A new poll from Public Agenda/WNYC confirms what many New Yorkers have been feeling for a while now: It's not easy being middle class in the New York City area.
The poll, which included 1,500 people in the five boroughs and surrounding NYC suburbs, found that 74 percent of people feel the middle class is facing more economic insecurity than ever before. (This week, WNYC host Brian Lehrer—a Brick fave—is discussing the findings in an ongoing series called The Middle Class Conundrum. In this particular segment, he was joined by two experts from the nonprofit Public Agenda, which helped conduct the poll.)
And considering that the median rent in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens is nearly $3,500, it comes as no huge surprise that respondents pointed to affordable housing (and the lack thereof) as the biggest stressor for middle class New Yorkers. In fact, 80 percent cited unaffordable housing as a major cause for concern.
One interesting point: Almost all of the New York-area residents polled—those in the under $50,000-a-year income bracket, in the $50,000-to-$100,000, and the over-$150,000-a-year bracket—say the high cost of living here is a serious problem. (At least we can all agree on something.) Plus, 74 percent of respondents think the middle class "is facing more insecurity than ever before," according to an accompanying WNYC article.
It all makes sense when you look at another WNYC report from earlier this year, which showed high rent costs as the number one reason New Yorkers are leaving the city.