In recent years, there have been many stories about wealthy New Yorkers leaving the state, but it seems that saga has ended...
Millionaires are returning to New York in large numbers, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. According to a new study by the Fiscal Policy Institute, New York experienced a net gain of 15,100 millionaire households from 2020 to 2022 (including a loss of 2,400 such households). The growth is attributed to families returning to the state, along with a strong economy bringing more money to those with high incomes.
While wealthy New Yorkers fled during the early days of the pandemic - due to increased ability to move and work remotely - this trend is now changing. In 2022, the latest year with available data, the wealthiest residents left the state of New York at lower rates than all other income groups, similar to pre-pandemic times, the Times noted.
The influx of affluent individuals is a gain for New York, but it occurs at the same time as many lower-income residents are leaving the state. Last year, over 65,000 people with incomes between $32,000 and $65,000 left the state, equivalent to 2 percent of that group. This was more than in any other income group and three times more than the rate of the wealthiest. Meanwhile, about 58,000 people earning between $104,000 and $172,000 left New York in 2022.
"The main priority for decision-makers should be to retain New York's middle and working-class population, making it affordable and suitable for living," said Nathan Gusdorf, director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, to The New York Times.
Gusdorf believes that raising taxes on millionaire New Yorkers could help alleviate the burden on lower-income residents. His group found that after tax increases in 2017 and 2021, there was no significant jump in the number of wealthy people leaving the state. And during the pandemic, more than three-quarters of wealthy residents moved to other high-tax states, such as Connecticut, New Jersey, and California.
Additionally, Andrew Beveridge, president of the demographic firm that reviewed the data, said that many of those leaving are people who help sustain industries dominated by the wealthy and basic services in which they indulge. "If you want a subway system, office sector, restaurant industry, you need these people," he said.
But these people are increasingly responding to the siren call of lower living costs elsewhere.