50% Of Residents Plan To Leave NYC Within Five Years

A new poll taken of New York City residents reveals that half of those living in the Big Apple plan to leave within the next five years.

The survey, conducted by the nonprofit Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) and released on March 19, shows that New York City dwellers have become far less satisfied with life in the city over the years. According to the nonprofit, this resident survey gives a “comprehensive view of satisfaction with core city services [and] quality of life.”

The poll included 6,600 participants who were surveyed between September and December 2023.

The organization also prides itself on its recent poll being “the most comprehensive, statistically valid, post-pandemic view into how New Yorkers feel about the city.” It was conducted similarly to surveys issued in 2017 and 2008, which included similar questions. The 2023 poll results revealed that “overall” ratings about the city have “dropped significantly” in the past six years.

Additionally, the survey found that 30% of New York City residents consider their quality of life excellent or good, a drop from 50% per data in 2017 and 2008. 33% of respondents ranked quality of life as poor. City neighborhoods received a 50% approval rating of excellent or good, although the public safety in neighborhoods was only ranked at 37% satisfaction, a fall of 13 percentage points from 2017.

Another public safety issue highlighted in the survey is riding the subway. Today, New York residents express they barely feel safer riding during the day compared to how safe they felt on the train at night, per the 2017 polling results.

The rise in safety concerns comes as the New York Police Department faces a major spike in violent crime in the subway system, leading to significant boosts in security at stations, including the deployment of the National Guard.

In 2017, 44% of residents expressed that government services were good or excellent. But in 2023, that satisfied amount fell to 24%. More than 50% rank fire protection, waste services and bus services as among those which are good or excellent.

In response to the survey results, CBC President Andrew Rein emphasized that it is “important to consider the context” in which the poll was conducted. He said that there were many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic that are only “recently returning” to normal.

However, Rein did acknowledge that there is a need for “tremendous progress,” noting that there is hope for this to be accomplished as the survey also found that New York City residents generally agree with Mayor Eric Adams (D) and his administrative agenda. The 2023 resident survey is the first of its kind to be conducted by the CBC since the pandemic.