7 Million New York Residents Plan to Leave the State

By: Ben Campbell | Published: Apr 28, 2024

The state of New York could be set to experience a mass exodus of residents, with reports suggesting millions could flee to neighboring states in the next few years.

The news comes after a survey revealed around seven million people are planning to leave the state as residents seek a cheaper lifestyle and a better quality of life.

New York’s Decreasing Population

The state of New York is one of the most populous in the nation, coming in at fourth with nearly 20 million residents.

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However, since the pandemic, the state has experienced a very high rate of migration, and according to a survey from the nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank Citizen Budget Commission (CBC), this could be set to reach new heights.

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New Yorkers Unhappy With Their Lives

The CBC survey included answers from over 6,600 New Yorkers and revealed that unhappiness amongst residents of New York has increased from 2017 to 2023.

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As many as 70% of the respondents revealed they were unhappy with their quality of life in the city.

Policymakers Warned About States Future

Jonathan Bowles, Executive Director of Center for an Urban Future, said the CBC “Survey is a sobering, but hugely valuable assessment of what things matter the most for New Yorkers right now.”

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“Policymakers should take notice and grasp that there’s still a lot of work to do to make the city more livable and affordable.”

Reassessing the City's Priorities

CBC Vice President for Research Ana Champeny claims that New York City officials should use the data gathered from their study to better focus on the city’s priorities.

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“This feedback should complement and be viewed alongside City service performance data to get a sharper view into service quality and to shape continuing conversations with stakeholders on City priorities,” she said.

New York Set to Experience Mass Migration

The increasing sense of dissatisfaction among many of the state’s residents has also led to a shocking revelation: millions may decide to leave.

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Around 37% of New Yorkers who partook in a new Marist poll revealed they planned to leave the state, which could amount to over seven million people.

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Republicans Plan to Leave the State

Republicans made up the largest percentage of residents, with over 46% claiming they plan to leave the state of New York.

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Around 29% of those who plan to leave are Democrats, and the rest are unbiased about politics.

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Migration Trend Began in 2022

The increased desire for many New York residents to flee the state first surged in 2022, in the months following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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During this period in 2022, over 100,000 New Yorkers left the state in search of a cheaper lifestyle and warmer weather.

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Why Are New Yorkers Planning to Leave the State

Over 58% of the adults who revealed they plan to leave New York by 2028 claim it is purely economic. On the other hand, 42% claim other reasons for their decision to leave.

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This has experienced a slight drop compared to the 62% of people who planned to leave for economic reasons in 2011, according to the Marist Poll survey.

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The Cost of Living Remains the Top Reason for Migration

Digging deeper into the data supplied by Marist Poll, of the 58% who plan to leave, 41% claim New York’s high cost of living is the most prominent reason.

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Second to this is a low quality of life, which is forcing 25% to flee. 13% blame their decision on taxes, and 9% on politics. Poor weather, jobs, and retirement all make up 4% of the total.

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Americans Flee New York Due to Rising Prices and Weather

Josh Steppling, a Florida-based EXP Realty agent, claims it makes sense that so many Americans are fleeing New York due to the high living costs, which include housing and taxes.

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“Retirees are looking for a warmer climate, young families and millennials have enjoyed a lower cost of living, and business owners are seeking a more favorable tax environment,” Steppling said.

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Migration Could Greatly Affect Political Dynamics

“It could shift political dynamics in some areas and will certainly have an effect on the economy of both areas,” Steppling said.

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“New residents bringing skills and economic demand to a new community are taking those away from where they leave, and they’re also placing strains on local infrastructure and resources.”

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