Thursday, June 4, 2009

Florida Earns Top Rankings Nationally, Worldwide

Florida consistently earns top rankings from lifestyle, business, education, retirement and travel publications. Constant economic growth, pristine landscape, and the consistently temperate climate are just a few factors that make the state an ideal location to retire, start a family, build a career, attend university, or advance in a profession. Florida is ideal for anyone’s relocation needs.

• “Top State Business Climate.” Florida’s business climate ranked 4th among executives and 6th overall on Site Selection magazine’s 2008 Top State Business Climate rankings. Read more.

• “Best Tax Climate for Business.” Florida continues to rank among the top five states for best tax climate for business, according to a Tax Foundation survey. With no state income tax, low corporate taxes, a low unemployment insurance tax rate, and sales tax exemptions for certain business transactions, Florida has remained among the top five U.S. states since the survey’s inception. Read more.

• “#1 in Online Education.” Florida ranks top in the nation in online education, according to the Center for Digital Education, which evaluated each state’s vision, policies, programs and strategies to transform their academic environments to meet student needs. Read more.

• “Best Colleges and Universities.” Florida colleges and universities were ranked among the best by several national surveys. For instance, six Florida universities, including University of Florida at No. 2 and New College of Florida at No. 8, were named to “Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges.” These rankings recognize schools with top-flight academics and affordable costs. The University of South Florida's graduate entrepreneurship program was ranked No. 5 in the country in the 2008 ranking from The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine. Read more.

• “Top Ranked High Schools.” Florida leads the nation in Newsweek’s “Top 100 U.S. High Schools,” accounting for nearly 1 out of every 5 of the top ranked schools as measured by the magazine’s Challenge Index. Read more.

• “Top Biotech Region.” Florida was named a “Top 5 Region for Biotech” in 2008 by the industry's daily monitor, Fierce Biotech. This is Florida's second consecutive year at the top of this ranking for regions supportive of biotech development. Read more.

• “Best Places to Retire.” In its 2008 list, Money cited Dunedin as one of the nation’s top locations for a waterfront lifestyle and Collier County (Naples-Bonita Springs) as one of the best places for a long life. U.S. News & World Report highlighted Punta Gorda as one of the nation’s top retirement destinations. Also, the 2008 list from TopRetirements.com features Sarasota (#2), Fort Myers (#13), Venice (#14) and Gainesville (#17). Read more.

• “Best Beaches.” Florida beaches were awarded more top-10 spots than any other state, including the No. 1 beach in the U.S. (Caladesi Island State Park in Dunedin) on this year’s America’s Best Beaches list. This internationally recognized ranking is based on 50 criteria including number of sunny days, sand softness, algae and pollution content, safety record, and more. Read more.

Tampa, being on of the many thriving metropolitan regions in Florida, has seen its share of award and accreditations. Most recently, Tampa was named a finalist for the National Civic League’s “All-America City Award” and is the only city in Florida to be selected as a finalist this year. The city is also home to award winning hospitals such as Tampa General Hospital and Moffitt Cancer Center, nationally accredited universities such as the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa, the Florida Aquarium – named one of the best aquariums by ForbesTraveler.com, and the Lowry Park Zoo – named number #1 zoo in US by Parents magazine.

The city is nationally known for its booming metropolitan growth, major tourism attractions, diverse spectrum of planned communities, and award-winning beaches. The Tampa Bay area continues to grow in popularity and has quickly become a nationally recognized destination.

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