Life in New York State

Marist New York State Poll

NYS Economy in Tailspin, Say Majority... Many Cite Economic Reasons for a Planned Exit

New York state residents have a bleak outlook toward the state’s economic situation. Considerably more residents, compared with a decade ago, say New York’s economy is getting worse, and there has been a sharp increase in the proportion of residents who say they think their personal finances will get worse in the coming year. With most New Yorkers acknowledging that New York’s cost of living is unaffordable, nearly four in ten say they plan to move out of New York within the next five years. Their motivation? Nearly six in ten of those moving cite economic reasons.

New York’s Economy
Right now, do you think the New York State economy is:
Source: Marist Poll New York State Adults. Interviews conducted April 8th through April 10th, 2024, n=1,408 MOE +/- 3.1 percentage points. Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.
  • A majority of New York residents (51%), including the same proportion of voters, think the state’s economy is getting worse. This is up from 29% of voters with this view in 2013. While the proportion of those who believe it is improving is little changed (18% from 20%), fewer voters (30% from 51%) say New York’s economy is status quo. Republicans (71%) and non-enrolled voters (59%) are more likely to see the economy as deteriorating than Democrats (37%).

  • While 41% of adults, including 42% of registered voters, think their personal finances will stay the same in the coming year, three in ten voters (30%) think their financial picture will get worse. This is up from 17% in 2013. 28% of voters statewide believe their finances will improve, little changed from 31%.

  • Most New Yorkers (81%) believe the cost of living in New York is not very affordable (48%) or not affordable at all (33%). In 2011, 77% of residents thought the Empire State was unaffordable.

  • While 61% of New Yorkers say they plan to stay in New York, 37%, up from 26% in 2011, say they will leave New York in the next five years. (21% say they plan to move for economic reasons, and 15% plan to go for non-economic reasons.). Republicans (46%) and non-enrolled voters (43%) are more likely than Democrats (29%) to say they will head out of state.

  • Among New York adults who plan to move from New York State, 58% cite economic reasons, and 42% mention non-economic ones. The proportion who planned to leave for economic reasons in 2011 was 62%. Digging deeper, a plurality of adults who plan to leave New York report the cost of living (41%) is their main reason. 25% mention the quality of life in the state, and 13% cite taxes. Fewer attribute politics (9%), jobs (4%), weather (4%), or retirement (4%) to their decision.

"When it comes to the economy in New York State, the status quo is not acceptable," says Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. "This translates into a continued desire to leave the state."

Majority Say NY Quality of Life in State is Declining, But…

52% of New York adults think the quality of life in New York State has deteriorated in the last year, but this is down from 59% who shared this view in 2023. 16%, compared with 11% previously, report the livability in New York has gotten better while 32% think it has remained the same. (17% say the status quo is a good thing, but 12% say it is not.)

Voters Pessimistic about Direction of State

59% of voters statewide think New York is headed in the wrong direction while 40% say it is moving in the right one. In 2021, 56% of voters thought the state was off track, and 35% said it was on course.

Hochul Approval Rating at Lowest Point

Governor Kathy Hochul’s job approval score is at its lowest point since taking office. 39% of adults statewide approve of the job Hochul is doing, and 42% disapprove. 19% are unsure. When last reported in November 2023, 41% approved of Hochul’s job performance, and 42% disapproved. 16% were unsure. New Yorkers are currently more than twice as likely to strongly disapprove (29%) of Hochul’s job performance than to strongly approve (13%).

While Hochul’s approval rating has changed little among Democrats and non-enrolled voters, her approval rating among Republicans has declined by eight percentage points (14% from 22%). She has also experienced modest declines in New York City (43% from 48%) and in the city’s suburbs (35% from 40%).

When asked to rate the job Hochul is doing as governor, 34% say she is doing either an excellent (10%) or good (24%) job. This is down from 38% in 2023. 55% give Hochul fair (20%) or poor (35%) marks. 11% are unsure.

Jury is Still Out on AG Letitia James

43% of New York residents think Attorney General Letitia James is doing either an excellent (21%) or good (22%) job in her post. 39% rate her performance as fair (12%) or poor (27%). 18% are unsure.

James scores higher among Democrats (64%) than among Republicans (19%) and non-enrolled voters (36%).