to education rankings, Florida is shining bright! Currently ranked #3 in the United States, the Sunshine State a leader in education. It even holds the #1 spot for higher education. Very impressive! Ohio, for comparison, sits at #31 (along with being only #38 in higher education). Speaking of higher education, the best colleges & universities in FL include the University of Florida (#34 national ranking), Florida State University (tied for #57), the University of Miami (tied for #57), University of South Florida (#104), and the University of Central Florida (tied for #106 in the United States).

Culture, Diversity, and Demographics

Are you looking for a place with a more diverse culture and people? Florida is the place to be! Comprised of a wide variety of influences – the Caribbean, Latin American, Southern, European, the list goes on – the Sunshine State is a beautiful melting pot. When looking at race & ethnicity demographics, we can see the difference. Ohio is nearly 80% White, followed by 12% Black, 4% Hispanic & Latino, 2% Asian, and less than 1% indigenous American. Florida is 53% White, 26% Hispanic & Latino, 15% Black, 3% Asian, and less than 1% indigenous American.

Transportation and Traffic

Aside from how hard traveling around Ohio can be during winter – the ice, the snow, the potholes, the windshield scraping, and so on – how does transportation stack up? When considering transportation rankings, Ohio does pretty well at #14. But Florida does even better at #7. This overall score includes high ratings in road quality (#7) and bridge quality (#3). As for commute times, it’s a different story. The state of Ohio comes in at #36 (the lower, the better) with an average commute time of 23.6 minutes. Unfortunately, Florida is #12 for the slowest commutes with an average time of nearly 28 minutes.

Crime Rates

Overall, Ohio is a safer state than Florida. Based on public safety rankings, the Buckeye State comes in at #22 (along with #25 in low property crime rate and #18 in low property crime rate). Florida takes the #30 spot overall (ranking #28 in low property crime rate and #31 in low property crime rate). When we rank major cities, the story is a little different. Cleveland, OH, has a violent crime index of 72.5 and a property crime index of 74.5. Jacksonville FL has much lower crime rates, currently holding a violent crime index of 26.6 and a property crime rate of 40.7.

Food

In Ohio, it’s about no-frills comfort foods. Burgers, corned beef, cheese conies…you know the drill. That’s fine if that’s your thing, but if you’re looking for something unique or with a bit more flair, Florida is the place to eat! The list of delicious items is mouth-watering: super-fresh oranges, kumquats, strawberries (and strawberry shortcake), Cuban sandwiches, conch fritters, gator bites (yes, alligator), smoked fish, stone crab, Apalachicola oysters, and Cedar Key clams. Working with a melting pot of influences – Caribbean, European, Latin, Southern – there’s something delicious for everyone!

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Best Places to Live in Florida

Not sure where to live in the Sunshine State? These are some of the best places to call home:

Sarasota

The number one reason people move to Florida is for its unparalleled weather, and in this regard, Sarasota certainly doesn’t disappoint. If you are searching for sunny days, consider little Sarasota. With a population of about 56,000, Sarasota is not an enormous city, but it may be one of the best places to live in the entire country.

Sarasota, FL

Jacksonville

The ever-growing Jacksonville is home to 1.3 million people, making it the most populous city in the Sunshine State. Situated in the Northeastern part of Florida close to the Georgia border, this city is an economic and cultural hub. Learn more about moving to Jacksonville.

Jacksonville, FL

Miami

Miami is another big city location with beautiful beaches. As with all big cities, this metropolis in South Florida has some crime and slightly higher costs of living than elsewhere in the state, but if you love the city life and a buzzing nightlife, Miami, FL might be a perfect fit!

Miami, FL

Palm Beach & West Palm Beach

About 70 miles north of Miami, Palm Beach is another desirable location in South Florida. This island, with a population of about 8,000 residents, is a top vacation destination, thanks to its gorgeous golf courses and pristine beaches. Learn more about living here.

Palm Beach, FL

Naples

Naples is a place known for its high incomes and equally high home values. This town is a millionaire’s playground, with high-end brand-name shopping and tranquil sandy beaches. Learn more about living in this posh corner of Florida here.

Naples, FL

Fort Myers

This Gulf Coast city has seen dramatic population growth in recent years – estimates show that approximately 80,000 people call Fort Myers home. A major tourist destination, Fort Myers, has a bustling economy and plentiful job opportunities that attract people who come for vacation and decide to stay. Sound appealing? Find out if living in Fort Myers is right for you.

Fort Myers, FL

Cost of Moving from Ohio to Florida

On average, it costs about $3000-$4000 to move from Ohio to Florida. Though this might sound expensive, consider that you are hauling your stuff about 1,059 miles across the country. 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 Ohio 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