Nearly half of New York’s top earners have considered leaving the city


Nearly half of New York’s top earners have considered leaving the city during the coronavirus pandemic – with declining quality of life and increasing crime as the top reasons for fleeing

  • Survey of 782 New Yorkers Earning Over $ 100,000 a Year
  • Found 44% of high-income New Yorkers have considered leaving
  • The group accounts for 80% of the city’s income tax
  • Cost of living, crime and lifestyle are the main reasons they consider moving

A new poll found that nearly half of New York City’s highest earners have considered moving elsewhere during the coronavirus pandemic, flashing a warning signal about the city’s evaporating tax base.

The survey of 782 adults in New York City who earned at least $ 100,000 per year was conducted between July 13 and August 3, at the behest of the Manhattan Institute, a politically conservative think tank.

The high-income demographics account for more than 80 percent of New York City’s income tax revenues.

The survey found that 44 percent of high-income New Yorkers say they have considered moving outside of the city in the past four months, most often citing the cost of living as the main reason.

Residents of Manhattan see a U-Haul packing on Saturday.  A new poll found that nearly half of New York City's highest earners have considered moving elsewhere

Residents of Manhattan see a U-Haul packing on Saturday. A new poll found that nearly half of New York City’s highest earners have considered moving elsewhere

Perception of quality of life in the city has fallen dramatically during the pandemic

Perception of quality of life in the city has fallen dramatically during the pandemic

Perception of quality of life in the city has fallen dramatically during the pandemic

New York has already experienced a massive exodus of residents during the pandemic, leading Governor Andrew Cuomo to beg the wealthy residents to return.

On Tuesday, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer warned that the city’s wealthiest residents should be willing to close a gaping $ 4.2 billion deficit by paying higher taxes.

The new survey found that more than half of high-income New Yorkers work entirely from home, and nearly two-thirds believe this will become the new norm for the city.

Of those considering leaving New York City, 30 percent said the ability to work remotely makes it more likely they will relocate.

Cost of living, crime and desire for a different lifestyle were the main reasons for leaving

Cost of living, crime and desire for a different lifestyle were the main reasons for leaving

Cost of living, crime and desire for a different lifestyle were the main reasons for leaving

Still, a majority of the survey respondents said New York City is on the right track

Still, a majority of the survey respondents said New York City is on the right track

Still, a majority of the survey respondents said New York City is on the right track

A large majority believe the pandemic will permanently change work habits

A large majority believe the pandemic will permanently change work habits

A large majority believe the pandemic will permanently change work habits

Desire to move varies with age: more than half of 18 to 44 year olds are considering moving, while less than a quarter of people over 65 are considering moving.

The cost of living in New York was the most cited reason for wanting to leave, with 69 percent of respondents saying it was a reason to move.

Other reasons cited by respondents considering leaving New York City include crime (47 percent), desire for a non-urban lifestyle (46 percent), and the ability to work from home (30 percent).

The survey found that more than half of the high-income New Yorkers work entirely from home due to pandemic constraints, perhaps adding to their willingness to leave.

A moving van will be seen in Chelsea, New York, on Tuesday 14 July 2020

A moving van will be seen in Chelsea, New York, on Tuesday 14 July 2020

A moving van will be seen in Chelsea, New York, on Tuesday 14 July 2020

Of New Yorkers who make at least $ 100,000, 38 percent believe the city is going in the wrong direction, compared with 53 percent who think it’s on the right track.

The results are split along partisan lines, with 62 percent of Democrats saying New York is on the “right track,” while 72 percent of Republicans say it’s going in the “wrong direction.”

It comes after New Yorkers have been leaving the city en masse since the pandemic started. Between March 1 and May 1, more than 420,000 people fled, many of whom lived in the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods, including SoHo and the Upper East Side.

By the end of June, another 16,000 New Yorkers had permanently changed their address from NYC to an address in Connecticut.

In the months since, others have fled to Vermont, Idaho, Ohio, and elsewhere in search of new pastures.

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