Pennsylvanians are moving to Florida at increasing rates, according to census data

Clearwater Beach, Fla. (Shutterstock)

By Patrick Berkery

November 9, 2023

Is the weather? The lack of state income tax? The increasing number of Wawas? Whatever the reason, the number of residents leaving the Keystone State for the Sunshine State continues to grow.

Pennsylvanians have been flocking to Florida for years. Mostly during February and March when Phillies and Pirates fans overtake Clearwater and Bradenton, respectively, for Spring Training.

But according to new US Census data, the number of Pennsylvanians flocking to Florida and staying for good has grown steadily since 2010, while the number of Floridians moving to Pennsylvania hasn’t shown much of an increase.

The upshot is that the net loss for Pennsylvania in residents moving between the two states has grown from fewer than 2,000 in 2011 to nearly 20,000 in 2022.

So, why the steady increase in Pennsylvanians relocating to the Sunshine State? The increase in sunshine-smacked days might have something to do with it, along with housing costs, lack of state income tax, and politics. And, it’s worth noting that there are now more Wawas in Florida than there are in Pennsylvania. (Still no Sheetz in the Sunshine State, however).

As for why people have been moving to Florida from other states in general, not just Pennsylvania, a report by the James Madison Institute pointed to the state’s overall affordability and the considerably more lax COVID lockdown restrictions in Florida compared with other states. From July 1, 2021, to July 1, 2022, Florida’s population grew by nearly 417,000 residents. That’s a rate of about 1,100 new residents a day.

Overall, Florida’s population in 2022 was 22.2 million, with 3.2 million more residents than in 2011, a 17% increase. Pennsylvania’s 2022 population was 13 million, having added 226,000 residents since 2011, a gain of only 2%. The nation’s population overall grew 7% from 2011 to 2022.

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