Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page
Florida, the Sunshine State, beckons with its clear skies, sandy beaches, diverse culture, and vibrant cities. Moving here means embracing a lifestyle of endless summer, rich history, and a blend of influences from around the globe.
Yet, any move, even to a paradise like Florida, comes with challenges and uncertainties. This comprehensive guide is designed to help navigate you through those winding paths by providing essential information, practical advice, and local insights for your move to Florida.
Whether you're drawn by the state's booming job market, retirement opportunities, or the allure of coastal living, we aim to help you transition smoothly into Florida life. So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let's journey together through what could be your new home—Florida!"
✅ The capital of Florida is Tallahassee, but the most populous city is Jacksonville.
✅ Florida is often called "The Sunshine State" due to its warm and sunny climate.
✅ Florida is the 22nd largest state by land area, covering about 65,755 square miles.
✅ The state collects no income tax.
✅ Florida has the longest coastline in the continental US, with 825 miles of beautiful beaches.
✅ Everglades National Park in South Florida is the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles coexist.
✅ Florida produces more than 70% of the country’s oranges.
✅ Florida has a strong job market with an unemployment rate of only 2.6%, well below the national average of 3.7%.
In 2019, the United States Census reported that Florida’s population was 21,477,737. The state's population has seen a massive 14% increase since 2010 when it stood at 18,801,310. This makes Florida the third most populated state after California and Texas.
In terms of race and ethnicity, Florida is quite diverse. According to estimates from the US Census Bureau in 2020, about 58% of the population identified as White alone (not Hispanic or Latino), 15% as Black or African American alone, 3% as Asian alone, and about 27% as Hispanic or Latino of any race.
English is the most widely spoken language in Florida (73%), but there's also a significant Spanish-speaking population. In 2010, about 20% of the population reported speaking a language other than English at home.
According to 2019 data, 20.9% of the population was under 18 years of age, 62.8% were 18 to 64, and 20.1% were 65 years and older. A significant part of Florida’s population comprises elderly people, with many retirees attracted by the warm climate and the absence of state income tax.
One of the biggest draws of Florida is the weather! Florida's climate is generally humid and subtropical in its northern and central regions, and tropical in the southern part.
The state is known for its warm temperatures, with a climate that is divided into two seasons: the hot and rainy season from May to October and the mild and dry season from November to April.
Anyone who has ever been to Florida knows that it is hot and humid, particularly in summer, with temperatures typically ranging from the high 80s to mid-90s Fahrenheit (31-35 degrees Celsius), though temperatures can occasionally rise.
Winters are milder, with temperatures ranging from the 60s to the 70s Fahrenheit (16-26 degrees Celsius) in most areas. However, it can occasionally get cooler, particularly in the state's northern regions.
Florida receives a high amount of rainfall, especially during the rainy season. Florida also experiences more thunderstorms than any other US state. The state's average annual rainfall ranges from 40 inches (1,000 mm) in the Keys to about 65 inches (1,650 mm) in the north.
In this section, we'll delve into the top reasons that make Florida an attractive choice for your next home:
➡️ Climate: Florida is known for its warm weather. If you enjoy the sunshine and hot weather, you'll find plenty in Florida!
➡️ No state income tax: Florida is one of the few states that doesn't collect individual income tax due to high sales tax revenue generated by tourism. As a result, residents save a significant amount of money.
➡️ Diverse culture: Florida is a melting pot of cultures, with influences from Latin America, the Caribbean, and more, as reflected in its food scene, music, and festivals.
➡️ Attractions and entertainment: Florida has numerous attractions, including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, the Everglades, and Miami's South Beach. The state also boasts a variety of professional sports teams.
➡️ Affordable housing: Real estate prices are relatively more affordable in Florida. The median cost of a home in Florida is $232,000, well below the US national average of $428,700.
➡️ Stunning beaches: With its long coastline, Florida offers abundant beach activities and water sports opportunities.
Sanibel Island: Located on the west coast, where you can search for seashells and wade in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico on this relaxing beach.Siesta Key: Located near Sarasota on the Gulf Coast, Siesta Key is renowned for its extremely fine, white sand and clear, warm waters. The beach is a popular destination for tourists and offers a variety of amenities.South Beach: South Beach in Miami is known for its vibrant atmosphere, historic Art Deco architecture, nightlife, upscale dining, and shopping.Clearwater Beach: Clearwater Beach on the Gulf Coast offers beautiful white sand beaches and is particularly known for its stunning sunsets. It also has a lively beachfront with numerous restaurants, shops, and opportunities for water sports.Naples Beach: In Southwest Florida, Naples Beach offers white sand, calm waters, and beautiful sunsets. The Naples Pier is a popular spot for sightseeing and fishing.
➡️ Retirement community: Florida is often considered a haven for retirees, offering many retirement communities and facilities. This is facilitated by the state's pleasant climate, flat terrain, and healthcare resources.
➡️ Famous attractions: Florida has several theme parks, including Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Besides the famous theme parks, Florida is also home to the Kennedy Space Center, Miami's South Beach, the historic city of St. Augustine, the Florida Keys, and many natural parks and preserves.
➡️ Strong economy: Florida’s economy is ranked number seven in the US, with a GDP of $1,389 billion. People living in Florida have access to job opportunities at some of the biggest corporations in the US.
➡️ Sports: Florida boasts a thriving sports culture, hosting numerous teams from major professional sports leagues. In terms of the NBA, the state is home to the Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat teams. The National Hockey League (NHL) is also well-represented in Florida, with two teams: the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning. For football fans, Florida has three teams in the NFL: the Miami Dolphins, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Are you convinced yet? If you are, here is an in-depth guide to the best moving companies in Florida!
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With the good comes the bad, and even though there are many reasons to live in Florida, there are also some downsides to living in the Sunshine State:
❌ Susceptible to natural disasters: Florida is susceptible to hurricanes, particularly from June to November. Other extreme weather conditions include intense heat and humidity in the summer, a common part of Florida life.
❌ Cost of living: While not having to pay state income tax is a plus, the cost of living can be high in certain areas, especially in popular cities like Miami or tourist-heavy areas.
❌ Population density and traffic: Florida's population has been growing rapidly and with that comes increased traffic and longer commute times, especially in urban areas. Florida’s average one-way commute time is 27 minutes.
❌ Tourism crowds: The popularity of Florida as a tourist destination means that popular areas can get crowded, particularly during peak vacation seasons.
❌ Crime rate: Like any state, crime can be a concern in certain areas. Some cities in Florida have higher crime rates than the national average.
❌ Below average health care: Florida ranks 48th in the US for health care access. While urban areas generally have a good supply of medical facilities and providers, rural areas may face challenges with access. The cost of health care can also be a concern.
❌ Politics: Florida is famously known as a "swing state" in American politics, meaning it doesn't reliably vote for one particular political party in presidential elections. Residents are bombarded with political advertisements and announcements year-round.
Each region and city offers unique characteristics and attractions, so where you’d want to live would depend on your preferences in this regard when moving to Florida. Below we have broken down the best places to live in the different regions of Florida.
Southern Florida presents a more tropical, diverse, and fast-paced vibe. Many residents are from South America, and there is a distinctly Latin American and Caribbean influence. Miami's rich blend of Latin American cultures, vibrant nightlife, and arts scene stands out.
Like Naples, the quieter communities on the Gulf Coast offer a laid-back, beach-focused lifestyle, which often appeals to retirees.
🔷 Naples: Known for its high quality of life and beautiful beaches, Naples also offers a vibrant downtown experience with many shops, restaurants, and art galleries.
🔷 Fort Lauderdale: Known for its beaches and boating canals, Fort Lauderdale has a strong economy with growing industries like tech and health care. It's also known for its art scene.
🔷 Miami: Known for its cultural diversity, vibrant nightlife, arts scene, and beautiful beaches. It's one of the state's major economic and financial hubs.
🔷 Fort Myers: Famous for its beaches, fishing, and shopping, Fort Myers offers a more laid-back lifestyle. It's also notable for its historical sites, such as Thomas Edison's and Henry Ford's winter estates.
Central Florida is known for its blend of cultures and the entertainment industry's influence. Orlando, with its multitude of theme parks, has a cosmopolitan, family-friendly vibe.
Tampa and St. Petersburg offer a mix of urban living with a strong sense of community, combined with an appreciation for the arts and outdoor activities.
🔷 Sarasota: Known for its cultural amenities, which include a thriving arts scene, and its proximity to sandy beaches like Siesta Key, Sarasota also offers a range of outdoor recreational activities.
🔷 Tampa: A vibrant city with a diverse economy and numerous cultural attractions. It's home to several colleges and universities, and its nearby beaches are among the best in the country.
🔷 Orlando: Known for its world-class amusement parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, Orlando is also home to a vibrant downtown and a growing technology sector.
Northern Florida, particularly the Panhandle, is often considered an extension of the South, with a culture that has strong ties to Southern hospitality, traditions, and cuisine.
Cities like Jacksonville and Tallahassee have a laid-back atmosphere and a touch of Southern charm.
🔷 St. Augustine: As the oldest city in the US, St. Augustine is known for its rich history, charming old-world feel, and beautiful beaches.
🔷 Gainesville: Home to the University of Florida, Gainesville is a vibrant college town with a strong arts scene, outdoor recreation opportunities, and a relatively low cost of living.
🔷 Jacksonville: The largest city in Florida by population, Jacksonville offers a range of neighborhoods, a bustling downtown area, and a broad-based economy.
It’s known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and welcoming atmosphere. The island has 13 miles of idyllic beaches, perfect for sunbathing, beachcombing, and water sports.If you're a history buff, you'll want to explore the charming historic district of Fernandina Beach, the island's main town, with its well-preserved Victorian architecture and unique shops. Take advantage of a horse-drawn carriage tour to catch a glimpse of the island's past.
Overall, Florida State offers an attractive balance between affordability and quality of life for those looking to move within the United States.
100 = National Average
Are you moving to Florida? It's essential to understand the typical living costs in the state. Below, we dive a little deeper into the average costs of living.
⚠️ Florida is large and diverse, with a wide range of living costs to consider. To offer a more nuanced perspective, we've selected various cities that represent distinct areas of Florida to provide a more detailed understanding of the living costs within the state.
The bottom line is that the average monthly rent is higher than the US average, but not by much. We have listed the average rent prices by the number of bedrooms below.
It's also important to remember that Florida is a big state, meaning the cost of living can vary. Below we compare the most and least expensive cities to rent in Florida.
Florida is a great place to buy a home because housing costs are lower than the national average. The median house price in Florida is $362,400. Home Appreciation in Florida is up 15.2%.
To help you get a sense of housing prices in Florida, we have listed the median home values for some cities in Florida:
One of the biggest benefits of moving to Florida is the warm weather. As a Florida resident, you will see this reflected in your utility bill. Overall, utilities in Florida are lower than the national average.
The average monthly utility bill across the US is $170.87 for basic utilities, which includes electricity, water, and gas. Here's a breakdown of the average cost for basic utilities across Florida:
➡️ Orlando: $166.89
➡️ Tampa: $189.96
➡️ Miami: $155.50
If you are considering moving to Florida, you will probably need a car and a driver’s license. This is because things are spread out, and Florida does not have a great public transportation system.
Many of Florida's larger cities, including Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville, have public bus systems. In addition, Miami has the Metrorail system, a 25-mile dual track that provides service to Miami International Airport and runs from Kendall through South Miami, Coral Gables, and downtown Miami. Orlando also offers a commuter rail system called SunRail.
According to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, a single adult in Florida can expect to pay $5,477 in transport costs annually.
The average grocery cost in Florida is $323.83 per person per month.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that the average Floridian’s annual eating-at-home food cost is $3,886. A family of four can expect to spend $1,296 monthly on groceries.
Here is a breakdown of average food prices in Florida:
➡️ Orlando: $423.74
➡️ Tampa: $439.71
➡️ Miami: $449.03
Key Lime Pie is a beloved dessert with a special place in Florida's culinary history, particularly in Key West, where it takes its name from. The pie is known for its refreshing and tangy flavor, derived from the unique key limes that grow in the region. The traditional Key Lime Pie recipe features a filling with key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks, all nestled in a crisp graham cracker crust. The pie is topped with a dollop of whipped cream or meringue. Locals love it so much it was even designated the official state pie of Florida in 2006!
The following prices are what you might expect to pay a professional moving company to move your belongings to Florida:
Moving to Florida can range from $2,000 to $15,000. This range is wide because there are many factors to consider when moving long distances.
The two most important factors influencing the cost of your move are your home size and the travel distance. Here’s a table that shows average cross-country moving cost by home size, assuming a move of 2,000 miles:
A breakdown of the costs might look like this:
➡️ The size of your home: The more things you move, the more the move will cost. You’ll want to ensure you’re only bringing those things you genuinely want to have in Florida.
➡️ Distance: The distance you need to travel is also essential to factor in. Traveling further increases the expenses your moving company will need to cover, increasing your move's total cost.
➡️ Service requirements: The cost of moving depends on the level of assistance you’d require on your cross-country move. Additional services will increase the total cost of your move and include the following: Storage, specialty-item moving, packing assistance, moving containers,
as well as packing and moving supplies.
➡️ Moving dates are important: The moving industry experiences a busy season during spring and summer, which results in higher rates due to increased demand. On the other hand, the off-season during fall and winter sees a decrease in demand and lower rates. The cheapest way is to consider moving during the week in winter.
Florida's economy is robust and diverse, with an impressive job market that continues to grow. The state is known for its strong tourism industry, which is largely driven by world-renowned attractions like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and its many beautiful beaches. However, Florida's economy extends well beyond tourism.
The state has a burgeoning tech industry, particularly in cities like Tampa and Miami. It's also a major hub for health care, education, and finance. Florida's agricultural sector is also substantial, with the state leading in producing citrus, particularly oranges.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the median household income in Florida is $57,703. The median individual income is $29,159. Below, we have listed the mean income for a few places in Florida:
➡️ Orlando: $39,149 - $68,652, average: $54,124
➡️ Tampa: $43,910 - $74,950, average: $60,018
➡️ Miami: $38,706 - $68,841, average: $54,203
➡️ Jacksonville:$40,653 - $73,127, average: $57,454.
As for employment prospects, Florida boasts a current unemployment rate of 2.6%, which lies below the national average of 3.6%.
Florida has a robust educational environment with many opportunities at every level:
Florida's education system offers a broad range of primary and secondary education options. The state has a mix of public, private, and charter schools, aimed at meeting the needs of its diverse student population. Florida's public school system, one of the largest school districts in the US, has made significant strides in academic achievement, particularly in areas such as early literacy.
The state's accountability system for public schools, which includes standardized testing and school grading, has been a model for other states. Moreover, Florida has a wide range of magnet and specialized programs within its public schools, including programs for the arts, technology, and advanced academics.
Charter schools are also a growing option, providing alternatives to traditional public schools with more flexibility in curriculum and operation. Private schools in Florida offer a variety of educational philosophies and approaches, including Montessori, Waldorf, religious-based, and college-prep institutions.
⚠️ It's important to note that quality can vary widely among schools, and parents often consider factors like location, school ratings, and individual student needs when choosing a school.
Florida ranks number one in the US for higher education and is home to many institutions, including:
➡️ Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
➡️ University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
➡️ University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
➡️ University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
➡️ Florida International University, Miami, FL
🔶 Visit Walt Disney World
🔶 Explore Everglades National Park
🔶 Enjoy Miami's South Beach
🔶 Experience Universal Orlando Resort
🔶 Relax on Siesta Key
🔶 Tour the Kennedy Space Center
🔶 Visit St. Augustine
🔶 Explore Key West
🔶 Go to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
🔶 Experience Salvador Dali Museum
Whether it's the allure of Florida’s endless sunshine, the diversity of its vibrant cities, the charm of its historical landmarks, or its commitment to outdoor living and sports, there's no denying that Florida offers a diverse and enriching living experience for retirees, young professionals, and families alike.
As you embark on this exciting new phase, let 9Kilo help you by enabling a smooth transition to your new life in Florida. Welcome to what could soon be your new home in the Sunshine State!
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