SOUTHWEST FLORIDA — numerous thousands of civilization move to Florida every year, and during the pandemic, that has not shown numerous signs of slow down.

In fact, Southwest Florida is see a significant real legacy boom and also the season seems to be extending longer.

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Between January 2020 and also April 2021, at least 555,710 people have moved to Florida from various other states. The data is only audit for the number of people who have switched over your driver’s licenses, according to the Florida room of Highway Safety and also Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).

ABC7 asked dozens of civilization which state lock think the most human being are relocating to Florida from. Plenty of guessed California, part said new Jersey, Michigan or Illinois, while others said new York — and also according come the data, they to be right.

The number two says for reciprocated driver’s licenses in Florida are brand-new Jersey and Georgia.

“I think in all the says that room shut down, world just want to be under here,” said fort Myers resident rick Williamson.

Williamson has had actually several tourists lately.

“We’ve had five couples native California come the end in the last couple of months and also they’re all prefer ‘we don’t have to wear a mask? us don’t have to do this?’,” he said.

Williamson relocated to ft Myers from California seven years ago, which is a an excellent reminder that human being flocking come Florida isn’t a brand-new trend. However, the eight is ending up being noticeable.

“By now usually, we usually have less crowded streets, but it’s absolutely been an ext crowded,” Williamson said.

Based ~ above the numbers from the FLHSMV, at the very least 61,000 brand-new Yorkers have actually swapped your old plates because that Florida’s because 2020. Nearly 3,000 moved to Lee County.

That migration has actually been happening because that years, but roughly fall 2020 there was a spike. It happened right approximately the time Florida to be reopening as other states to be locking down even tighter.


At Florida Gulf coast University, professionals said the brand-new world of functioning remotely has actually been a big factor in current migration.

“Being may be to relocate out and also trying to find other points they like, i think the does play a role,” stated Dr. Amir Neto, the interim manager of FGCU’s local Economic study Institute.

He said Florida having actually fewer pandemic restrictions and an ext outdoor amenities are other factors, however COVID-19 is not the just thing driving people to relocate here.

“Florida is one of those wanted states. Ns think with the pandemic, it just really increased that process,” Neto said.

Many that the people making the relocate are likewise coming come Southwest Florida from other parts of the state, and also overall, the population increase has pros and also cons, Neto said.

“You’re seeing higher traffic in the region. If girlfriend look at real estate prices in the area, that has been skyrocketing,” the said.

On the to add side, an ext people moving to the area way more methods for innovation and also growth.

“People security money, that has actually that multiplier impact we all desire that trickles under to the economy,” Neto said.

While many world are relocating to Florida, Neto asserted many are relocating out of the state too, speak the lower-income population may not have the ability to keep increase with increasing prices.

Neto expects world to continue to move here, but he trust it could slow down as the pandemic concerns an end.

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“Right now, firms and also businesses space figuring out the remote and physical ingredient to the balance and also what that’s gonna look favor in the future and that’s going to it is in a huge determinant,” the said.