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Thousands of residents -- about five percent or around 420,000 people -- left wealthy New York City neighborhoods. Populations in the Upper East Side, the West Village, SoHo and Brooklyn Heights declined about 40 percent between March 1 and May 1, according to a report by the New York Times. Other parts of the city had slight changes.
The report analyzed 140,000 people’s smartphone location data provided by New Mexico-based Descartes Labs to track where New York City residents were located in February and if they fled the city following the COVID-19 outbreak in mid-March. The sample included people from each of New York City’s five boroughs.
More than 75 percent of those who left affluent neighborhoods in the city had college degrees or higher, and were paying more than $2,000 a month in rent, according to the Times report.
What’s more, fewer residents living in neighborhoods where the median household income is about $90,000 or less left New York, an epicenter for the virus. And residents with a high school diploma or less education paying around $1,500 per month in rent stayed, according to the report.
Around 35 percent of the top one percent fled to a second home on Long Island or in upstate New York, or other states, according to the report.