Everyone has an opinion on their hometown and the state they live in. It’s natural to have that sense of pride, and it’s natural to have a slight disdain for everywhere else.
Except for Florida. It’s one of the states Americans don’t want to live in anymore, and that’s just one of its problems. Everyone hates Florida. Each state has its charms and its downfalls, but Florida is the black sheep of the United States. Here are some reasons why everyone hates the Sunshine State.
1. The summer weather stinks…
The best response when someone tells you they visited Florida in the summer is, ‘Why?’ If you’re one of the millions visiting Disney World and the other theme parks in Orlando, be ready to get wet. The city gets more than six inches of rain from June through September. Oh, and the average high temperature is around 90 degrees during the season.
Next: The weather is even worse after the summer.
2. …and the weather after the summer isn’t any better.
If you survive the blistering summer temperatures in Florida and don’t get washed away by the rain, then you’re rewarded with worse weather. It’s called hurricane season, and Florida is ground central. The Washington Post mapped 100 years of Florida hurricanes, and it looks like tangled hair in a shower drain.
Next: Ben Franklin would have loved it.
3. Look out for lightning. Like, seriously, look out.
If those ubiquitous summer storms and the hurricanes that follow aren’t dangerous enough, then leave it to the lightning to up the ante. Lightning can strike anywhere in the country, but only Florida constantly puts you in harm’s way. The state has 17 of the top 30 cities in the U.S. for lightning strikes.
Next: Florida is paradise for these guys.
4. Mosquitos everywhere
No one likes being bitten by mosquitos, but Florida is absolute paradise for nature’s phlebotomists. Thanks to the Zika virus, mosquitos are now a massive public health problem instead of a mere pest.
Next: Who needs a zoo?
5. The wildlife is downright scary
Zika-plagued mosquitos are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Florida’s animal pests. Alligators are all around you. Fire ants can put you in a coma. Feral pythons are taking over. And Palmetto bugs are just gross. They’re all things that make Florida the worst.
Next: You never know when you’ll need a bathing suit.
6. You’d better love the water
You should always wear a bathing suit in Florida, and not just because water is everywhere. Rising sea levels are making the state even wetter. By almost every metric studied by Climate Central, Florida is the state being hit hardest by rising seas. One 2012 estimate revealed 1.6 million people in Florida lived less than 1 meter above sea level.
Next: The natives are restless.
7. Other states don’t have Twitter accounts like this.
Sure, every state has its share of saints and sinners, but Florida’s residents take the cake for crazy behavior. So much so that there is a Twitter account dedicated to documenting all the crazy things Floridians do.
Next: The tourists still come in droves despite these drawbacks.
8. It has some of the worst airports in the country.
Tourists from around the world flock to Orlando for its theme parks and Miami for its beaches. And what welcomes the arriving tourists ready to relax and spend their money? Either one of the ugliest airports in the country, or one of the most hated airports. Welcome to Florida!
Next: OK, let’s get serious.
9. Terrible education spending
We’ve just spent some time dissecting Florida’s foibles, but there are some serious reasons it’s the worst state in the U.S. One reason is that Florida is terrible about education spending. It ranks fortieth in money spent per student at less than $9,000 per pupil.
Next: Unsavory scammers are everywhere.
10. Health care fraud is a cloud over the Sunshine State.
There are tons of retirees in Florida, and along with that comes unsavory individuals looking to take advantage of them. Health care fraud is rampant.
There are the 2018 federal charges against a group running a South Florida pill mill. Or the $1 billion Medicare fraud case from 2017. Or another 2017 fraud case that also involved identity theft. The gist is, health care fraud is rampant in the Sunshine State.
Next: A gap Evel Knievel couldn’t cross.
11. The wealth gap is ridiculous
The Economic Policy Institute crunched the numbers, and the numbers are staggering. In Florida, the top 1% of earners take home 25.6% of the income. The 1% makes 34.7 times more money than the other 99%. In 2013, four Florida metro areas were among the 12 most unequal in the U.S. as the top 1% earned at least 45 times more than the rest of the population.
Next: Watch your wallet.
12. Identity theft is rampant
As if the health care fraud we just discussed wasn’t bad enough, Florida is one of the worst states for identity theft. In 2016, there were 34,384 identity theft complaints or 166.8 per every 100,000 people. So the lesson is, watch your physical and virtual wallets while you’re in Florida.
Next: Existing is expensive.
13. Day-to-day life costs a lot
Yes, you’re right. Florida doesn’t have a state income tax, but other expenses make living there very costly. It has some of the highest food costs in the United States. If you’re using a car to get around, you’re paying a ton for car insurance. And Florida is one of the states where you pay the most income tax at the federal level.
Next: Watch your back, Jack.
14. Crime is prevalent
We’re not going to tiptoe around the issue: Florida is dangerous. In fact, it’s one of the most dangerous states in America, and that’s not even taking into account the hurricanes, lightning, and wild animals we discussed a little while ago. Jacksonville has some of the worst gun violence in the U.S. and is one of the cities where the murder rate rose in 2017.
Next: Speaking of guns…
15. There are lots of guns
Just a minute ago, we touched on the overall violence in Jacksonville, but let’s be fair. The entire state of Florida poses a risk in that regard. After all, there were 343,288 registered weapons in the state in 2017. Also worth keeping in mind is that Florida is a concealed carry state.
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