Though not all Americans want to admit it, the United States is in the process of balkanizing between increasingly redder and bluer states, which has prompted some self-sorting among the citizenry and spurred a veritable exodus of people fleeing oppressive Democrat-run states for the freer pastures of Republican-led states.
According to right-leaning Hispanic-centric media outlet El American, the ongoing exodus from blue states is most noticeable in the form of New Yorkers moving south to Florida.
Indeed, in just the first few months of 2022, more than 20,000 former New Yorkers have traded their Empire State driver’s licenses for one from the Sunshine State.
Tens of thousands flee New York for Florida
The New York Post, citing new data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety, reported that no fewer than 21,546 former New Yorkers made the switch to obtain a Florida driver’s license between January and April of this year.
That is a 12 percent increase over the same four-month period in 2021 and a 55 percent increase over the last similar period prior to the pandemic, the first four months of 2019.
The figure is also on pace to surpass the total from the entirety of 2021 when at least 61,728 former New York residents swapped out their old licenses for one from their new home state of Florida.
Exodus to Florida includes other northeastern states as well
So what is driving this apparent exodus from New York to Florida? According to the Post, the interstate movement was initially in response to the authoritarian manner in which New York responded to the coronavirus pandemic, including business restrictions, school closures, and stringent mask and vaccine mandates, among other things.
All of that stands in stark contrast to Florida’s handling of the pandemic, at least after the first few months, but even now after the virus has substantially receded and most restrictions have been relaxed, the exodus has continued for other reasons, such as rising crime and a decline in quality of life metrics.
Nor is the exodus to Florida confined to just New York, as residents from other states in that region have also been fleeing south in greater numbers, such as a 9 percent increase from New Jersey, 4 percent from Connecticut, and a slight increase from Pennsylvania.
California hemorrhaging residents, too
It isn’t just a north to south exodus, either, as independent media outlet Catalyst reported in January on the stunning amount of migration out of California to, more often than not, typically Republican-led states like “Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Texas, South Carolina, and Florida,” which were the seven fastest-growing states in the Union according to 2020 Census data.
Notably, that census marked the first time that California’s population has declined since it became a state, and it declined so much that California actually lost a seat in Congress. And, while Catalyst didn’t provide specific numbers on the exodus out of the Golden State, the Post’s recent analysis indicated that there has been an 18 percent increase in the number of Californians moving to the Sunshine State.
Again, we ask why, and according to Catalyst, the answer again is California’s authoritarian crackdown in response to the pandemic, followed by its oppressive regulatory regime, insanely high taxes and consumer prices, and rising crime and declining quality of life, among other things, and none of that will be fixed or reversed anytime soon in that or other Democrat-led states.