The 18 Pros And Cons Of Living In Florida in 2024

Kurt Norris
Last Updated: January 22nd, 2024

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Known for its year-round warm weather and world-renowned beach destinations, Florida has been a magnet drawing tourists and nationals alike to its idyllic shores. And while most only visit temporarily, many others decide to stay and call The Sunshine State home.

Beyond its breathtaking coastal havens, Florida boasts many additional draws beckoning newcomers to this slice of paradise. From its lack of state tax to abundant natural areas and state parks, there are many reasons to move to Florida and never leave.

Unfortunately, the movement of setting up a home in Florida is not new, and the state has become riddled with overpopulation and infrastructural plights, not to mention its natural risks of hurricanes and other weather disasters.

So while moving to Florida may seem to be all positive at first, it does come with its hidden drawbacks. As such, I have created this list of the pros and cons of living in Florida to help you decide if moving to The Sunshine State is the right move for you.

A Quick Overview And Comparison

Pros of Living in Florida Cons of Living in Florida
Year-Round Warm Weather Risks of Hurricanes and Dangerous Weather Conditions
Breathtaking White Sand Beaches Has A High Cost Of Living
A Boiling Pot Of Diverse Cultures Has Poor Public Transportation Services
Great State and National Parks Has Poor Healthcare
No State Tax Unwelcoming Locals

Living In Florida Pros And Cons

1. Year-Round Warm Climate

The biggest draw for people to move to Florida is its year-round warm climate. Even in the middle of winter, The Sunshine State boasts mild temperatures averaging around 60 degrees Fahrenheit and even going as high as the 80s in the state’s southern destinations.

Not only is it warm, but Florida lives up to its nickname, boasting an average of 230 days of sunshine each year. While its beautiful year-round weather is popular amongst snowbirds looking to escape the harsh winter conditions of the north, it has also made Florida a popular destination amongst retirees and year-round residents.

Sunny-Miami-Beach
Rows of palms on Miami Beach

2. Has Some Of The Best Beaches In The World

With over 1,200 miles of coastline, Florida is home to hundreds of breathtaking beaches, many of which are considered some of the most beautiful in the world. From the warm waters of the Gulf Coast to the popular party hot spots along the Atlantic, Florida’s diverse beaches are among the state’s most popular attractions.

As such, Florida is a great destination to live in if you love the beach. Daytona and Clearwater are two of the most popular beach towns in the state, promising laid-back lifestyles for its residents.

3. Low Taxes + No State Tax

Another massive appeal of living in Florida is its low taxes.

For starters, Florida is one of only nine states with no state tax. On top of that, taxes on consumer goods are also low when compared to some of the country’s other states.

Between not paying any state tax and reduced consumer taxes, living in Florida allows you to keep more of your hard-earned dollars, which you can now spend on exploring the many marvelous attractions of your new home state.

4. Year-Round Entertainment

One of the biggest advantages of moving to a popular tourist destination is the availability of year-round entertainment. From concerts and festivals to year-round activities aimed at tourists, there is always something to do in Florida.

The best part is each region and city in the state seems to host its own line-up of events and festivals. So while visiting nearby cities and towns is always an option, there is bound to be something going on within your hometown regardless of the time of year.

A-Big-Sphere-At-Epcot
Epcot Center in Disney World Orlando

5. It Is The Theme Park Capital Of The World

We can’t talk about attractions in Florida without talking about its amusement parks. Known as the Theme Park Capital of the World, Florida is home to Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando, Bush Gardens, and many more water parks and amusement rides that attract millions of visitors from around the globe each year.

What’s more, is that living in Florida makes accessing these amazing parks even easier. Not only are you located near the attractions that many people travel thousands of miles to visit, but Florida residents actually receive discounted admission tickets and season passes.

6. A Boiling Pot Of Culture

As the seventh most culturally diverse state in America, Florida is a boiling pot of diversity and is a great place to live if you are looking to experience many different cultures and traditions.

While Americans and Hispanics are the two largest populations of this cultural crossroad, Florida is also home to prevalent communities of individuals from across Central and South America, as well as those of European and African American descent.

Along with their traditions and customs, these various cultural groups bring with them the mouthwatering flavors of their various respective cuisines to the welcoming climates of the Sunshine State, making it one of the best areas to live in for diversity of culture and foods.

7. An Abundance of National and State Parks

With 11 National Parks and 175 State Parks, Florida is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, promising plenty of biodiversity throughout its various ecosystems.

From the wetland habitats of Everglades National Park to the scenic beauty of Biscayne National Park, The Sunshine State is a great place to live for a myriad of outdoor adventures.

The-Pahayokee-Boardwalk
Scenic boardwalk in Everglades National Park

8. Promises Great Water Recreation and Watersports

In a state with over 189 officially recognized beaches, Florida is obviously going to have some of the best water recreation and aquatic activities in the United States.

Boating, surfing, sailing, and jet skiing are all popular activities in The Sunshine State, with several marinas and water sport rental services found throughout its spanning coastlines.

On top of this, Florida is also home to the third largest living coral barrier in the world, with a reef spanning 350 miles around the famous Florida Keys. As such, the state is a great spot to live if you enjoy snorkeling or diving.

9. Plenty of Job Opportunities

Another important aspect to consider before moving anywhere is the availability of jobs. After all, it doesn’t matter how affordable a destination’s cost of living is if you don’t have an income.

Luckily, Florida is home to some of the world’s largest companies, bringing with them a wide range of job opportunities across an array of fields, including industry, technology, and retail.

The-People-Parasailing-At-Blue Ocean Fort
Parasailing in Fort Lauderdale

The Cons Of Living In Florida

10. Prone To Hurricanes and Other Natural Disasters

Florida’s tropical warm weather definitely comes with its downsides. These downsides are the state’s frequency of hurricanes and other natural disasters that accompany them, such as tornadoes and floods.

Hurricane season in Florida is from June through November. While most of Florida’s infrastructure is designed to withstand these tropical storms, property damage is not uncommon, and going outside during these storms can be dangerous.

11. Has A High Cost Of Living and Insurance Costs

While low taxes and no state tax is an appealing aspect of living in Florida, the overall cost of living in The Sunshine State can be considerably higher when compared to other states.

This is largely due to the fact that frequent tropical storms and chaotic roads result in higher insurance costs than in areas where these risks are not as prevalent.

And while the cost of living can still be manageable in some lesser populated areas of the state, the most popular places to live tend to be more expensive, such as Miami, Key West, and Clearwater.

12. Has Poor Public Transportation Services

There is little to no public transportation in most parts of Florida, making living in the state very inconvenient if you do not have a car or other form of private transportation.

While some cities have their own bus networks, most areas within the state require you to drive to your destination.

Tampa-General-Hospital-Florida
Tampa General Hospital

13. Has Poor Healthcare

Another drawback of living in Florida is the state’s healthcare system. In fact, in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s ranking of the 50 States, Florida ranks within the bottom 10.

While many hospitals and clinics can be found in all the major cities and towns, these facilities often rank below the national average in the care they provide. Still, better facilities tend to be found in major cities, such as Orlando, Tampa Bay, and Miami, making these good options to live in should you require special medical care.

14. Densely Crowded and Overpopulated Cities

With a population density of 423 people per square mile, Florida is the seventh most densely populated state in America. As such, cities and tourist areas are often crowded, with congested streets of bumper-to-bumper traffic.

While the state is already overpopulated, it becomes even worse during popular tourist seasons, which can see heavy crowds flocking to beaches, restaurants, and other popular facilities, which can make living in the state frustrating during these times.

15. The Bug Populations

If you are going to live in Florida, you are going to have to get used to the bugs. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, and Florida is home to several species of bugs and other pests.

Mosquitoes, in particular, can be a serious nuisance in The Sunshine State. However, other pests include red ant colonies, snakes, rats, and lizards. So if you do move to Florida, be sure to stock up on bug spray.

Alligator-Alley-In-Florida
Alligator Alley in Florida

16. Crocodiles and Alligators

Speaking of pests, Florida is home to abundant populations of crocodiles and alligators. In fact, it is the only place in the world where these carnivorous reptiles coexist in the wild.

And while this unique trait may be interesting to wildlife spotters, it can also be a serious reason to consider not moving to The Sunshine State. Unlike other pests, such as mosquitoes and lizards, encountering an alligator or crocodile can be deadly.

While not particularly common, attacks are known to happen and are worth considering before moving to Florida.

17. Lots of Traffic and Bad Drivers

Between Florida’s densely populated cities and incoming tourists, the streets of the state can be riddled with bumper-to-bumper traffic. What’s even worse is that there are terrible drivers weaving their way through these chaotic streets, both locals and out-of-towners.

Considering the lack of public transportation, road conditions, and your ability to navigate them may play an important part in your decision to move here.

18. Unfriendly Locals

Unfortunately, one of the biggest cons of living in Florida can be the people. I don’t know if it’s the traffic or the crowds (it’s probably both), but people here are not very welcoming to outsiders.

While this unfriendly nature is typically directed towards tourists, it is something you will likely have to deal with when you first move here. However, the longer you live here, the more the Floridians will eventually accept you as one of their own.

A-City-Traffic-In-Miami
Traffic in Miami

FAQs About Pros And Cons Of Living In Florida

What are the downsides of living in Florida?

The downsides of living in Florida range from its infrastructure to its natural environment. Environmental downsides include hurricanes and other natural disasters, dangerous wildlife, and pestilent bugs. Meanwhile, demographic downsides include densely populated cities, poor healthcare, and unfriendly locals.

What are the best places to live in Florida?

The best places to live in Florida are the larger cities with infrastructure designed to accommodate larger populations. These areas include Tampa, Gainesville, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Miami.

When is hurricane season in Florida?

Hurricane Season in Florida is between June 1 and November 30. Throughout this period, the state is known to experience frequent tropical storms, tornadoes, and heavy flooding.

Are there sharks in the water in Florida?

Sharks are common in the waters around Florida, with over 13 species known to have nursery grounds for their pups in the area. However, attacks are extremely rare in Florida waters and are not of serious concern.

Is Florida a good place to retire?

Between its no income tax and year-round warm weather, Florida is one of the most popular retirement destinations in North America. It makes for a fantastic place to spend your retirement, with beautiful outdoor scenery and activities available throughout the year.

What’s the cost of living in Florida?

The cost of living in Florida varies greatly between its cities. Still, the average cost of living across all regions is $50,689 per year, ranking 32nd in the United States.

What’s the median home price in Florida?

The most expensive area to buy a house in Florida is in Naples, where the average home will cost about $588,000. Meanwhile, Tallahassee boasts the most affordable housing market, with the average home costing about $252,000. The average home price in Florida is $377,816.

About The Author

Kurt Norris

A Canada-based freelance writer, Kurt acquired his bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. Upon graduating, Kurt left the courtside media desk behind and began venturing the globe. Throughout his journeys, Kurt enjoys partaking in slow travel and loves to explore the histories and cultures of each destination, which he shares with others through his writing.

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Kurt Norris

Kurt Norris

A Canada-based freelance writer, Kurt acquired his bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. Upon graduating, Kurt left the courtside media desk behind and began venturing the globe. Throughout his journeys, Kurt enjoys partaking in slow travel and loves to explore the histories and cultures of each destination, which he shares with others through his writing.

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