Report: Immigration to New York City Drops 45 Percent in Last Four Years

In this June 17, 2019 file photo, a protester holds a sign as members of the state Assembly speak in favor of legislation of the Green Light Bill, granting undocumented immigrant driver's licenses during a rally at the state Capitol, in Albany, N.Y. The bill passed making New York the …
AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File

International immigration to New York City, New York, was on the decline before the Chinese coronavirus crisis, and plans implemented by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) have helped shut the city down.

Analysis from the Brookings Institution’s William Frey, published in the Wall Street Journal, estimates that immigration from around the world to New York City has dropped 45 percent between 2016 and 2019.

Last year, for instance, about 34,000 immigrants moved to New York City. Compare that total to 2016, when about 62,000 immigrants arrived. The analysis mirrors United States Census data which found that the state of New York lost about 77,000 residents between 2018 to 2019 — the steepest population drop by any state in the nation.

As the Journal notes, the high price of real estate in New York City has left middle-class immigrants and Americans looking elsewhere:

Muzaffar Chishti, director of the New York office of the Migration Policy Institute, predicts affordability will have a bigger long-term impact on immigration than the pandemic. [Emphasis added]

“Throughout New York’s history, certainly in the last 120 years, immigrants have shown they have much more faith in the resilience of the city than native-born people have,” he said. But, “middle-class immigrants are looking at options more than they used to because of the heavy cost of living, mostly due to rent.” [Emphasis added]

New York City’s high rents — which have started dropping due to the pandemic — had been climbing for years as giant developments and luxury condos popped up all over, driving up neighborhood rents in the process. Last year, more than 25 percent of new luxury residential units were still sitting vacant.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NY) has had a close relationship with developers. Rezoning in New York City neighborhoods, under de Blasio’s administration, has been almost exclusively to increase density with more development.

During his short-lived run for president, de Blasio’s campaign was bankrolled by developers seeking rezoning from his administration for new developments.

As New York City has been on lockdown for more than six months, rents have started dropping and vacancies are shooting up in Manhattan — the city’s most expensive borough. A New York Times report in August noted that more than 120,000 apartments became available in June and July. At the time same, Manhattan rents have been cut by as much as ten percent compared to 2019 rates.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder. 

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