NEW YORK, NY – A substantial share of New York City residents earning more than $100,000 are working from home, have considered leaving the city, and show dissatisfaction with the city’s cost of living, according to a new poll commissioned by the Manhattan Institute (MI). The survey of 782 New York City adults—conducted by the Siena College Research Institute by telephone between July 13–August 3, 2020—finds that 53 percent of high-earning New Yorkers are working entirely from home and that 44 percent of high-earning New Yorkers have considered leaving the city in the past four months, with a majority citing the cost of living as a reason to leave.
Residents who earn $100,000 or more make up 80 percent of New York City’s income-tax revenue, making the city especially vulnerable to tax-base erosion. With that in mind, the MI/Siena survey indicates that the effects of the pandemic will be long-lasting, especially in the workplace. With 71 percent of surveyed New York City residents saying they want to work from home at least three days a week moving forward, and 19 percent saying it is very likely they will leave the city within the next two years, the state and city will need to be creative in retaining New Yorkers currently living and working in the state while working to attract new residents and businesses.
A new report, authored by MI’s director of state and local policy, Michael Hendrix, discusses these and other findings, including:
- Seventy-five percent of respondents identify income taxes as at least a “somewhat serious” problem.
- Among respondents, 62 percent of Democrats believe New York is on the right track, while 72 percent of Republicans believe it is headed in the wrong direction.
- Among respondents with children who attend NYC public schools, 53 percent are very concerned about sending them back to school, including 76 percent of black respondents.
- Just 28 percent believe that the city “will weather this crisis, and things will be back to normal soon”—with Staten Island residents especially pessimistic.
With recent headlines of people “fleeing” New York City, particularly the city’s higher-earning residents, the Manhattan Institute is working to quantify the problem and to take the city’s temperature as we chart a path forward for the city's renaissance.