Well there’s a reference point for New Yorkers to hang their hopes on.
“In the ’60s and ’70s people left in much, much greater numbers than anything that’s being talked about right now,” Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday in dismissing a reporter’s question about New Yorkers fleeing the Big Apple from a combination of the coronavirus pandemic, crime wave and cratering economy.
Between 1970 and 1980, over 1 million more people moved out of the city than into it, according to the census bureau. It was the largest population decline in the history of the Big Apple.
Hizzoner also blamed the media for “painting a picture that’s not true.”
“I guarantee you we have 8 million-plus people who are not going anywhere so what we’re really talking about is a small number of people,” de Blasio said at his remote City Hall press briefing.
“I cant give you the exact number, but a small number of people who are choosing for now to go someplace else.”
More than twice the amount of people were looking to leave New York City during the pandemic compared to last year, Bloomberg News reported.
Between March and August, nearly 70 percent of all long-distance moves were made by people leaving the Empire States while only about 30 percent were by people moving in, according to data compiled by United Van Lines.
Oddly, de Blasio took that news as a positive sign.
“There was an article the other day that talked about people leaving and then compared it to the number of people coming in and there was still a lot of people coming in too,” he said.
“The vast, vast majority of New Yorkers are standing and fighting, they are loyal to this city,” de Blasio insisted.
“Some people will go away for a period of time and then come back. Some people may leave us permanently and they will sooner or later be replaced by other people who want to be here,” he added.
But a recent poll by the Manhattan Institute found that only 23 percent of respondents in The Bronx were happy in their current neighborhood and only another 17 percent said they wanted to live in another part of New York City.
Out on Staten Island, 26 percent told the Manhattan Institute pollsters they would move “somewhere far away from New York City” if they could pick anywhere to live.
Manhattanites were the most satisfied with where they live and the least likely to be looking to leave New York — with 48 percent saying they’re happy in their current neighborhood. Another 14 percent said they would pick another spot in the city.
Almost half of New Yorkers polled said the Big Apple is heading in the wrong direction — with worries about the economy and crime listed as top concerns. They gave de Blasio a 45 percent approval rating compared to 73 percent for Gov. Cuomo.