Situated in the south-eastern region of the country, the state of Florida is bounded by the Atlantic ocean to the east, the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the states of Georgia and Alabama to the north and north-west, respectively.

Living in Florida
Photo by Lance Asper on Unsplash

Many outsiders know of this state because of its citrus agriculture and amusement parks. With its considerably large population and economy, this low-lying state has quite a lot to provide for its inhabitants.

History of Florida

The earliest traces of inhabitants dating back to almost 14,000 years ago. However, it was around 500 years ago that the first known expedition to Florida was initiated which was led by a Spanish explorer, Ponce de Léon. He named the region ‘La Pascua Florida’ which roughly translates to ‘flowery festival’, a synonym for Easter.

During the next 300 years, Florida experienced colonisation by 3 different powers of that time, France, Great Britain and Spain 0and also experienced large-scale immigration of natives and African – Americans. It was in the mid 19th century that Florida officially became a state of the United States.

The Civil War years were tough on the state but it was not too extreme and the state continued its steady growth through agriculture and cattle-related activities. The 1920s, however, brought about a rapid decline in the growing economy of the state due to recession and the natural calamities that Florida faced further worsened the situation.
During the World War years, Florida had become a centre for the United States Armed Forces with training centres established and transportation facilities constructed to support the military of the region.

After the war, these facilities were open to using by the public and the population of Florida skyrocketed. Their major economic activities shifted from agriculture-related to technology, tourism and banking.

The Sunshine State has grown to become one of the most populous states of the US and a major contributor to the national economy with an economy so large that if it were a country, it would be among the Top 20 richest ones.

Pros and Cons of Living in Florida

With facilities known for people of all age groups like amusement parks for kids and resorts for the retired, Florida has earned a reputation as an ideal state. Let’s take a look at its pros and cons before deciding if it is an ideal state for you to live in.

Pros of Living in Florida

1. No income Tax

Unlike most of the states in the US, the state of Florida exempts its citizens from paying the income tax. The Florida citizens only need to bother about federal taxes and save their income tax amount to be used for other activities. Sounds fun, right?

2. World-class Beaches

Florida is home to more than half of the beaches ranked as the Top 10 in the US. This means that world-class beaches await the residents of Florida just outside their doorstep.
These beaches offer plenty of activities for the people to enjoy like fishing, beach volleyball, dolphin-watching cruise etc.

3. The Convenience of Being a Local

Amusement parks in the state attract locals as much as it attracts tourists and the locals also receive special discounts! Isn’t that wonderful?
Hotels and resorts offer a variety of bargains to the local customers depending on the number of tourists visiting at that time of the year and the varying seasons.

4. Cost of Living is Comparatively Low

Although some of the cities like Miami are quite expensive, the average cost of living in Florida is low. With most of the necessary services available at a rate below the national average and the housing rates being manageable in most cities, living in the Sunshine state would certainly benefit you financially.

5. A Diverse State

You do not need to worry about not fitting in when you are living in Florida. Ranked among the Top 10 most diverse states when measured using a standard measure of inequality, the Sunshine State is definitely a mix of all parts of the world.

Cons of Living in Florida

1. High Crime Rate

With violent crime rate and property crime rate greater than the national average, the state of Florida is ranked among the Top 30 most dangerous states in the US. Though there are cities like Sweetwater and Naples which are much safer, the soaring crime rates of cities like Florida City and Opa Locka cannot be ignored.

2. Prone to Hurricanes

Inhabitants of Florida are always at a risk of natural disasters, mostly hurricanes, which are quite common in the region. Other calamities which pose a risk to the residents include wildfires, flooding, drought etc.

3. Overcrowded

The Sunshine State is well-known for all the tourists that it receives throughout the year and if you live in popular cities like Orlando or Miami, it can get quite difficult. With around 110 million visitors per year, the crowd and the traffic is sure to give you a headache.

4. Humidity and Heat

With a humid subtropical climate, the Sunshine state is warm and hot throughout the year and it can get quite annoying. It is safe to say that living in Florida without an air-conditioner is almost impossible.

5. Healthcare and Insurance

Though not all, most of the health care facilities in Florida are rated below average and the state is ranked among the bottom 20s for its health care quality.
Also, residents of Florida need to pay higher insurance costs as compared to other states in the US.

Conclusion

Like every other state, Florida also has its share of advantages and disadvantages.
Unlike some of the points listed above, the weather of Florida is both an advantage and a disadvantage. On one hand, we see people moving to Florida particularly because of its warm weather while others move out because of the same.

To make the right decision for yourself, it is important to analyse all the pros and cons from your own perspective and regardless of what your choice is, the state of Florida awaits your arrival.

(Last Updated On: June 10, 2020)
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