Flight to Florida is still accelerating despite NY COVID-19 reopening push

New York has fully reopened after the strict restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic — but migration from the Empire State to Florida has accelerated this year, according to new data.

A total of 21,546 New Yorkers swapped their driver’s licenses for the Sunshine State version during the first four months of this year — a 12% increase from the same period in 2021.

The 2022 totals are 55% higher than the first four months of the last pre-pandemic year of 2019.

Mayor Eric Adams has speculated that the Florida exodus would wane — and that some evacuees would return — once the city reopened.

There 61,728 New York residents who moved to Florida in 2021.
Getty Images

Hizzoner has addressed the Florida drain directly and even launched billboards in the state to coax erstwhile Gothamites back to their city of origin.

But the end of COVID-19 restrictions and the return of full-time schooling have so far failed to stem the outward tide to cities like Miami, Palm Beach and Jacksonville, according to data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety.

A total of 61,728 New York state residents switched to Florida licenses last year — a figure that will be surpassed in 2022 if current trends persist.

Eric Adams
Mayor Eric Adams expects New Yorkers to come back eventually.
AP/Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere
South Beach
There has been a 12% increase in NYers moving to Florida from 2021.
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Some observers have argued that quality of life woes have taken root in New York in place of the coronavirus and are continuing to drive flight.

Tony Palm Beach County took in the most New York defectors this year so far with 2,935, followed by Broward County at 1,946 and Miami-Dade at 1,777.

Migration from New Jersey to Florida has also increased this year by 9%.

West Palm Beach
A total of 21,546 New Yorkers replaced their driver’s licenses for the Florida version during the first four months this year.
Getty Images

A total of 10,580 Garden State residents have turned in their licenses compared to 9,664 during the same span in 2021.

Rounding out the tristate, official Connecticut departures to Florida this year are up by 4%, going from 3,950 in the first four months of 2021 to 4,119 this year.

A total of 9,645 California residents have become formal Floridians in 2022, a marked 18% hike over the same span last year when 8,166 made the move.

After New York, New Jersey, and California, Pennsylvania has had the most outbound migration to Florida this year so far with 8,412 license swaps followed by Illinois with 8,149.

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