Florida and Georgia are both gems of the Southeastern United States with plenty of jobs, sunshine, and activities. But if you are considering moving to Florida from Georgia, there are a few things you’ll want to think about.
Any time you are considering moving to another state, there are many factors to consider: climate, job outlook, culture, activities, and more.
Why you should move from Georgia to Florida (Short Answer)
We believe moving to Florida from Georgia is a great decision if you are looking for sunshine all year long, a greater number of big cities, prefer beaches to mountains, love the idea of lower taxes, tons of cultural experiences, and amazing access to state and national parks.
Why moving from Florida to Georgia is a great idea (Pros)
Moving from Georgia to Florida has a lot of benefits, and we believe you’ll love your new tropical home for the following reasons:
- You will eliminate all state income taxes, may see lower average property taxes, and you’ll enjoy slightly lower state sales tax.
- You will have access to far better beaches. Florida is home to some of the top beaches in the world, such as Marco Island Beach, Clearwater Beach, and Siesta Key Beach.
- You will have more options for big city traveling such as Tampa, Orlando, Miami, and Jacksonville.
- You will step into one of the fastest growing state economies in the United States.
- You have access to the U.S.’s most affordable higher education.
- You have summer weather all year round.
- You will to have the world’s largest theme park within driving distance.
- You will be able to drive across the Florida-Georgia border to visit the mountains.
Why moving from Florida to Georgia is a terrible idea (Cons)
Moving from Georgia to Florida can be challenging. Here are some reasons why you might want to think twice before making the move:
- You live for the winter, spring, and fall.
- Florida is a lot hotter on average than Georgia and if you don’t love hot weather, Florida can feel extreme.
- The mountains of Georgia are hours away. If you need elevation close by, you won’t love living in Florida.
- If you require a world-class business city like Atlanta, you may need to keep looking. Florida has great cities, but none of them are to the economic scale of Atlanta.
- If you aren’t used to traffic around a big city, nearly every Florida city struggles with above average traffic.
- If you dislike being surrounded by tourists for a large part of the year (in most big Florida cities), Florida will get annoying.
- If the lowest home prices motivate you, Florida may out-price you.
Does Georgia or Florida have better weather?
Weather is in the eye of the beholder, however if you love warm weather all year long where you can wear t-shirts and shorts every month of the year, Florida’s your paradise.
We have friends who have moved to Florida from Georgia and have never looked back. In fact, they have lived in both Orlando and Jacksonville and love both areas.
On the other hand, if you need some semblance of spring and fall and love to see the leaves fall and weather change, there is nothing like a Georgia autumn at the base of the Appalachians mountains.
In order to get a better idea, let’s look at the weather of two iconic cities in each region.
Atlanta vs Orlando Average Temperature
As you can see below from weatherspark.com data, Orlando always has hotter average temperatures than Atlanta.
If you are currently living in Atlanta or west Georgia, you will feel the biggest differences between October and March when temperatures in Orlando are 20+ degrees warmer…morning, evening, and at night.
On the other hand, during the peak summer months of June through September, there is less than a 5 degree difference.
So if you are worried about a sweltering summer in Florida, it’s hardly different than what you are experiencing in Georgia.
One difference you will feel almost year-round is how much more muggy Florida can be than Georgia. As you can see below from the weatherspark data, Orlando is typically 15% more muggy than Atlanta—give or take.
Now, we have spent a lot of time in Georgia and we feel like it may be an apples to apples comparison.
Georgia is known for its muggy conditions and whether it’s 100% muggy (Orlando) or 86% muggy (Atlanta), they are both very hot and humid places.
We should note the weather data above is based on the comparison of Atlanta and Orlando, however the weather differences may be much smaller or larger depending on selected cities to compare.
For example, if you are moving from Savannah, Georgia to Jacksonville, Florida—you’ll experience almost identical weather with Florida being slightly hotter.
Northern Florida cities and southern Georgia cities are more alike than they are different.
Is Florida cheaper than Georgia to live?
Florida and Georgia are both known to provide comfortable, affordable living. But is Florida a cheaper place to live than Georgia?
Let’s take a look at some key metrics of living affordability.
Florida vs Georgia State Income Taxes
In Florida, there is no state income tax, which means individuals do not have to pay a percentage of their income to the state. That’s good news for everyone.
Whether you earn $30,000 or $100,000 in Florida, you’ll pay $0 in state income taxes. Yay Florida!
On the other hand, Georgia imposes a graduated income tax with rates ranging from 1% to 5.75% based on income levels as of 2023. However, in 2024 Georgia will have a flat income tax of 5.49% in 2024. That means a $100,000 earner will pay $5,490 more in Georgia than Florida.
Florida vs Georgia Corporate Taxes
Regarding business taxes, both Florida and Georgia levy a corporate income tax. Florida has a flat corporate income tax rate of 5.5%, while Georgia’s corporate income tax rate is slightly higher at 5.75%.
There isn’t a big enough difference here for business owners to make a decision on one state or the other based on the corporate tax—both are within .25% of each other.
|State Income Tax||None||Graduated income tax rates|
1% to 5.75%
*(5.49% flat tax coming in 2024)
|Sales Tax||State sales tax: 6%||State sales tax: 4%|
|Average Property Tax rate||Average: 0.83%||Average: 1.09%|
Florida vs Georgia Sales Tax
In terms of sales tax, Florida has a state sales tax rate of 6% while Georgia has a state sales tax rate of 4%.
Keep in mind both states allow local jurisdictions to add additional sales tax—so it depends on what city you are in.
The highest sales tax in Georgia can be seen in a city like Columbus which has a combined 9% sales tax while the highest sales tax in Florida can be found in a city like Tampa with a 7.5% combined sales tax.
Your mileage may vary when it comes to how big of a difference a few percentage points of sales tax will mean for your life.
The bigger the spender, the more taxes you’ll pay—but it’s not as if you are moving from Alaska or Oregon with 0% sales tax or Arab, Alabama with a 13.5% sales tax.
Florida vs Georgia Property Tax
For property taxes, the average property tax rate in Florida is approximately 0.83% of the assessed value of the property. In Georgia, the average property tax rate is around 1.09%. Florida has slightly cheaper property taxes.
It’s important to note that property tax rates can vary within counties, so these figures represent general averages.
In general, neither Florida nor Georgia are exceptionally high property tax states.
For context, Rocket Mortgage recently ranked states from highest to lowest average property tax and found Florida to be ranked 24th lowest and Georgia to be ranked 26th lowest.
So what is the difference? Only about $70 difference per year on average for the same home.
Is housing cheaper in Florida than Georgia?
A common question we get from our clients moving from Georgia is whether or not Florida has cheaper housing options? The answer to this question is nuanced because it really depends on where you are moving from.
Let’s again look at two popular big cities in each state: Atlanta, GA and Tampa, FL.
Atlanta has an average home sale price of $399,882 as of April 2023. Now, this figures in high-priced areas like Alpharetta and also lower priced areas seen in urban areas of Atlanta.
Tampa on the other hand is slightly more expensive with an average home sale price of $413,326 which again factors in high-end and affordable areas.
This would make both Atlanta and Tampa fairly comparable with only a $13k difference between average home prices.
As for other cities you may be considering in Florida? The following are average prices for large cities in Florida.
|Florida City||Average Home Sale Price (April 2023)|
You’ll notice in Florida that when you live near the ocean, you will pay more money for a home—in general.
How do average home sale prices across Florida compare to Georgia? Check out the average home sale prices in large Georgia cities:
|Florida City||Average Home Sale Price (April 2023)|
As you can see in Georgia, a large city like Atlanta will cost more money than a smaller metropolitan area like Savannah or Columbus.
In general, Florida cities tend to be more expensive than cities in Georgia. And that’s to be expected because more people are moving to Florida and the sunshine state is much larger overall than the peach state.
Also, it’s important to keep in mind that many of Florida’s largest and most desirable cities are on the Florida coast which raises the overall average price of a home because beach-front access is big money.
You can find extremely wealthy areas in Florida such as Fisher Island near Miami which has an average home sale price of 6 million. On the other hand, living on Sea Island in Georgia will set you back nearly 3 million when purchasing a home.
The good news is that neither Georgia nor Florida are as expensive as other notoriously high-priced states like Hawaii, New York, or California and both states have plenty of affordable places to live comfortably.
In fact, take our experience as an example. We found a wonderful community in west Orlando called Clermont, FL.
It reminds us of the rolling hills in north Atlanta while providing a similar living experience with amazing outdoor amenities, lakes, shopping, and a close proximity to a world-class city within 30 minutes. Check out our drive through Clermont below.
Will higher education be more expensive in Florida than Georgia?
Florida on average has more affordable higher education options than Georgia. In fact, Florida was recently ranked one of the most affordable states for higher education.
Florida’s higher education institutions often make top 5 lists for affordability, academic, and social factors.
Let’s take a look at some average tuition rates across Georgia.
Keep in mind these tuition rates are subject to change and can vary wildly depending on whether or not you are staying on campus, commute, and the type of program you enroll in.
|Georgia Universities||Average Undergraduate Tuition (USD)|
|University of Georgia||$12,080|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||$12,682|
|Georgia State University||$9,286|
|Georgia Southern University||$6,463|
|Kennesaw State University||$6,347|
|University of West Georgia||$6,243|
|Georgia College & State University||$9,542|
Now let’s look at some popular universities in Florida and their corresponding tuitions rates.
Again, keep in mind that Florida tuition rates are subject to change and can vary wildly depending on whether or not you are staying on campus, commute, and the type of program you enroll in.
|University||Average Undergraduate Tuition (USD)|
|University of Florida||$6,381|
|Florida State University||$5,656|
|University of Central Florida||$6,368|
|University of South Florida||$6,410|
|Florida International University||$6,556|
|University of Miami||$53,682|
|Florida Atlantic University||$4,879|
|Florida Gulf Coast University||$6,118|
|University of North Florida||$6,394|
|Nova Southeastern University||$31,620|
As you can see above, when comparing ten popular universities across both Georgia and Florida—on average—Florida is the more affordable state.
We have to keep perspective on the data above as well. The universities we chose to evaluate were large, popular universities.
However, both Georgia and Florida are very affordable for higher education and have dozens of institutions far cheaper that what was listed above.
If we take the average of all higher educational institutions across both states by using data from the Education Data Initiative, you’ll find that Florida is ranked #1 in the country for affordability while Georgia is ranked #9—both being in the top 10 nationwide.
|Rank||State||Average In-State Tuition (USD)|
|3||District of Columbia||$6,152|
Both Georgia and Florida are inexpensive states to pursue higher education, but Florida is less expensive with more options to choose from.
Are there more jobs in Florida than Georgia?
There are more jobs in Florida than Georgia, but we have to be mindful that Florida is nearly twice as large as Georgia (22 million residents vs 11 million residents).
Thus, by shear populational advantage, Florida will create more jobs than Georgia year over year.
Now, if we use job growth data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics when comparing job growth as a percentage of the population between Florida and Georgia, Florida comes out WAY ahead.
In the past 12 months (2022-2023), Florida has created 413k jobs (4.5% increase) while Georgia created 133k jobs (2.8% increase).
So, while Florida is twice as big as Georgia, it created more jobs as a percentage of its population.
The most recent U.S. economic data has Florida ranked as the #5 state for most jobs created and Georgia as the #13—both are great—Florida is best.
What are the cultural differences between Florida and Georgia?
Florida and Georgia are both terrific states with their own unique cultural differences. Let’s dive into some of the key distinctions between the two.
Demographically, Florida is known for its diverse population. It’s a melting pot of various cultures and ethnicities. From great music to food, you will find Florida offers a rich cultural experience.
When comparing various cultures in Florida to Georgia, you will find a much larger hispanic population in Florida (26% vs 9.5%). Miami is home to the 11th largest hispanic population in the United States.
From the Cuban vibes of Miami to the Puerto Rican flavors of Tampa Bay—Florida has a rich hispanic and latino heritage. And because of the latino population growth, our food and cultural experiences have exploded.
On the other hand, Georgia has a much larger African American population than Florida (32% vs 17%). In fact, Atlanta has the 11th largest African American population in the country with nearly 250,000 residents.
Parrillada and ceviche in Ybor City? Yes please.
While both states have a mix of urban and rural areas, Florida tends to have a higher concentration of retirees. Over 21% of the state is over the age of 65 while Georgia only has 14% of its population over 65.
Florida vs Georgia Ethnic Demographics
|Black or African American||16.9%||32.4%|
|Hispanic or Latino||26.1%||9.5%|
|Two or more races||2.7%||2.8%|
When it comes to sporting culture, both states have a strong passion for sports. In Florida, you’ll find a vibrant sports scene with professional teams such as the Miami Heat (NBA), Miami Dolphins (NFL), and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL).
Florida has a number of teams up and down the state. Nearly every major city has a sports team.
Recently, the Miami Heat has made multiple runs to the NBA finals and Eastern Conference Finals, the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2020 and 2021, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won a Super Bowl behind the famous Tom Brady.
It’s been a good run for Florida in pro sports.
Florida is also famous for its college sports culture, with teams like the Florida Gators and the Florida State Seminoles commanding a loyal fan base. University of Florida has 45 national champions alone.
Georgia, on the other hand, is home to beloved teams like the Atlanta Falcons (NFL), Atlanta Braves (MLB), and the Atlanta Hawks (NBA).
While Atlanta hasn’t put together many championship professional teams (4), they have a robust college athletics history.
College football is a big deal in Georgia, with the University of Georgia Bulldogs recently winning the 2021 and 2022 NCAA championships.
In general, Florida pro teams win more championships because they have more teams and more college championships, again—because they have more teams. More options, more fun.
Both states offer fantastic outdoor experiences. Florida is renowned for its beautiful beaches and coastal areas.
Florida beaches have been featured on the cover of countless travel magazines and top beach destinations around the world. Too many to count.
There is a reason Florida is the most visited state in the country.
Tom and I love Florida beaches. We are within an hour of world-class beach in either direction of Orlando.
Whether you’re into swimming, surfing, or simply relaxing under the sun, Florida’s beaches have it all.
And if we are being honest, Florida’s beach experience is miles better than Georgia’s beach scene. Sorry Georgia.
Florida has 1,350 miles of coastline while Georgia has 100 miles.
Additionally, the Everglades National Park in southern Florida is a unique ecosystem that provides opportunities for wildlife encounters and eco-tourism. Taking a trip to the everglades is a surreal experience—you almost feel like you are in a completely different country.
Florida has 160 state parks compared to 48 in Georgia.
Here is a list of some of the best state and national parks in the state of Florida. It’s truly an outdoor paradise.
|Park Name||Acres||Park Type|
|Bahia Honda State Park||524||State Park|
|Oleta River State Park||1,043||State Park|
|St. Andrews State Park||1,218||State Park|
|Topsail Hill Preserve State Park||1,643||State Park|
|Blue Spring State Park||2,643||State Park|
|Honeymoon Island State Park||2,865||State Park|
|Jonathan Dickinson State Park||11,500||State Park|
|Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park||22,000||State Park|
|Myakka River State Park||37,000||State Park|
|John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park||70,000||State Park|
|Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve||46,000||National Park|
|Dry Tortugas National Park||64,701||National Park|
|Canaveral National Seashore||57,662||National Park|
|Gulf Islands National Seashore||137,952||National Park|
|Biscayne National Park||172,971||National Park|
|Big Cypress National Preserve||729,000||National Park|
|Everglades National Park||1,509,000||National Park|
Georgia, on the other hand, boasts stunning natural landscapes and its star of the show is the Appalachian Mountains.
If you’ve ever spent time in the Appalachian Mountains during the month of October, you’ve been to heaven.
Florida doesn’t have any mountains. Sure, Florida has few hills under 400 feet, but it’s nothing like Georgia’s Brasstown Bald lookout area standing over 4,700 feet.
And Georgia, you have some of the best hiking in the southeast and some wonderful state and national parks.
|Park Name||Acres||Park Type|
|Vogel State Park||233||State Park|
|Indian Springs State Park||528||State Park|
|Skidaway Island State Park||588||State Park|
|Providence Canyon State Park||1,003||State Park|
|Amicalola Falls State Park||829||State Park|
|Red Top Mountain State Park||1,776||State Park|
|Black Rock Mountain State Park||1,743||State Park|
|Tallulah Gorge State Park||2,689||State Park|
|Cloudland Canyon State Park||3,485||State Park|
|Fort Mountain State Park||3,712||State Park|
|Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park||702||National Park|
|Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area||11,801||National Park|
|Cumberland Island National Seashore||36,415||National Park|
If you are an outdoor enthusiasts who enjoys activities like hiking, camping, fishing, and boating—don’t worry—Florida has you covered with hundreds of miles of splendid natural sites. But, if you need those activities in an elevated landscape, you’ll need to stay in Georgia
Music and Fun
It’s really tough to compare Florida and Georgia when it comes to music and vibrant cultural experiences, but we believe Florida has a lot to offer—much like Georgia.
When it comes to festival culture, both Florida and Georgia have a lot to offer. In Florida, you’ll find renowned events like the Miami Art Week, the Florida Strawberry Festival, and the Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa.
Orlando is the most flown to city in the world with over 20 million annual visitors. Disney, festivals, and more fill up the calendar each year. You can see shows almost nightly at Disney Springs.
If you can find it in Atlanta, you’ll probably be able to find it in Orlando, Tampa, Miami, or Jacksonville. However, we do believe the unique architecture and vibe of Savannah is tough to replicate and Florida probably doesn’t have a direct comparison in culture and visual interest.
Overall, while Florida and Georgia share some similarities, they each have their own distinct cultural flavors. From demographics and sporting culture to outdoor adventures and vibrant festivals, both states offer a wealth of experiences that make them unique in their own right.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are people leaving Georgia for Florida?
While it’s challenging to provide an exhaustive list of reasons why people may be leaving Georgia for Florida, there are a few factors that can contribute to this migration pattern:
- The Great Migration: Florida is now the most popular state in the country for people relocating. It’s most likely a result of people looking for a warmer climate, lower cost of living, and a selection of retirement communities.
- Job Opportunities: Florida’s economy, particularly in cities like Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tampa, offers a wide range of job opportunities across various industries. Florida has a larger population and a greater selection of growing big cities. Atlanta is a mega-city, but it stands alone in Georgia as the lone “big city”.
- Lifestyle and Recreation: Florida is a really laid-back, beach fun, soak up the sun on the boat, and leave your burdens behind kind of lifestyle. Georgia is full of life, but for people looking to shake things up and live the “salt life”, Florida provides a limitless number of recreational opportunities.
- Tax Considerations: Florida has no state income taxes and Georgia does—simple as that. People want to pay less taxes and so they move to Florida.
Does Florida or Georgia have better big cities?
Georgia is home to two famous cities: Atlanta and Savannah. Though, some golf fans might feel Augusta is up there too.
While Georgia has many great towns, Outside of Atlanta, there isn’t a “big town” feel anywhere else in Georgia. In fact, Atlanta is the only true big city in Georgia at over 6 million people and the only city in the top 40 biggest cities in the United States.
Is Atlanta an amazing big city? Absolutely—it’s the 8th biggest city in the U.S. with loads of culture, music, history, and beautiful homes.
Florida on the other hand is home to four cities in the top 40 biggest cities in the U.S.: Miami (6 million), Orlando (2.5 million), Tampa (2.7 million), and Jacksonville (1.6 million).
In addition, Florida has an additional five cities in the top 100 while Georgia only has one city in the top 100 most populated areas in the country (Atlanta).
While it’s hard to say one city is better than another, the simple fact is that Florida is home to a great number of big cities to pick from and Georgia only has one.