New York City was once the crown jewel of America, as a city that once offered unlimited opportunity and the true ability to pursue happiness and ultimately live the American dream.
Fast-forward a few decades to 2020, and the city is a complete nightmare. Crime spurred by an exodus in police officers along with harsh COVID-19 restrictions have turned the Big Apple into one of the most least desirable cities in America.
Unfortunately, that’s not just my personal opinion. According to the Washington Examiner, between the months of March and October, nearly 300,000 New Yorkers filed for a change of address with the United States Postal Service. But as they pointed out, the number of people leaving the city is likely much higher, as a change of address only covers a household and not the individuals within that household.
Also noteworthy is that while changes of address are expected in any city, the rate of requests this year far outweighed a normal number, with only 101,000 or so being requested at the same time last year.
Michael Hendrix, director of state and local policy at the Manhattan Institute, explained why he believes people are fleeing the city in droves.
“I think people are afraid,” he said. “They’re afraid of catching a deadly virus, and they’re afraid of crime and other quality of life concerns. One thing we also hear is about trash and cleanliness of the city.”
Kathryn Wylde, head of the Partnership for New York City, echoed Hendrix’s thoughts on why New Yorkers, once loyal to the greatest city in America, are no longer interested in living their lives there.
“The biggest reason for people leaving the city is uncertainty about when the pandemic will be over and how quickly the New York economy will recover,” Wylde said.
“More than half a million city residents who were employed in the retail, restaurant, services sectors have lost their jobs and cannot afford city rents. The late decision on re-opening public and private schools forced many families to relocate so they could make enrollment deadlines in districts where they were living during the pandemic,” she added.
Do you think New York City will ever be the same after COVID?
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Adding to the growing unattractiveness of living in NYC is the skyrocketing crime rates, with shocking increases in both murders and shootings in the city.
The exodus from the dangerous city is so bad that as recently as August, Gov. Andrew Cuomo essentially begged New Yorkers to stay, or come back if they’d already moved elsewhere.
“I literally talk to people all day long who are now in their Hamptons house who also lived here, or in their Hudson Valley house, or in their Connecticut weekend house, and I say, ‘You got to come back! We’ll go to dinner! I’ll buy you a drink! Come over, I’ll cook!’” Cuomo said.
It’s one thing to live in New York and expect the insane cost of living — that’s just part of the deal. But adding in lockdowns, crime and overall nastiness is something that city leadership, including Mayor Bill De Blasio, will have to correct if they want any chance at resembling what the city once was.