17 Reasons Why People Are Moving Out of New York in Droves

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By Jonathan Trent

New York is a beacon of opportunity, culture, and excitement for many. But recently, a growing number of people have been moving out of this city in favor of less stressful areas. Let’s look at 17 reasons why there is this trend of people leaving New York.

Cost of Living

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The extremely high cost of living in New York makes it difficult for many residents to make ends meet, as rent, utilities, and grocery prices are very high. People are moving away to places with lower living costs, so they have more disposable income—particularly if they don’t earn a large salary.

Expensive Taxes 

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New York consistently ranks as one of the highest-taxed states in the U.S. According to Spectrum News, the state relies heavily on Personal Income Tax (PIT), which means high taxes are required – and this is causing even the wealthiest residents to leave the area and set up elsewhere.

Housing Affordability

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The real estate market in New York is very expensive. Average home prices and rent far exceed national averages, making it challenging for people to find affordable housing and pushing them to seek opportunities to buy or rent cheaper housing elsewhere.

Limited Space

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New York’s urban areas are densely populated, which leads to cramped, unpleasant living conditions—particularly for lower-income individuals and families. Apartments are typically small and don’t offer many amenities, and finding additional space for growing families can be a struggle.

Job Opportunities 

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While New York is thought to have a myriad of career opportunities, many industries are expanding across the U.S. The increase in remote work and growth in other states have made it easier for people to relocate without sacrificing their career prospects.

Education Challenges

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New York might have prestigious educational institutions, but the public school system in some areas faces significant challenges. Chalkbeat talks about larger classes, fewer opportunities, and slashed school budgets – all of which have led to parents seeking better education options in other states. 

Pandemic Impact

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The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the vulnerabilities of city living, as higher transmission rates and restrictions greatly impacted quality of life. Remote working also became more common, prompting many to leave New York as they could work from anywhere while living more affordably.

Quality of Life

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Many residents are beginning to search for a better work-life balance and a slower pace of life. New York’s fast-paced lifestyle, long commutes and high stress levels can be overwhelming for some and have caused many to seek opportunities in different states.

Crime Rates

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Certain areas in New York, especially larger cities, have seen an increase in crime rates. For example, Vox mentions an increase of 13% in major crimes in the transit system in just a few months. These safety concerns have led to many residents moving to places with lower crime levels.

Traffic Congestion

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New York traffic is renowned for being heavily congested, and commutes can be lengthy and stressful. Many people prefer shorter commutes and better transportation options outside of this city.

Weather and Climate

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New York experiences harsh winters with heavy snowfall, which can make living and commuting challenging. Some residents prefer milder climates and are willing to move to avoid the winter cold, especially considering there is often a lot of commuting involved while living in this city.

Political Landscape

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The political landscape in New York can be quite polarizing, and people often hold strong opinions on various issues. Many residents may prefer a more moderate or conservative environment, which leads them to move to states with different political landscapes.

Environmental and Health Concerns

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Earth5R says that New York City has the 10th-worst smog levels in the country and is rated very poorly by the American Lung Association. High smog can significantly impact the environment and health, causing many residents to move to states with cleaner air.

Business Regulations

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New York has strict business regulations and high costs associated with running a business. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners might find it easier to operate in states with fewer restrictions and lower overheads.

Healthcare Accessibility

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New York has a variety of world-renowned hospitals, but access to healthcare can be limited, especially in rural areas. Many people are starting to move to states with broader healthcare networks and more accessible services.

Community Connections

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Big cities like New York can make it challenging to form lasting connections. Many people are moving to be closer to family and friends and to build a sense of community. According to Medium, this is essential for providing support, a sense of belonging, and personal growth.

Aging Infrastructure

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The roads, bridges, and public transportation in New York are aging and in need of significant investment. Frequent delays and maintenance issues can impact residents’ quality of life and lead people to consider other locations with better infrastructure.