Nearly Half of High-Income New Yorkers Have Recently Considered Moving, New Poll Finds

The Empire State Building in New York, N.Y., July 16, 2009 (Jamie Fine/Reuters)

Nearly half of high-income New York City residents have considered moving away from the city in the last four months, according to a Manhattan Institute/Siena College poll released Wednesday.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought much of city life to a standstill, and many residents with the means to do so have left New York to ride out the pandemic in suburban areas. New York faces a looming budget crisis and a drastic slowdown in foot traffic from tourists, and is struggling to reopen the city’s public schools for the fall.

Among New Yorkers making more than $100,000 per year, 44 percent said they had considered permanently relocating over the past four months, according to the MI/Siena poll. Of those who have thought of moving, 69 percent cited cost of living as one of the factors that could drive their decision. Respondents aged 18-44 were more likely to consider leaving than those aged 65 or older.

Additionally, the survey found that 71 percent of high-income earners desired to work from home at least three days a week, which could have far-reaching implications for the way in which offices operate in the city.

“Residents who earn $100,000 or more make up 80 percent of New York City’s income-tax revenue, making the city especially vulnerable to tax-base erosion,” the Manhattan Institute said in a press release. “The state and city will need to be creative in retaining New Yorkers currently living and working in the state while working to attract new residents and businesses.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that he and his staff would take rolling week-long furloughs, which will yield about $860,000 in savings for the city budget. However, the city still faces a $9 billion two-year revenue shortfall.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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