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Florida Popular as a Place to live Nationally and Internationally

NEW YORK — Oct. 4, 2006 — A first-time public opinion survey asked the question: Where do you want to live? Americans picked Florida as their third favorite state, with North Carolina first and Virginia second. Internationally, Florida ranked No. 2, surpassed only by California.

The Anholt State Brands Index — — recently looked at the responses of 9,000 U.S. citizens and more than 12,000 foreigners regarding the appeal of all 50 U.S. States. The poll, created by government advisor Simon Anholt and powered by global market intelligence solutions provider GMI, found that American panelists ranked North Carolina and Virginia as the top two states where they would like to live, while neither state made it into the top five of the global ranking.

Foreign panelists ranked the big-name states — Florida, California and New York — in the top five, while home-turf panelists reserved the top five slots for some of the smaller-name states, such as Colorado and the afore-mentioned North Carolina and Virginia. In fact, some of the more obvious big names did not make the overall domestic top five, and Florida was the only state to make the top 5 on both rankings.

For instance, foreign favorites California and New York ranked nine and 39 respectively to Americans, while foreign panelists ranked them four and one. In some cases, the foreign panelists chose American states based on misperceptions. Generally, they judged all of New York State, for example, based on the image they had of New York City. And many mistakenly believe that Washington, D.C., is located in Washington State.

The study looked at each states’ “brand,” or the perception of that state held by residents within the U.S. and throughout the world. It looked at six perception areas: tourism, exports, people, governance, culture and heritage, and investment and immigration. In tallying the total marks for each state, the study finds “a big gap between the megabrands of California, Florida” and the other states. “Hawaii and New York are in the second league of brand power,” the report notes, “and then there is another sizeable gap between them and the remaining 46 states.”

“The brand images of U.S. states, as a rule, are more up to date, more detailed, and more likely to be based on fact than fiction amongst domestic audiences than overseas respondents,” says study author Simon Anholt. “The most noticeable difference between how Americans rank the importance of their states and the way foreigners do so is the presence of Virginia and North Carolina in the U.S. panel’s top 10, and their absence from the non-U.S. panels’ list. The high domestic profile of these three states probably has much to do with their relevance to American history, which is not as familiar to foreign audiences as it is to domestic ones.”

“Brand image is critically important to the prosperity of all communities, yet it is hard to identify, hard to explain, and remarkably hard to alter,” says Anholt. “It is critical for the political, cultural, social, educational and business leaders of each state to understand their brand, and to see how potential visitors, investors and future citizens view them. If the image doesn’t match up to the reality, they can decide what to do to close the gap.”

Top five ranking

Responses of U.S. residents:

  1. North Carolina
  2. Virginia
  3. Florida
  4. Colorado
  5. Oregon

Responses of foreigners:

  1. California
  2. Florida
  3. Hawaii
  4. New York
  5. Washington

The survey was conducted between May 25 and June 12, 2006. A representative sample based on age, gender, and where applicable, geographic region, race and ethnicity, was collected in the United States (9,000 completes) and the top 15 inbound tourism markets (12,410 completes) for a total of 21,410 completes.


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One Comment Post a comment
  1. Tom E Drude #

    As a multi property owner in Florida, it is refreshing to see some positive print. I am a fellow realtor licensed in Minnesota and Wisconsin, I obviously believe in realestate as a good investment, and history has always proven so,,, please keep up spreading the positives and hope the news dispenses with it’s doom and gloom stories,,, thx, Tom

    October 19, 2006

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