Coronavirus exodus: 42% of Americans expect permanent exodus from large cities like New York

39% of white voters consider it likely than many people will leave big cities, number just a bit higher among black and Hispanic voters

Published: May 8, 2020 11:03am

Updated: May 8, 2020 2:00pm

Forty-two percent (42%) of American voters think it’s at least somewhat likely that--as a result of the coronavirus-- many people will permanently move out of the large cities like New York, according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen

The total includes 40% of urban voters, 40% of those in the suburbs, and 47% of rural voters. Overall, 12% of voters consider such an exodus from large cities to be Very Likely. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of white voters consider it likely than many people will leave such huge cities behind. The numbers were a bit higher among black (50%) and Hispanic (48%) voters.

Just the News Poll, Will People Begin Moving from large cities because of Coronavirus?
Just the News Daily Poll
With Scott Rasmussen


"A Number of the Day I released earlier highlighted just how unique New York’s population density is compared to the rest of America," Rasmussen said. "The most densely populated county in the United States is Manhattan, with 67,000 residents per square mile. By way of comparison, the average U.S. city has a population density of about 1,600 people per square mile. In other words, Manhattan has more than 40 times the population density of the average city. The U.S. as a whole has about 90 people per square mile. After Manhattan, the next three most-populated counties are also in New York: Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that Eric Schmidt, the former executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet will lead a 15-member commission on“reimagining” a post-COVID-19 New York City. Schmidt's selection was aimed at integrating technology best-practices into future urban planning.

Just the News Daily Poll respondents were asked “As a result of the coronavirus, how likely is it that many people will permanently move out of large cities like New York?" They replied as below:

  • 12% Very Likely
  • 30% Somewhat Likely
  • 34% Not Very Likely
  • 10% Not at All Likely
  • 14% Not Sure

The national survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted April 30-May 2, 2020 by Rasmussen, a polling veteran. Margin of sampling error: +/- 2.8% for full sample. 

To see the full demographic cross-tabulations for this polling question, click below:

To see the methodology and sample demographics for this polling question, click below:


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