Florida has seen a significant influx of new residents in recent years, with 583,200 people trading their non-Florida driver’s licenses for Florida versions in 2022.
Many of these newcomers are believed to have come from Illinois, where 141,656 people left the state between July 2021 and July 2022. A study by United Van Lines also identified Illinois as the second most common state for people to move out of in 2022, particularly among baby boomers and those in the Gen X category.
Top Reasons for Leaving Illinois: A Poll’s Insights
Several factors have motivated people to leave Illinois. A poll conducted by Illinois Policy in partnership with Echelon Insights found that 51% of respondents would leave the state if given the opportunity.
The top reasons cited for wanting to leave were high taxes, concerns about public safety, the cost of living, and unfavorable weather conditions. Allied Van Lines also conducted a survey, which revealed that people moved from Illinois due to reasons such as being closer to family, new job opportunities, and retirement.
One Florida city that has been particularly attractive to Chicagoans is Cape Coral. In 2022, approximately 6,200 Chicagoans relocated to Cape Coral, and in 2023, around 4,100 more have made the move.
This migration pattern is likely driven by the presence of retirees among the movers, as Cape Coral has been recognized as a “retirement boomtown” with a significant population aged 60 and above.
Cape Coral offers an attractive lifestyle for retirees, with its numerous canals providing access to the Gulf of Mexico, well-planned green spaces, recreational activities, public beaches, and parks.
The city is known for its safety and access to excellent healthcare. Cultural amenities like the Cultural Park Theatre, fine dining options, and even Chicago-style pizza are among the attractions for newcomers.
However, it’s worth noting that the cost of living in Cape Coral has been steadily rising, with a median home price of around $490,000 and median rent at $2,218. Comparatively, the median home price in Chicago is approximately $337,000, with median rent at $2,215.
Despite concerns about the cost of living, many Chicagoans have found the allure of Cape Coral’s lifestyle and amenities compelling enough to make the move to Florida.