POLL: Two in Five New Yorkers Would Leave the City if They Had the Choice

The New York skyline and the One World Trade Center in the distance as a man makes his commute after a night of snow from New York City to Exchange Place in New Jersey, February 14, 2014. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

Around two out of every five residents of New York would leave the city if they had the option, according to a new poll by the Manhattan Institute released on Tuesday.

Out of all respondents, 39 percent said they would live outside the city if they had the option to live anywhere. The responses come in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused close to 24,000 deaths among city residents and forced mass closures of businesses.

When divided by ethnicity, black and Hispanic respondents who wished to leave the city were more likely to say they would live “nearby.” A majority of white and Asian respondents who wanted to leave, by contrast, said they would rather live “somewhere far away” from the city.

Of those four ethnic groups, Hispanics were most likely to say they wished to leave, at 47 percent of all Hispanic respondents.

Respondents with a higher level of income and education were most likely to say they would stay in the city. For respondents making over $125,000, 66 percent said they would like to stay in the city, while 59 percent of those with a graduate degree or higher wished to remain. Residents of Manhattan (66 percent) were more likely to say they wished to remain in New York, though the borough is emptier now during the pandemic.

The survey was conducted from July 6-13, with 1,485 respondents.

New York has been hit hard by the coronavirus and ensuing social fallout, with police struggling to contain a rise in murders. The city is also facing a budget crisis that may force the municipal government to lay off about 22,000 workers, and the reopening of city public schools has been delayed to September 21 to accommodate teachers union demands for additional health and safety measures.

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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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