While the trend of New Yorkers leaving the city may seem like recent news to some people, the metropolitan exodus is not a sudden or unprecedented occurrence. Even prior to the, the city’s demographics were changing for the better part of a decade. The coronavirus pandemic has only hastened these trends.

Back in September of 2019, nearly 300 people per day were moving out of the New York City. That number, amounting to one million people over nine years, understandably made people curious. What changed for all of these New York residents?

While not exclusively a “New York problem” – Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. are among the cities that have experienced similar exoduses – there are New York-specific reasons. One of the links drawn to the outward migration is the cost of living in New York City. Crumbling infrastructure and high tax rates are also among the connections.

Today, the picture is grimmer. Millions of residents fled the New York City area during the pandemic. Unacast, a location analytics company, that a net 70,000 people left the metropolitan area in 2020. The company’s findings revealed that 3.57 million people permanently departed New York City between Jan. 1, 2020 and Dec. 7, 2020.

However, despite these changes and the gradual population decline in New York City, it is not to say that there are not new residents. In fact, Unacast also noted in the company’s 2020 report that there were about 3.5 million people with lower average incomes who moved into the city. Perhaps just as noteworthy as the former residents’ departure is the changing demographic of who presently lives in New York City.

Even so, the question still remains, where did all of the former New York City residents go?

Many former New York City residents are setting their sights on relocating to Upstate New York or the suburbs. Both of these come with the obvious appeals. For one, moving to either location means that you are no longer paying New York City taxes. Eve Ashworth, owner of Ashworth Creative, a boutique marketing agency in upstate New York, has noticed not only new residents moving in, but also bringing business with them as well. “We have new neighbors now that hold high profile positions at New York City fims and organizations. They are loving the life up here, especially these days, and these transplants are realizing that the Hudson Valley has first class professionals up here without the downstate price tag.”

Additionally, if you are considering starting up a new business as well, it is certainly easier to do so Upstate than it is in New York City. Depending on the specific industry, other location options for your start-up could include Syracuse, Buffalo, the Finger Lakes, Albany, or White Plains.

Another undeniable appeal is that, in many cases, the New Jersey suburbs in particular have access via train or bus lines into New York City. So, for those who may still work in New York City, they can have the more affordable best of both worlds.