Aug 15, 2023 - News

Sarasota County's income boom caused by pandemic-related migration

Reproduced from Economic Innovation Group analysis of IRS data; Map: Axios Visuals

Migration into Sarasota County between 2020 and 2021 caused a $2.2 billion rise in adjusted gross income.

Why it matters: Florida doesn't have a state income tax. Still, counties across the state depend on residents' incomes to support the local housing market, retail sales and the tax base.

Zoom in: Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando, Citrus and Polk counties all saw a rise of hundreds of millions of dollars in adjusted gross income.

  • Meanwhile, Pinellas and Manatee counties each saw a rise of more than $1 billion.

The big picture: Millions of Americans rethought their living situations during the pandemic, and their moves changed the geography of where money is made in the United States, Axios' Neil Irwin reports.

  • Not only did people leave the biggest cities, but those who left had disproportionately high incomes — meaning the hit to the local economies was larger than migration numbers alone might imply.

What they're saying: "The scale of urban income flight is a lot larger than I thought it would be," said Connor O'Brien, who conducted the analysis at EIG.

  • "It's very likely that the last couple of years in superstar cities, high earners have become more mobile, while everyone else has been stuck."

What's next: The data only runs through 2021 — but, based on other evidence, the trends may have eased but not reversed, O'Brien said.


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