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The return of New York City residents appears to be taking place in some of the wealthiest neighborhoods (iStock/Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)

New York City Has Largely Regained Residents Who Fled in the Pandemic

Data suggest city has regained about three-quarters of pre-pandemic population

People may have fled the Big Apple during the height of the pandemic, but the city appears to have welcomed back most of the residents it lost.

New York City has seen a net gain of move-ins since July when compared to 2019 levels, according to a report from City Comptroller Scott Stringer. The data suggest about three-quarters of those who left during the pandemic have been regained or replaced.

The data, based on change-of-address data filed with the U.S. Postal Service, jibes with similar calculations undertaken by Queens College professor Andy Beveridge, according to Gothamist. The demographics expert found there were 33,000 more estimated move-outs than the baseline in 2020, but 23,000 more move-ins estimated than expected in 2021.

“It’s a straw in the wind that things are starting to go back to normal,” Beveridge told Gothamist.

The return of New York City residents appears to be taking place in some of the wealthiest neighborhoods, which residents were also most likely to leave amid the pandemic. From June to September, the highest net gains on a per-capita basis were seen in neighborhoods including Murray Hill, Greenwich Village and the Upper East Side.

The report pointed to the return of in-person activities as the fuel behind the return of residents. More employers are beginning to call people back to the office on a hybrid basis at the least, while schools returned to full-time in-person learning in September.

This is the latest of New York City’s recent population shifts to defy expectations. Census figures showed the city added 629,000 people between 2010 and 2020, boasting more than 8.8 million residents by the end of the decade.

The Big Apple’s revival comes as more data on movement of U.S. residents backpedals the so-called pandemic migration. Across the country, moves during the past year hit a 73-year low according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which showed that only 8.4 percent of residents reported moving.

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