New York City’s population has declined by 5.3% since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to the US Census Bureau which theorizes that hundreds of thousands of people left the city as a result of the pandemic between April 2020 and July 2022.
Nearly 305,465 people left New York City in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, with a further 123,104 people leaving the following year, according to the Census.
The Boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx lost between 40,000-50,000 residents each in 2021-2022, while Manhattan gained 17,472 new residents.
The second greatest population decline, of 6.3% was in San Francisco, having lost a total of 54,813 residents in 2021.
Why did people leave New York?
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis blamed the decline in New York City’s population on strict COVID-19 guidelines, a high crime rate and a state-wide income tax, according to the New York Post.
DeSantis's opinion is not shared by all. Michael Kink, from the group Strong Economy for All in an interview with North Country Public Radio, argued that higher taxes increase a state’s attractiveness because it signifies better public services.
The average cost of living in New York City is $3,723 a month for an individual including rentals costs, which makes it one of the most expensive cities in the world, according to livingcost.org. The average cost of living with rent in New York for a family of four is $8,021. In 2020, roughly 35% of Americans worked remotely, enabling them to move to cheaper states with the possibility to maintain employment, according to NBC News.
Where did people move to?
Many people moved to America’s south during the pandemic. Six of the fastest-growing populations were found in Texas.
Georgetown, located close to Austin in Texas, had a population incline of 14.4%.
Florida gained 655,200 new residents in 2020 and 2021. The average cost of living in Florida for an individual including rent is $2,218, according to livingcost.org. For a family of four, the average was reported to be $4,954.