What’s Happening to NYC’s Middle Class?

A 2008 Brookings Institution analysis of America’s shrinking middle class showed that between 1970 and 2005, New York lost its middle income group 44% faster than the rest of the nation. Probing this, the NYC-based Center for an Urban Future published a study in February, 2009, which implicated New York’s “sky-high cost of living,” a job mix that had “shifted away from positions that provide middle-income wages and benefits,” the “inferior quality” of the city’s public schools, “long commuting times on public transportation,” and residential development that “seems disturbingly out of scale with existing neighborhoods.”

Do you know a middle class family that has left New York? Was it for any of the reasons CUF mentioned? Do those reasons fully explain why New York’s middle class is vanishing, or are other things driving the middle class out? Write us a comment and share your opinion with our readers.

2 responses to “What’s Happening to NYC’s Middle Class?

  1. well, plenty of people have moved out due to the high cost of living and, often, lousy public schools.

    i’ve never met anyone who moved out because their commute was too long or because development in their neighborhood was out of scale. the people with long commutes usually move closer to work or out to the burbs where their commute is just as long, but they have to put up with fewer NYCesque irritations.

  2. During the 1950’s and ’60’s my neighbors and friends left the city to buy houses that they could afford and to rescue their children from street and school violence. My closest friend emigrated to California but wound up in Oregon in the early 1970’s mainly to get away from the violence, police curruption and vandalism of New York. All of these people were middle-class identified and became economically middle class after they left New York. I don’t wonder why the middle class left New York. The city was not being governed properly and was quickly becoming a dangerous place to live.

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