If you’re looking to move in the near future, don’t come to Florida.
That’s what a recent Gallup poll says, ranking Florida the 45th most livable state in the nation going into the future. Only five states fared worse: Arkansas, Nevada, Kentucky, Mississippi and West Virginia. Utah was No. 1.
The poll used factors such as economic confidence and optimism levels of residents to gauge future livability.
Florida ranked 34 for economic confidence and 37 for city and area optimism, according to the poll.
But some Gainesville residents don’t agree with Florida’s low ranking.
“Florida ranking 45 in anything is surprising to me,” said Thomas McIntosh, a broker for Prudential Trend Realty in Gainesville. “People aspire to live in Florida.”
McIntosh said he doesn’t think the poll will deter people from moving to the state known for its sweltering summers and picturesque beaches.
The state’s economy will determine whether people flock to Florida, he said.
Regardless, he said he’s still skeptical of the Gallup poll.
“I think with every survey you see you need to dig deeply and see how the criteria is rated,” he said.
The poll’s results are based on about 530,000 random telephone interviews with adults conducted since January 2011. The samples were weighted by gender, age, race, ethnicity, education, region, adults in the household and phone status.
Thirteen categories were used to determine states’ future livability: full-time employment for an employer; economic confidence index; job creation index; supervisor relationship; standard of living optimism; city optimism; daily learning; easy access to clean, safe water; easy access to a safe place to exercise, obesity, smoking, dentist visits; and future life evaluation.
While Florida ranked low for economic indicators, it was 12th for outlook on life in five years.
Larry Taylor, a Realtor for Bosshardt Realty, said he also was surprised with Florida’s low ranking.
“I think anybody that knows anything about Florida wouldn’t place it that low on the list,” he said. “It’s more than just the beaches. There’s just so much here to enjoy.”
John Pricher, the assistant director for Visit Gainesville, agreed.
Pricher said he doesn’t think the Gallup poll with impact state tourism levels, including Gainesville’s.
“The visitors are coming in and are cherry picking what they want to do,” he said. “They’re seeing the best of everything. It really doesn’t impact the visitor’s experience. As residents, we should certainly be concerned that we’re that far down on the list.”