Americans are heading South and West again in search of jobs and more affordable housing, as the nation’s economic health continues to improve.

Florida’s gain of almost 366,000 people to a population of 20,271,272 was its largest in a decade and reflects another cause behind the renewed exodus to the Sun Belt: The nation’s swollen population of baby boomers now feels more secure economically in picking up and moving to traditional retirement oases.

“The state continues to attract retiring baby boomers because of our climate and the relatively low costs of living,” said Richard Doty, a demographer with the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. “You can sell a home in New York or Ohio or Michigan for substantially more than you would spend in Florida, so it’s still relatively attractive.”
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