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If you take the subway in Manhattan during rush hour, it can be a very eerie experience, depending on the line. On some trains, there might only be a handful of people—and it just seems wrong and strange. You might find yourself missing the days when you were crammed into a train with your fellow New Yorkers closer than a disco.
It can even make you feel indignant, if you’re the type to over analyze things, like you have been left behind at a lame party. Where are your fellow New Yorkers? Are they too cool to be in NYC? Is NYC really over?
Granted, subway ridership is down because many New Yorkers are working or doing school at home. But a lot of New Yorkers have left the city as well—and a new study from Placer.ai, a foot traffic analytics platform, tracks where they went. They didn’t go far, it seems.
The report uses Placer.ai’s new migration analysis tool and finds that New York County (Manhattan) residents who packed up and moved mostly stayed in the NYC metro area, demonstrating the gravitational pull that cities like New York still have.
New York County saw a significant year-over-year migration change of -12.8 percent, however, 42 percent of those leaving went to counties within New York State and another 25 percent went to counties in neighboring states such as New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Massachusetts.
This pattern can have implications for the future—for example, where businesses may relocate their offices. “If nearly 70 percent of all New York’s migrating population are moving to a location that is still a train-ride away from the city, that can significantly affect a decision to relocate an office or store,” the report says.
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