Nearly half of New York City residents earning six figures or more have considered fleeing the Big Apple during the coronavirus crisis over cost of living concerns, according to a new poll.
Researchers with the Siena College Research Institute and Manhattan Institute surveyed 782 city dwellers making $100,000 or more about life in the age of COVID-19.
In results released Wednesday, the survey, conducted between July 13 and August 3, found that 44 percent have thought of leaving the city in the past four months, with 69 percent citing cost of reason as the main reason to move.
Quality of life in the city that never sleeps has taken a hit, too, during the pandemic. Just under 4 in 10 respondents said quality of life is now “excellent or good” — a plunge from 79 percent who felt that way pre-coronavirus.
And it could be because many feel like there’s no end in sight — nearly 7 in 10 polled believe it “will take longer than a year” for life to return to normal.
The study also gave insight as to how many top earners are working from home. A majority of respondents, or 53 percent, are now calling their abode their new office, while 21 percent aren’t working at all — though the poll notes they could be retired, furloughed, independently wealthy and receiving passive income.
And the bulk of them (65 percent) believe working from home is Gotham’s new normal, with 30 percent of respondents citing the new setup as a driving force behind wanting to get out of dodge.
Of the 50 people who make $100,000 or more and have already moved out of the city, a dozen said they packed their bags because because of the ability to work from home, the poll found.
The study warned that if more high-income earners flee, the city could find itself in a tax crunch — which Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have been trying to stave off.
“Residents who make $100,000 or more make up 80 percent of New York City’s income-tax revenue, making the city government vulnerable to tax-base erosion,” wrote the study’s author, Michael Hendrix, MI’s director of state and local policy.
Among political parties, there was a stark divide over whether the Big Apple is on the right track — 62 percent of Democrats believe it is, while 72 percent of Republicans think the city is headed down the wrong path.
Those surveyed comprised of 71 percent Democrats, 11 percent Republicans and 14 percent Independents. The poll has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.