A splashy narrative has emerged in Florida amid the pandemic from politicians and real estate developers, writes Candace Taylor in the Wall Street Journal. It states that Florida is the place to be for tech workers and uber-rich hedge fund execs looking to flee Silicon Valley and New York. And indeed, the state is seeing a surge in luxury sales of waterfront mansions and condos in recent months, including high-profile buyers such as Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Such purchases generate headlines and buzz, but Taylor points out a "far less discussed" aspect of Florida's demographics: About the same number of people move out of the state as move in, a trend that has held steady for several years. In fact, the state's population growth rate of 1.38% throughout the pandemic is the lowest since 2014.
“A lot of people go down there and realize that they don’t like hurricanes,” says demographer Hamilton Lombard. Taylor's story includes an interview with one New Jersey native who uprooted his family to Oregon for just that reason. “Staring at those tracker maps for weeks before a hurricane hits starts to create a stress level,” he says. A Miami real-estate consultant says many newcomers end up moving home after five years or so. One company in the position to track such things is Atlas Van Lines. The 50-50 split between those moving in and those moving out "kind of surprised me because when you hear some of the news stories about the number of people moving to Florida, I expected that the number [of incoming moves] was going to be greater," says COO Barry Schellenberg. Read the full story. (Read more Florida stories.)