By: Don Driggers
The NY Post recently reported on a phenomenon taking place with the NY population, the defection of New Yorkers, headed to the “Sunshine State” based on Florida motor vehicle records.
According to the Post: At least 33,565 New Yorkers exchanged their NY drivers’ licenses for Florida credentials between September 2020 and March 2021. That is a 32% increase from the same period the prior year, when 25,370 New York driver’s licenses were traded for Florida ones.
The Post also researched where else new Floridians are coming from.
In total, for the 2019-April 2021 period, 104,960 New Yorkers made the switch — far and away leading every other state. Runner-up New Jersey came in second with 53,901. Trailing the Garden State were Georgia (48,143), Illinois (46,042), California (43,801).
New Yorkers are fleeing to Florida for a myriad of reasons, from lower taxes, less COVID restrictions, crime and of course the weather. The state of Florida believes one of the main reasons is that High Schools in Florida have been completely open this year.
Between April 1, 2020 and April 1, 2025, Florida’s population growth is expected to average 308,497 net new residents per year (845 per day), representing a compound growth rate of 1.39% over this five‐year time horizon. These increases are analogous to adding a city slightly larger than Orlando every year, according to Office of Economic & Demographic Research. They attribute it to an apparent shift in lifestyle preferences away from the more dense urban areas found elsewhere.
Numbers crunched from the 2020 census by Pew concluded 16 states in total last year saw population decreases.
California, Massachusetts, and Ohio had been growing throughout the past decade until last year, while Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania began slides in 2019. Longer-term losses continued for Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia, Pew reported.
On the other hand, the big gainers were Texas, up about 374,000 people for the year, and Florida, up about 241,000, though the figures do not take into consideration the coronavirus spikes that happened in those states after July, so the increase is likely even larger.
In percentage terms, the Mountain West states of Idaho (2.1% growth for the year) followed by Arizona (1.8%), Nevada and Utah (1.5%) grew fastest.
In New York, one reason for population loss is that immigrants are no longer starting out in big urban areas as they once did, Maritsa Poros, as associate sociology professor at City University of New York, reported to Pew.
“Immigrants have been moving directly to new destinations in the South and Midwest, states like Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee,” Poros said. Another interesting point from Professor Poros: housing costs in New York have grown prohibitive, many middle-class Black residents have joined the exodus, often choosing the South, as well.