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NYC’s Exodus to Florida: Big businesses, residents fleeing at record levels, despite rosy census data

August 31, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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The rumors of NYC’s death during the pandemic may have been exaggerated, but you should probably hold your applause, according to data, trends and research. 

An in-depth look shows record-breaking departures from the City that Never Sleeps to the Sunshine State — and not just by residents. Business bastions of NYC’s prestige and tax base — including hedge funds and tech firms — are also fleeing the city or being outpaced by growth in Florida. 

More than 33,000 New Yorkers Moved to Florida in Just Ten Months

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More than 33,500 New Yorkers have moved to Florida between September 2020 and March 2021, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

That’s a whopping 32 percent increase from the same period the prior year, when 25,370 made the move. In total, for the 2019-April 2021 period, 104,960 New Yorkers left to Florida.

The 2020 Census: NY Growth is Modest, While Florida Doubles National Average 

Recently-released 2020 Census data showed NY city and state growing over the past decade; defying experts’ predictions and spurring applause from publications and electeds. 

New York State experienced a modest upswing last decade, up 823,000 people, or 4.2 percent. But, the national gain was 7.4 percent.

Florida, on the other hand, nearly doubled the national growth, with its population growing 14.6 percent from 18.8 million residents in 2010 to 21.5 million in 2020.

Florida’s cities growth out spur NYC

Miami also beat NYC in this regard, with 8.8% growth from 2010 to 2020, compared to 7.7 percent for the Big Apple. 

One must also keep in mind that unlike NYC, Florida is not restricted to Miami as the only desired metro area. As the Tampa Bay Times notes, a majority of Florida counties — nearly all of them in the most populous areas of the state with metropolitan cities — saw increases.    

Some are returning back to NYC as pandemic resides, but nowhere near the rate of Florida’s growth

Mail forwarding data from USPS suggests Americans are returning to major East Coast cities, Jefferies analysts said in a recent note. Manhattan saw 4.3% of households move out during the pandemic – but only regained 0.31% of occupancy through May and June.

On the other hand, four of the top five fastest-growing cities were in the major Florida hubs of Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, and Tampa, according to the report. 

The Ultra-Rich Escaping NY’s “Tax Hell” for a Brighter Future in Florida

New York City’s millionaires pay the highest personal income taxes in the nation – 14.8% for the highest earners with city and state taxes. On the polar opposite, Florida charges zero personal income tax. And, according to the Orlando Sentinel, nearly all Florida businesses avoid the state’s corporate income tax, with lawmakers turning a blind eye.  

Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s CFO, told Fox Business in May that about 900 people a day were moving to the state, citing the “tax hell” of New York as a prime example. 

“Let’s just talk about the empty nesters from New York, or the empty nesters from New Jersey,” Patronis said. “They then decide to leave the tax hell that those states are in and move to the state of Florida.”

Partnership for New York City says Businesses Setting Up Offices Outside the City Because of Tax Increase

The Partnership of NYC represents many of the city’s largest businesses, leaders, and employers. The partnership’s executive committee includes JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser and Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman.

Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, told CNBC “that business leaders are hearing from employees and potential recruits about the need to set up offices in states outside of New York in order for them to avoid paying higher tax rates.”

Florida is actively courting New Yorkers to Move

“In contrast, governors and mayors in Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Maryland, to name just a few, have established aggressive programs to recruit talent and attract jobs from New York to their lower cost, lower taxed regions,” wrote The Partnership of NYC to the State Legislature. 

“Florida’s Chief Financial Officer sent a letter to the New York Stock Exchange outlining the advantages of moving to the ‘Sunshine State.’ Miami is distributing promotional material comparing its quality-of-life metrics and taxes to New York City,” the letter continued. 

Hedge Funds Are Ready to Get Out, While Florida Cities Beat NYC for Fastest Tech Growth 

NYC has struggled to retain the world’s richest firms with its high taxes, but with the new tax hikes, some of Wall Street’s biggest names, including Goldman Sachs, Apollo Global Management, Point 72 Asset Management, and others are consider greener pastures, especially Florida, sources from Bloomberg say. 

When it comes to the explosive tech industry, NYC, a longstanding innovation hub, has competition with Florida, Forbes reports, as “a new Great Migration” has caused thousands of startups (and billions in capital) to flow to Miami and Tampa, which are now ranked with the Big Apple as the top five emerging tech cities. 

Does Census give you the entire picture? NYC’s exodus likely continued afterwards

One must keep in mind that the Census was conducted between April 1 – October 2020, and may not give a full picture of NYC’s exodus due to Covid, ABC 7 NY argues. 

Rising Prices Likely Won’t Help, Either 

Although NYC real estate prices plummeted during the pandemic, they have skyrocketed since. While it may be a boon for real estate firms and the wealthy willing to front the cost, many report that Florida’s cheaper housing and cost of living are too enticing to stay. 

While NYC has always been expensive, this month, the Big Apple overtook reigning champ San Francisco as the most expensive city for rentals – the first time since 2104 – a report by apartment listing site Zumper found.

And, this month, New York ranked the #1 least affordable city in the U.S., according to the RealtyHop Housing Affordability Index.

While there is much to be celebrated about NYC defying the odds of shrinking, Florida is gaining ground. And with Florida’s warm weather, lower cost-of-living, and drastically lower taxes, NYC will have to fight hard in this post-pandemic recovery to keep the mantle as the nation’s business capitol.


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12 Comments

  1. parkslopedog

    There are 48 states on the mainland; many have low taxes, better quality of life, low crime rates, employment opportunities, good healthcare, and normal people who mind their own business. Those states are experiencing rapid growth as well. Be careful of moving to a state full of escapees from NYC who will turn the state into another urban Marxist hellhole so that you end up where you started. The state where I bought a 5-bedrm 14-acre horse property with 2 outbuildings and a 2-car heated garage for the price of a tiny studio in Brooklyn, the word got out fast that New Yorkers had moved in. A neighbor came to introduce himself and to check us out. It didn’t take long for him to find out that we weren’t going to change their way of life. That word got out fast, too, and they’ve been welcoming and helpful. As a line in “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” goes, “Why die there [NYC] when you can die here?”

  2. Was this article subsidized by the Florida Chamber of Commerce?? Not a word about the horrendous rise in Covid infections caused by the deadly irresponsibility of Florida’s governor and the public’s wanton refusal to wear masks and get vaccinated? New Yorkers who move to Florida (and Texas for that matter) need to have their head examined.

    • You needed to have your head examined if you cannot see the many problems and needless regulations of living in a totalitarian city like NYC. I wanted to switch from oil boiler to gas and several plumbers said they were not interested in the job because my house was in NYC and not Long Island. They did not want to deal w/ NYC paperwork! Ex-NYC democrat who immigrated to USA in 1966, now politically independent. Also vaccinated & pro-vaccination.

  3. FlatbushFred

    This is no surprise, since Florida has a lot to offer: unlimited COVID infection, overflowing hospital emergency and ICU rooms, unspeakable heat and humidity in the summer, an increasing number of hurricanes, and a Governor and Legislature that make Donald Trump look like a progressive.

    • Andrew Porter

      Best of all, NYC supplies a steady stream of old NYers who move to and die in Florida. And the building boom there is literally based on a porous stone foundation through which, every year, the tides lap higher and higher…

  4. cathylovesyou

    We have always said when NYC has its downturns, it will be back. Well the problem for many years now is real Tax paying New Yorkers keep leaving and are replaced by blue collar third world people. Thus lowering our culture, schooling, quality of life while increasing our needs for more Policing, welfare setting up the end of NY”s comebacks.

  5. Marc Curtis Little

    As a so-called Floridian (you’re never a Floridian if you’re not “from” Florida; notice the quotation marks) who moved to Jacksonville in 1972 as a 20-year old college grad, I am preparing to move back to my Newark, NJ home. Nearly fifty years of the South—most notably Florida—is enough for me. When I leave this Earthly dwelling, I want to be buried with dirt, not filthy sand and rising water, covering my casket. Jersey and Tri-State, I coming home!

  6. Jose R. Sanchez

    As one of the world’s major capital city, NYC is not doing away anytime soon. Economists estimate that about 35% of total U.S. GDP comes from NYC. Not too shabby for a city that people are desperate to leave. And the rise in real estate prices is due, believe it or not, to rising demand. That’s how capitalism works. The city has problems. But we also have solutions. Public housing and health originated here. The solutions to the U.S. falling economic status will come from NYC. Florida will simply be part of the problem with a dominant car culture, bad social and economic policies, climate change assault, residents who resist paying taxes and for the government remedies they desperately need, as well as a continuing rise in the # of retirees compared to the number of young wage earning, tax paying, and productive workers.

  7. Jose R. Sanchez

    As one of the world’s major capital city, NYC is not doing away anytime soon. Economists estimate that about 35% of total U.S. GDP comes from NYC. Not too shabby for a city that people are desperate to leave. And the rise in real estate prices is due, believe it or not, to rising demand. That’s how capitalism works. The city has problems. But we also have solutions. Public housing and health originated here. The solutions to the U.S. falling economic status will come from NYC. Florida will simply be part of the problem with a dominant car culture, bad social and economic policies, climate change assault, residents who resist paying taxes and for the government remedies they desperately need, as well as a continuing rise in the # of retirees compared to the number of young wage earning, tax paying, and productive workers.

  8. Carl Easterling

    I have an Estate for sale, its on the St John’s River in Astor, FL, the best location in fl. 1
    4 mil, 4 bedroom, but buy now before I list it ,, longest boardwalk with boat lift at a nice manatees corner, hotel an restaurant going up with ample boat parking a strait shot across river…8147777525…lv message,
    24806 Bartram rd, astor, fl 32102