13 Reasons Why Noone Wants To Live In New York Anymore

For decades, New York City has been the most populous city in the United States of America. Yet, New Yorkers have been unhappy about living there in the last few years. A recent survey by the non-profit organization Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) reveals some shocking information. Only 30% of New Yorkers are happy about the quality of life there. Almost half of the present residents are thinking about moving away in the next few years.

We collected insights from various online platforms to understand the current issue. Based on the CBC survey and our thorough online research, we list the top reasons New Yorkers are considering moving away.

High Cost of Living

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Living in New York has become increasingly expensive. In the last few years, rents and property prices have soared in the city. As stated by the Statista Research Department, New Yorkers have paid an average monthly rent of $2238 in 2023.  Many struggle to afford basic necessities like housing, groceries, and healthcare. The cost of living in the city surpasses the national average, making it financially burdensome for residents.

Lack of Affordable Housing

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The shortage of affordable housing in New York City is a major concern for residents. In particular, low-income individuals and families cannot afford housing in the city. On the one hand, rents are skyrocketing, and on the other, the availability of affordable housing units has become limited. This condition forces people to live in overcrowded or substandard conditions. Many others are thinking of relocating to cheaper areas outside the city.

Traffic Congestion

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Traffic congestion is a persistent issue in New York City, resulting in long commutes. New York currently ranks in the top five global traffic congestion rankings with a high index 37.8. The long traffic situation increases air and noise pollution. It is a constant cause of frustration for drivers and pedestrians alike. The city’s narrow streets and limited parking exacerbate traffic problems, making it difficult for residents to travel efficiently and sustainably.


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New York City’s population density is among the highest in the United States. According to the 2022 Census data, New York had 8,335,892 residents in 2022. This huge population leads to overcrowding everywhere. This overcrowding contributes to a sense of claustrophobia and can diminish the quality of life for residents seeking space and tranquility.

Safety Concerns

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The NYPD states that the overall crime rate in New York has declined in recent years. Despite improvements in recent years, safety remains a concern for many New Yorkers. Crime, including theft, assault, and vandalism, persist in certain neighborhoods. The safety issues impact residents’ sense of security and well-being. The CBC survey highlighted only 37% of New Yorkers are happy with the safety status of the city.

Declining Infrastructure

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New York’s aging infrastructure is quite old. Most bridges, houses, and buildings were made over 50 years ago. The city is struggling to keep pace with the demands of its growing population. Public transportation systems are not up to date anymore and require severe repairs. Moreover, inadequate public services pose challenges for residents and hinder the city’s overall livability.

Limited Green Spaces

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New York City lacks sufficient parks and recreational areas to accommodate its residents. The NYC Mayor’s Office has taken several initiatives to increase green spaces. Yet, the scarcity of greenery and open spaces can negatively impact residents’ mental and physical health. The lack of adequate green spaces deprives them of opportunities for relaxation and outdoor activities.


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Gentrification has transformed many neighborhoods in New York City. This phenomenon has displaced longtime residents and eroded the city’s cultural diversity. Rising rents and property values lead to social and economic inequality. As a result, lower-income individuals and families are compelled to move out of their homes. Multiple studies by NLM or Urban Displacement Projects have discussed the worsening situations caused by gentrification.

Lack of Affordable Healthcare

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Access to affordable healthcare is a significant concern for many New Yorkers. Those with low incomes or inadequate insurance coverage suffer constantly from this anxiety. People from different socio-cultural groups face disparity in access to healthcare. Plus, there are limited healthcare facilities in certain neighborhoods. On top of that, high medical costs and long wait times for appointments pose barriers to accessing essential medical services.

Quality of Education

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New York City has many prestigious educational institutions, such as New York University and Columbia University. Sadly, access to quality education remains uneven across the city. There are severe disparities in funding, resources, and academic performance. This situation disadvantages many students and limits opportunities for upward mobility.

Air and Noise Pollution

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New York City struggles with air pollution due to various factors. The city’s dense population and heavy traffic contribute to high levels of pollutants. The government has been trying to improve air quality through regulations and initiatives like cleaner transportation options. Research has shown that around 6% of annual deaths in New York occur due to environmental pollution. Moreover, 90% of New Yorkers are exposed to high levels of noise pollution. This situation is leading to high-risk diseases, mental disturbances, and hearing loss.

Mental Health Challenges

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The fast-paced, high-pressure environment of New York City can take a toll on residents’ mental health. Stress, anxiety, and depression are prevalent among New Yorkers. According to the Health Department, 1 in 5 New Yorkers have mental health issues. This situation is escalated by factors such as work demands, social isolation, and limited access to mental health services.

Rising Income Inequality

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Income inequality in New York City is among the highest in the country. There are stark disparities in wealth and opportunity between different socioeconomic groups. According to New York City Comptroller’s data, the median income of a white household is 15 times greater than that of a Black household. This inequality contributes to social tensions and hampers efforts to address poverty and racial inequality effectively.

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