Is New York Better Off Than It Was 7 Years Ago? New Yorkers Say No.

In the South Fordham section of the Bronx, residents give their neighborhood a Bronx cheer. In Park Slope in Brooklyn — known and parodied for its self-consciously liberal politics and wealth — residents are much happier.

But if there’s one thing that New Yorkers can agree upon, it’s that the quality of life in New York City has suffered.

Only half of New Yorkers plan to stay in the city, according to the survey of more than 6,600 New York City households conducted in the second half of 2023 by the nonpartisan Citizens Budget Commission — a follow-up to similar studies in 2017 and 2008.

Only 39 percent are content with the state of public education. Only 37 percent are happy with the level of public safety in their neighborhood, and only 34 percent are satisfied with their neighborhood’s cleanliness. Less than a third rate the city’s quality of life as excellent or good. Less than a quarter are content with the overall quality of government services.

And in nearly every category, New Yorkers felt worse about the city in 2023 than they did in 2017 and 2008.

“The drop is stark,” said Andrew Rein, president of the Citizens Budget Commission, even as he stressed that context matters. In 2017, New York City was “seven years into a really robust recovery,” he said. In 2023, New York City was still emerging from a pandemic that brought economic and social upheaval.

While New Yorkers largely agreed that quality of life in New York City was unimpressive, they diverged widely on how that manifested itself in their particular neighborhoods — an apparent reflection of neighborhood wealth.

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