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“Leaving New York? Fuggedaboutit” may soon become an ancient proverb. In recent years, New York City has witnessed a significant population decline, which can be attributed to the fact that more and more New Yorkers are heading elsewhere. According to Bloomberg, around 277 people leave New York every day. And since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, many more people have left the city and it’s unclear when they are returning. In the last few weeks, many have paid attention to how New York has seen an exodus of residents leaving the city for their hometowns (or to sunnier places) during this trying time.

Interestingly enough, Bloomberg points out that many residents leaving NYC are Americans heading elsewhere. But, New York still remains a popular destination for internationals. As Bloomberg suggests the population decline is offset by the migration of international citizens moving into NYC. Bloomberg writes, “While New York is experiencing the biggest net exodus, the blow is being softened by international migrant inflows. From July 2017 to July 2018, a net of close to 200,000 New Yorkers sought a new life outside the Big Apple while the area welcomed almost 100,000 net international migrants.”

So where exactly do New Yorkers go when they leave? 

Are New Yorkers fleeing for other cities across the country or are they headed to more suburban/rural locales? Though not all of this information is available, there are certain indicators of where New Yorkers are heading. According to 2018 Census Data, the three cities that saw the greatest population decline were New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago (in that order). These three cities are typically seen as the largest and most vibrant cities in the U.S.A. But perhaps that may not be the case for much longer.

In the same time period, the three big cities that saw the greatest population growth were Phoenix, Dallas and Tampa, in that order. Other cities that are becoming more popular throughout the U.S are Austin, Orlando, Las Vegas, Denver, Atlanta, Miami, Houston and Philadelphia. All of these cities are having a renaissance of tech and youth culture.

The 5 boroughs of NYC (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island) offer different styles of life, which means that those who love living in the NYC metro area may also love other cities across the U.S. For instance, parts of Miami resemble parts of Manhattan, while parts of Philadelphia resemble parts of Brooklyn.

Why are New Yorkers leaving?

It’s probably a tough question to answer, but we believe that with growing rental prices, and the availability of other blossoming cities throughout the country NYC may not be the top destination anymore.The cost of living in NYC is the highest in the country, while San Francisco holds second place. Meanwhile, the cost of living in Phoenix, Dallas, Austin and Tampa are significantly lower than NYC. In a city like Austin, your cost of living will be 35% less than in NYC and real estate is also far cheaper. But saving money doesn’t always mean you have to sacrifice city life and convenience. A city like Austin also offers a great food, bar and entertainment scene (similar to NYC). Moreover, some corporations have started moving their headquarters to other parts of the country where there are cheaper tax rates, which means that there may be an influx of available and well-paying jobs in other parts of the country. Lots of tech companies have started building offices in Austin (for example!).

What is the best place to move from NYC?

There is no place that may compare to NYC. But there are still great options throughout the country. Some may be attracted to additional financial incentives when deciding where to move. There are many states across the country offering tax credits and other financial benefits for relocation. Some states may even pay you to move there. States like Maine, Vermont, Oklahoma and Kansas offer new residents various monetary credits to relocate there.

  • For instance, Maine offers a program in which recent graduates can use their student loan debt into tax credits if they move to Maine.
  • Other states literally offer money to new residents. Vermont offers a Remote Worker Grant Program which provides remote workers who move to Vermont a payment of 10,000 over two years.
  • Another place in the U.S that offered incentives to new residents is the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma provides $10,000 to remote workers who move to the city for at least a year.
  • The city of Topeka, Kansas is offering new residents up to $15,000 if they stay there for over a year as an initiative to attract new talent to the city and help promote the economic development of Kansas. 

There are many reasons to leave NYC, as great as the city might be. For one, you may have a shorter commute to work. New Yorkers commute an average of 43 minutes to work, which is quite a lot compared to other cities around the U.S.(San Diego, for one, boasts an average commute of less than 30 minutes). Moreover, in a smaller city, you may have more leisure time, and in turn, experience a better work/life balance. You may be able to see friends more frequently. In smaller cities, you live in closer proximity to amenities, culture and work, which makes your life feel more relaxed and efficient.

Another reason to leave NYC is to flee to better weather. Those who flock south to Florida (Miami or Tampa) are probably looking for some sunnier skies and milder climate. NYC, as wonderful as it is, has brutally cold winters that can be unattractive to many seeking a more relaxed lifestyle. Bloomberg reports that most of the cities seeing the greatest population growth have warm climates. They write: “Dallas, Phoenix, Tampa, Orlando, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Austin saw substantial inflows from both domestic and international migration. Sun Belt cities Houston and Miami claimed the 8th and 9th spots in the ranking. Seattle was the only cold-weather destination among the top 10.”

Whatever it might be, NYC may not be the place for you. If you are looking to move out of the city, consider hiring movers who are experts in relocating you to your new home.





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