Florida continues to draw thousands of new residents every month, with people coming from New York, New Jersey, California and many other states to start a new life in the Sunshine State. Florida continues to have – by far – the largest net domestic migration, with 220,000 more people moving into the state than out of the state in 2021.

Despite its popularity, many myths still are believed about Florida by people around the country. They’ve proven difficult to dispel. If you’re thinking about moving to Florida but have questions about the things you often hear about the state, here’s an overview of some myths you can stop worrying about.

While Direct Connect Auto Transport offers its services across the country, the company headquarters are in Florida. Direct Connect serves people taking many of the most popular routes to move to Florida, including Chicago to Florida, New York to Florida and Ohio to Florida.

Florida is Mostly For Retirees

Yes, about 19.1% of the Florida population are retirees, according to the Pew Research Center. But do the math: that means 80.9% are not retirees. And in a state with 22 million residents, 80% is a lot of people. Many retirees congregate into communities built especially for them – such as The Villages – and in specific counties, such as Sumter or Charlotte counties. Also, Florida has become a magnet for business, especially in recent years, which is drawing more young professionals to the state.

Florida Has Few Industries Outside Tourism

Tourism is one of the big industries driving growth in Florida, but that’s what happens with beautiful beaches and great winter weather. Of course, people want to visit. However, the state also generates billions of dollars in other industries. They include international trade (17% of all United States trade with Latin America and the Caribbean goes through Florida); agriculture; aerospace and aviation; life sciences; and the financial industry.

Tech companies also have started to move to Florida, including autonomous vehicle technology company Argo AI and technology consulting firm Nucleus Research. Other companies to recently announce plans to open offices in Florida include real estate investment group Blackstone, global investment bank Goldman Sachs and investment firm Hidden Lake Asset Management.

“Florida Man” Is Everywhere

With so many people moving to Florida from across the United States and around the world, there are bound to be a few colorful characters. But the truth – according to official statistics – is that the crime rate in Florida dropped almost 40% between 1998 and 2018, while the violent crime rate dropped more than 56% during that same period. One of the main reasons Florida Man stories are so prevalent are the state’s laws that give journalists access to more public records than in other states, which is why you read more about wild happenings in Florida than you do in other high-population states such as Texas, California, and New York. But the meme could just as easily be “Texas Man” or “California Man.”

It’s Always Sunny

While it’s called the Sunshine State for good reason, most of Florida is home to sudden rain showers throughout the summer months. They sweep in off the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean. This is also why every day is not “beach day,” even though everyone in Florida lives about 60 miles from the beach!

There’s Little Culture in Florida

That’s simply not the case. The state has produced many great authors, including Zora Neale Hurston, John D. MacDonald, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Peter Matthiessen. Stephen King lives in Florida part of the year. Other state residents include Kate DiCamillo, Brad Meltzer and Lisa Unger. Ernest Hemingway lived there, too. The state also has produced Jim Morrison, Johnny Depp, Tom Petty and Tao Lin.

The state also is home to the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, which also is home to the Chihuly Collection. Art Basel in Miami is the only place in the Americas where you can go to the international arts show (the other two are in Switzerland and Hong Kong). There are great art museums in Miami, Orlando and Sarasota (The Ringling Museum). You won’t go without culture while living in Florida, and it’s only getting better.

Alligators Are Everywhere

“Alligators in the backyard” stories might make the news, but you could live in Florida for decades and never see an alligator. Or a python. Or “Florida Man,” for that matter.

These are some of the many myths about Florida. It’s certainly one of the country’s most colorful and interesting places to live. Like everywhere else, it’s what you make of it, but you’ve got more to work with than many other places when you live in Florida.