by Andrew Powell


Florida is yet again one of the top 10 ranked states for economic performance and economic outlook.

The annual Rich States, Poor States report from the American Legislative Exchange Council shows the Sunshine State outperforming all other states economically over the past decade and for net in-migration, thanks to the state’s low tax burdens and worker-friendly policies.

The ALEC report is based on economic data collected over the past 10 years and performance rankings based on three variables: Absolute domestic migration, state gross domestic product and non-farm payroll employment.

Florida was tops for economic performance over the past decade — followed by Utah, Arizona, Idaho and Colorado — and was ninth for overall economic outlook.

Overall, Florida is tops in the U.S. for domestic migration, fifth for state gross domestic product and fourth for non-farm payroll employment.

Since Gov. Ron DeSantis took office in 2019, Florida has seen a huge amount of growth. Over the past decade, economic growth has improved from an average of 4% to 6% to almost 14% in 2021, despite taking a dip to nearly zero in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns.

The economic outlook is influenced by 15 state policy variables. States that have lower taxes and that spend less on welfare and universal basic income programs tend to have a higher growth rate than states with higher tax burdens who spend more.

This is the eighth year in a row that Florida has made the top 10 in the report for economic outlook and net migration and business growth. The state will likely continue on that trend as the data shows that over 1.6 million people moved to Florida between 2012 and 2021.

Net migration also broke records in 2022 when close to 100,000 people relocated from other parts of the U.S. to just three counties — Polk, Lee and Hillsborough.

Out of the 15 state policy variables, Florida is ranked first with several other states such as Tennessee and Texas for not levying a personal income tax. Florida also got high marks for not having an inheritance tax and being a right to work state.

Florida also ranks third for public employees per 10,000 people which is around 400. For the number of tax expenditure limits, the Sunshine State was ranked third.

Utah was rated first in economic outlook, with North Carolina, Arizona, Idaho and Oklahoma completing the top five. New York was worst in the rankings, preceded by Vermont, Minnesota, New Jersey and Illinois.

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Andrew Powell is a contributor to The Center Square. 
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Ron DeSantis.