Getting the Most out of Life

Living in Florida: Not Just for Retirees

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When it comes to pinpointing Millennial hubs, the attention always falls on states such as Oregon and California. In reality, few states offer Millennials more leisure, entertainment, beach options, and growing job opportunities than the sunny state of Florida. In the past five years, several of Florida’s cities have witnessed significant growth in Millennial populations, including Orlando (8.1 percent), Miami (7.7 percent), Tampa (7 percent), and St. Petersburg (6 percent). When you factor the Census Bureau’s estimation that there is an average of 803 new residents daily, it is safe to assume that living in Florida is choice right now.

The Floridian Millennial Experience: Rent and Taxes

So why are young adults flocking to Florida? The state’s 1,800 miles of coastline helps. Aside from sunny weather, Florida offers casinos, more than 1,200 golf courses, spring break resorts, and Walt Disney World. But it also offers what only six other states can formally boast: 0 percent personal state income tax. In other words, Millennials can keep a little more of their paychecks. How much exactly? Take a look for yourself.

Florida also has a steadily decreasing 5.7 percent unemployment rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and NerdWallet reports the average rent prices in some of the best cities in Florida are surprisingly affordable for Millennials just starting out. These cities include: St. Petersburg ($924 per month), Jacksonville ($927 per month), Miami ($946 per month), and Gainesville ($854 per month).

Job Outlook: Beyond Working in the Magic Kingdom

Young adults are relocating to Florida due to economic opportunities. In 2014, the state attracted a record-breaking 97.3 million tourists, leaving many employers with a highly optimistic hiring outlook. In response, Florida’s population is growing faster than most other states, which reflects its increasingly important role in national politics. In the past year, the Sunshine State — with a population of 19.9 million — has overtaken New York (19.7 million) as the third most populous state in the country, behind California (38.8 million) and Texas (27 million).

Businesses are expanding in large metropolitan areas such as Jacksonville (Florida’s most populous city), Miami, and Orlando. However, smaller cities and towns are seeing the largest increases in net employment outlook. According to a Q1 2015 survey by Manpower Group, five Florida towns rank among the best in the nation in terms of expected hiring: Cape Coral, Deltona, Lakeland, North Port, and Tampa. Thus, Millennials seeking career opportunities in these towns have a greater likelihood of getting a job.

Living in Florida offers more than a vacation getaway or a final resort for your grandparents. Alongside a combination of activities, unique attractions, and lower rent averages, Millennials can find the tides of opportunity turning in their favor. Tack on the added tax advantages, and young Millennials can start planning for a sunny future.

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Over 6,000 articles appear under Marv Dumon's byline. He has written for Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Yahoo!, and Fortune 500 clients. Marv previously worked in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and Six Sigma, and earned BA, BBA and MPA degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.