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Growing number of Florida residents have roots in New York, latest census numbers show

1.6 million current Floridians were born in New York, data shows
Posted at 4:49 PM, Jun 16, 2022

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — As many Florida residents struggle to find affordable housing, there are still plenty of people moving to the Sunshine State.

The latest census data shows that more and more residents of Florida have a New York birth certificate.

John Ries is a native New Yorker who now calls South Florida home.

"I have one regret," Ries said. "I didn't come 20 years earlier."

Ries is the owner of Hot Pie Pizza located in downtown West Palm Beach.

John Ries, Hot Pie Pizza restaurant owner, New York-born resident
John Ries explains why he moved from New York to West Palm Beach.

Florida has always attracted New Yorkers, but the numbers only went higher during and after the pandemic.

"I said West Palm is the sixth borough," Ries said. "You might as well come on down here. I also said, 'I live where you vacation.'"

Looking at the latest U.S. Census numbers, all of Florida may be considered the sixth borough.

The latest figures show that more than 1.6 million current Floridians were born in New York, which is nearly 8% of the state's population.

Incidentally, the numbers also show that only 35% of Florida residents were born in the Sunshine State.

Jeff Lichtenstein at Echo Properties in Palm Beach Gardens said he constantly has New Yorkers looking for homes.

Jeff Lichtenstein at Echo Properties discusses real estate, June 16, 202
Jeff Lichtenstein says a large part of his business is homebuyers from the northeast.

"They're enamored with the weather," Lichtenstein said. "They're looking for a change of lifestyle. My next-door neighbor, his license plates are, 'Out of NJ,' out of New Jersey."

West Palm Beach office buildings are being built for New York firms that are relocating to the area

Even entertainment is catering to transplants and it shows no signs of stopping.

"I'm constantly getting phone calls," Ries said. "They're asking me, 'John, what's the housing situation there? What's the job market situation there?'" And I said, 'Go ahead, come down, you will not lose.'"

By most accounts, the flood of out-of-state residents has driven up real estate prices. Many locals blame the New York residents who recently moved to Florida for the soaring housing prices and rents.