Should I move to Florida? First check the pros and cons of living in Florida: crime rate, how is the weather, theme parks, job opportunities, beaches, natural wonders, etc
History of Florida
The peninsula of Florida, in Spanish "full of flowers", has been inhabited for more than 14,000 years. The Spanish explorer and conquistador Juan Ponce de León discovered Florida in 1513 in an expedition from Puerto Rico. The Spanish recorded dozens of different groups and tribes in Florida. The Apalachee, Calusa, Mayaimi, and Ais are some of the Native American people the first contacted with the Spaniards. The epidemics of newly introduced diseases made the original populations decrease quickly weakening their socio-political structures and allowing other groups such as the Seminoles to move in the area.
After Ponce de León, Pánfilo de Narváez, in 1528, and Hernando de Soto in 1539, led other expeditions which helped establish that Florida was not an island but a peninsula. In 1562 Jean Ribaut arrived with a group of huguenots and claimed Florida for France. In 1565, he was captured and executed by Spanish troops under Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, who founded St Agustine, the first important Spanish settlement in Florida. St. Agustine was the objective of continuous British raids and Pirate attacks and was burnt down several times. Spain later built the Castillo de San Marcos (in 1672) and Fort Matanzas (in 1742) from 1513 to 1763. British and French troops continued to attack Spanish Florida during the 18th century but were unable to take the Spanish Colony.
They first settlement of free blacks in North America, Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, was created in the Spanish Florida. Spain offered British slaves freedom if they converted to Catholicism. In 1783 Spain traded Florida to the United Kingdom for the Control of Cuba which has been captured during the Seven Years' war. Most of the Spanish and indigenous population moved to Cuba. Colonists from England, South Carolina and Georgia moved to Florida. They introduced the cultivation of sugar cane and fruits.
Florida remained loyal to the UK during the Revolutionary War. At the end of the war Florida was returned to Spanish control, but it became a burden to the Spanish crown, which could not send settlers or troops to control it. Finally Madrid ceded the territory to the United States in 1821. Many free blacks and Indiand Slaves fled to Havana to avoid becoming under US control. In 1845 Florida became the 27th state, half of the population were enslaved African Americans. During the Civil War, Florida joined the Confederation. The population has grown enormously over the last century, from 530,000 in 1900 to 20 millions in 2016. The economic growth and migration from Cuba and other Latin American countries, as well as from other states of North America have managed to shape socio-demographic composition of the peninsula.
Pros and cons of living in Florida
Florida is currently one of the most important States in the US and the most traveled to vacation destination on Earth. Probably many things come to your mind when you think of Florida, including its large Cuban expatriate community, its beautiful beaches, the oranges, great resorts for retired people, the warm weather, the amusement parks, and the sunset postcards. Should I move to Florida? Well, there are many factors you may want to consider before making up your mind. Let's see what are the pros and cons you may experience if living in Florida.
Pros of living in Florida
- No surprises, Florida is an extremely beautiful state. There are many natural wonders in the sunshine state you will love visiting over and over. The most important ones are: the Gulf Islands National Seashore, Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Little Talbot Island State Park, Leke Okeechobee, the Everglades National Park, and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuarty.
- Beaches! If you love the ocean and getting a tan Florida may be your place. Key West, South Beach, Siesta Key, Delray Beach, Clearwater Beach, Sanibel Beach, Palm Beach, Naples Beach, and Captiva Island are among the most beautiful in the whole country.
- How is the weather in Florida? Good, very good! There is a reason for the "sunshine state" nickname. The average temperature in Florida ranges from 28°C (82°F) in July to 16°C (61°F) in January.
- Lots of leisure activities available: year round golf, swimming, snorkeling and open theme parks. Florida is home to some of the most amazing amusement parks in the world. For instance Disney's Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios Orlando, Seaworld Orlando and the Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay are top tourist destinations. You can visit Cape Canaveral where NASA launches the space exploration missions. You can also watch great sport: Florida is home to the Orlando Magic, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Florida Panthers.
- The cost of living in Florida can be very low if you take in consideration housing prices. The real estate market in Florida was heavily hit by the global financial crisis. Housing prices have been very cheap over the last few years. Moreover it is relatively easy to find a house in Florida.
- Florida has become and increasingly diverse state. Latin American migrants have brought their language and culture. If you are interested in Latin culture or music, Florida can be a great place to go. Moreover Miami has become a hub for Latin American culture and from its airport you can easily fly across Latin America.
- Great place for retirement. Not only the weather is good, also the facilities for retired people are top-notch in Florida.
Cons of living in Florida
- Although the temperature is generally good, Florida often suffers from storms, tropical cyclones, and hurricanes. Moreover the climate is very humid. Climate cyles have also an important impact on Florida. Due to El Niño and La Niña increase rainfall and facilitate wildfires. Northern Florida is more susceptible to severe weather.
- Insects, spiders and snakes are also very common in Florida, beware!
- Job opportunities in Florida are scarce comparatively speaking. Finding a job in Florida is not an easy task. The cost of living in Florida is increased due to the very high home insurance prices.
- Inequality is growing in Florida. The growing gap between the rich and poor is very visible in some parts of Florida. 17% of the population is under federal poverty level.
- Crime rate is very high in some parts of Florida. Florida contains 11 of the 100 most dangerous cities in the US. There are over 1,100 murders a year per 100,000 people. Violent crimes rate per capita of 0.00476. Some areas of Florida are notorious for their gang activity. The recent attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando was the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the US
- The proportion of retired people living in Florida is growing. Many don't like to live among such a big elderly population.
- Diversity is usually considered an advantage of Florida, however for those who do not speak Spanish, living in Miami and some other parts of Florida can be a problem. Spanish has become the primary language of communication and necessary in many jobs.
What would you tell someone who is seriously considering moving to Florida? Please suggest other pros and cons of living in Florida on the discussion forum below.
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Should I move to Florida? Pros and cons of living in Florida
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