Nearly Half NYC High Earners Considering Leaving

Forty-four percent of New York City residents making $100,000 or more have considered moving out of the five boroughs since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus began, with nearly three-quarters citing the cost of living, a new poll found.

The Sienna College Research Institute released its findings Wednesday of a survey commissioned by the Manhattan Institute.

It found 37% of those making six figures – who pay 80% of the income taxes and 22% of the overall tax revenue – likely will not be living in New York within two years.

The poll collected information from 782 adults earning $100,000 or more between July 13-Aug. 3, comprising of 71% Democrats, 11% Republicans, and 14% independents. It listed a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Sixty-nine percent pointed to the cost of living in New York City as the primary reason for considering leaving, but that varies by age. Three-quarters (76%) of those 65 and older have not considered leaving while nearly half (49%) aged 18-44 have considered it.

However, regardless of age, 89% consider the cost of living a problem.

Regarding work, 53% are working entirely from home and only 11% work entirely out of the home, with 65% believing the situation is the “new normal” and the circumstances are unlikely to change.

Nearly a third (30%) who have considered leaving have said working from home would be a reason to relocate out of the city. Of an anecdotal sample of 50 respondents who already have left, 24% said it was because they were working from home.

More than two-thirds (69%) are “not confident that New York City will be back to normal anytime soon.” Conversely, 28% believe the city “will weather this crisis, and things will be back to normal soon.”

More than half (53%) say the city is headed in the right direction, but that is skewed with 62% of high-earning Democrats agreeing with that statement but 76% of Republicans believing the city is headed in the wrong direction.

Only 38% of New Yorkers questioned considered the quality of life now as excellent or good, half of the 79% who believed that before the coronavirus outbreak. Overall, the biggest concern of high-earning New Yorkers was the spread of the coronavirus, with 90% saying it was a problem.

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