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Nearly half of New Yorkers can’t afford to live in NYC: poll

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Some 41 percent of city dwellers say they can’t afford to live in New York state

A row of apartment buildings in the Lower East Side, Manhattan.
Philippe Debled/Getty Images

The city’s high cost of living is putting the squeeze on nearly half of New Yorkers who say they’re being driven out of the Big Apple, according to a new poll.

Some 41 percent of city dwellers say they can’t live in New York state, let alone the city, and that economic woes will probably push them out of the Empire State in five years or less, a Quinnipiac University poll published Wednesday shows.

The poll surveyed more than 1,200 New York state votes—with some 55 percent living within city limits. Of those, 41 percent said they believe they will be “forced” to move elsewhere for “better economic opportunity,” the poll says.

Conversely, 61 percent of voters across the state say they feel they can afford to live here—that’s some 55 percent of New York City voters, 63 percent of suburbanites, and 67 percent of upstates residents, according to the poll.

An uptick of New Yorkers are leaving the state, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau. More than 180,000 people moved out of the state between July 2017 and July 2018, but just shy of 132,000 new residents replaced those who fled—meaning some 48,000 abandoned New York.

Still, New York City’s population is growing with nearly half a million newcomers to the state from 2010 to 2017. But plenty of city dwellers are pulling up stakes. In 2017, some 131 people left the five boroughs each day—that’s up from the 43 who left per day in 2014, census data shows.

And some of the city’s wealthiest are getting out of Dodge with a recent National Movers Study conducted by United Van Line—tracking moving company’s customers’ state-to-state relocations—showing more than 61 percent of New York’s movers left the state. Of those, some 41 percent earned $150,000 or more. Comparatively, 8 percent of those who left earned less than $50,000, that study found.