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Manhattan is probably the most romanticized place in the country. And for a good reason. The staggering wealth, ambitious skyscrapers, neverending hustle, and bustle… It is very easy to see why people would be in love with the place. However, that does not mean that Manhattan is a permanent destination for people. Many come to Manhattan seeking opportunities and successes. They come with a dream and a plan. However, once they either succeed or fail at that task, they leave. There is a rotation in the Manhattan population. People come and go. Which begs the question… why? Why do people leave Manhattan?

People leave Manhattan for the suburbs

We are not going to pretend that there is some great exodus from Manhattan because that would not be true. There are a lot of blogs and newspapers that would have you believe that people are leaving Manhattan en mass bat that is not true. However, what we said in the intro of the text stands. People do leave…just not all at once. And those that leave are offset by those who arrive. A moment someone leaves, Midtown movers bring someone else in. So there is definitely a rotation happening in the Big Apple, more so than in any other place in the US.

leave Manhattan - NYC street
The urban environment can get on your nerves

But why do people leave Manhattan? What is the big reason?  Well, there is no one particular reason, rather there are simply a variety of reasons. We will consider them one by one in the following post. But let us start with the problem Manhattan shares with other places, but also definitely exceeded in. The hustle and bustle.

It is a well known (and often romanticized fact) that “New York never sleeps”. You will find that nowhere is this more true than in Manhattan. The whole borough is one giant monument to productivity and efficacy. People are expected to work hard all the time, leaving little time for personal pleasure. Furthermore, when you do have time to rest, (other than the Central park) you are surrounded by this huge concrete jungle! This kind of urban hive is not for everyone. After some time, people prefer to leave Manhattan in order to move to smaller places, suburbs and rural locations that will help them relax after living in the Manhattan borough.

Prices are way too high

This is also one well-known fact about Manhattan borough. Everything is expensive. You are expected to make 25 000 $ a year just to have a moderately relaxed life. Not to mention that you also need to do a lot more in order to earn money for any of the many (expensive) luxuries you will find after your Divine Moving and Storage NYC have relocated you here.

Of course, these high prices make more sense when you consider high salaries. After all, a reason people flock to Manhattan are prospects of making it big. A lot of companies have their HQ in New York, meaning that you have the almost unlimited capability of rising up the ranks of the corporate ladder.

As high as skyscrapers!

However, the sad truth is that not everyone makes is as high as it goes. Manhattan has some rather big fish swimming in the lake, and sometimes the luck just isn’t on your side. The truth of the matter is not everyone can make it to the top. Wealth and power of the corporate world are like a pyramid – thinnest at the top. Higher you go, less space there is. And the number of contenders rarely goes down.

This is why some choose to leave Manhattan. They simply never truly found a place for themselves there. Never really gotten that job that will offset the high cost of living. However, soon as they leave, someone else chasing their dreams comes into their place, ready to sacrifice a lot in order to weather the harsh (expensive) conditions in order to make it big.


One more unpleasant reality of Manhattan is that it is overcrowded. It is big, sure, but the population is bigger and there are a lot of tourists. If you are a Manhattan resident, you will take a problem with tourists looking to the hearth of New York very fast. A city that is already a big anthill just becomes even more crowded and harder to walk through. Furthermore, even if you ignore the tourist, the city itself has a way too many people living in it. Not to mention that, with the previously discussed high prices, you will probably need storage facility Manhattan to get your items out of your tiny apartment.

So, to summarise:

  • Traffic is very annoying. Yea, owning a car in Manhattan is a very bad idea. You will hardly ever use it, and there is a 100% chance of someone scratching it. Better leave it for when you leave Manhattan
  • Tourism is a pretty big problem. As we mention, city is simply not big enough for the crowds
  • Public transportation… If you have ever taken the subway, you know what we mean.

Moving for family

Many people will leave Manhattan to find a better place for raising a family. After some time, having kid toys in long term storage together with everything else the apartment is getting too crowded for with kids in mind just gets too much. You simply have to move and find a better place to put down roots.

Moving to other boroughs

To leave Manhattan doesn’t necessarily mean leaving NYC. People often leave Manhattan in order to move to other boroughs.

Brooklyn bridge
Leaving Manhattan is not the same as leaving NYC

Be it that they want more space on Staten Island, cheaper rent in Brooklyn or to be closer to NJ, they will leave Manhattan, but not New York.

In summary

They are plenty of reasons why some people choose to leave Manhattan. We hope that we successfully covered all the big ones. It is just important to keep in mind that there is not a mass exodus happening. Manhattan is just as desirable as always. It is just not the place some people want to spend the rest of their lives in.

About Author

John has been with Divine Moving and Storage in New York for nearly two decades. Starting as a young helper and climbing up the ranks to be a staple in our organization. John has the knowledge and experience to assist our clients with any move or storage related needs. You can reach John or any of our associates in NYC at 212-244-4011