City Getting Less Hipsters?


Photo by Andrew Coulter Enright

It appears that it’s only an illusion that New York City is being overrun by Midwestern hipsters, at least in 2005 anyway, according to a report released by Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr.

The city lost nearly 300,000 residents in 2005 to other parts of the country, while less than half as many people made the relocation from other parts of the country to New York City.

So only 150,000 people moved to New York City from other parts of the country in 2005. Wow. You’d think NYU would be responsible for that amount of people alone. Maybe the 300,000 New Yorkers that moved away are the coolest people ever and those that took their place are the most annoying ever. That might explain it.

Thompson’s analysis of domestic migration also found that “families earning between $40,000 and $60,000 annually were the most likely to leave the five boroughs,” confirming what most people know: the city is increasingly becoming a playground for the rich.

But Thompson’s number-crunching also presented a mixed outlook, finding that “those most likely to stay put are households earning $60,000 to $140,000 per year.”

Other key findings:

* In 2005, about 4 percent of the city’s population “turned over,” not including natural population changes caused by births and deaths. At that rate, more than a one-third of the city’s population would change over the course of a decade.

* Migrants to New York City from the rest of the country are young, well-educated, and usually single. Almost two-thirds of the domestic migrants to the city in 2005 held a Bachelor’s or higher degree and about two-thirds were unmarried.

* About 40 percent, or 76,000, of the adults who left the city in 2005 had a BA degree or higher. When international immigration is factored in, approximately the same number of college-educated people arrived in the city that year.

* The average age of the heads of households who left the city was 40 years old, compared to almost 50 years for those who stayed.

* The average income of households who left the city in 2005 was $72,000, slightly higher than the $66,500 average of those who stayed.

* Moderate-income ($40,000 to $59,999 annual income) and higher-income households ($140,000 to $249,999 annual income) were most likely to leave the city, while middle-income ($60,000 to $139,999) and wealthy households ($250,000 and above) were least likely to leave.

* Black, White, Hispanic and Asian New Yorkers each left the city roughly in proportion to their share of the city’s population.

* Controlling statistically for other factors, households with young children were most likely to leave the city.

* People who were born in other states are more likely than native New Yorkers to leave the city, while foreign-born residents are less likely to leave.