Florida tops list of American’s preferred states

A recent opinion poll finds that Florida is the state most Americans would like to live in. The Sunshine State tops the survey across almost all generations and two Florida cities also make the nation’s top 10 preferred cities.


This year’s Harris Poll, carried out bi-annually since 1963 and one of the longest-running opinion polls in the US, places Florida at the top of the list of states Americans would prefer to live in. Florida makes the top position for the first time since 2001 and analysts see this as an indication that the Sunshine State has fully emerged from the recession.


Favourite state with favourite cities

In the last two polls, Florida made it to third position, behind California and Hawaii, but in 2015 the placings were reversed with Florida at the top and California and Hawaii in second and third places respectively. The states of Colorado and New York made up the rest of the top five. Americans obviously prefer states with coastline and/or warm weather (a winning combination in Florida) since Arizona and Oregon also make the top ten.


Florida’s re-emergence as American’s top state comes on the back of an excellent year for the Sunshine State whose economy has improved to the extent that growth is outperforming the national rate. In tandem with this comes booming job creation and a rapidly growing property market. The increases in both sales and prices for Florida property this year have been one of the highest in the country.


In terms of favourite cities, Florida also features twice in the top ten. Miami is one of the new arrivals in the latest poll and takes fifth place. The city had never previously reached a position higher than ninth. Orlando, a regular favourite with Americans for relocating and holidays, sits in tenth position. New York ranks as the nation’s favourite, although paradoxically it’s also the city most Americans would least like to live in.


Everyone’s favourite

When it comes to generations, Florida, California and Hawaii dominate the ratings across the board. The Millennials (those aged between 18 and 35) opt for California at their first choice with Florida a close second. This pattern is repeated further up the age chart in the so-called Generation X bracket (36 to 50 year olds).


Once the poll reaches the Baby Boomer generation – Americans aged 51 to 69, however, Florida takes first place with Hawaii the preferred second. At the upper end of the scale among the ‘Matures’ (those over 70), Hawaii sits at the top followed by Florida.


When the poll looks at preferences by gender, Florida has the upper edge on California. The Sunshine State is the preferred state for American women and joint favourite with California for men.


Source: Harris Poll

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