Siena Poll Finds 70 Percent of NY’ers Happy They Live Here; Half Don’t Feel Safe From Crime

Legislative Gazette photo by James Gormley
Eighty-five percent of adults surveyed in a new Siena College poll say they have enjoyed the landmarks of the Big Apple such as the Empire State Building.

A new Siena poll of New York state residents released Wednesday April 12 shows that 70 percent of New Yorkers are happy they live here, while 30 percent wish they lived somewhere else. 

In relation to that, 71 percent plan to continue to live in New York five years from today while 27 percent say they plan to move out of state. And, 60 percent plan to retire in New York state while 31 percent plan to retire somewhere else.

Over 70 percent rated the state as either “excellent” or “good” on the availability of leisure activities; presence of people they enjoy was rated 77 percent, 73 percent for access to quality education, access to quality healthcare received 72 percent and as a place where people can become successful, 70 percent. 

But 67 percent rate New York state no better than only “fair,” or “poor” on affordability, 60 percent as a place to retire and 57 percent as a place where the political system works for people like them. 

Residents are split — 51 percent use the terms “excellent” or “good” but 49 percent only “fair” or “poor” — on New York being a place where they feel safe from crime.

Asked which of the ten sites or attractions they have visited during their adult life, the leading attraction among New Yorkers is New York City including Broadway, Times Square, the Empire State Building or Ground Zero. 

Eighty-five percent have enjoyed the landmarks of the Big Apple. Nearly all New York City and metro suburban residents have been to Manhattan while 69 percent of upstaters have as well. The Statue of Liberty finishes second with 67 percent of New Yorkers visiting, followed by Niagara Falls at 63 percent and the State Capitol in Albany at 60. 

Slightly more than half of New Yorkers have been to both the Adirondacks and Long Island beaches and just under half, 47 percent have visited the Finger Lakes. Only 33 percent have been to the Thousand Islands. 

“ Most say there is a lot to love here in New York — other New Yorkers, the quality of both education and health care, the availability of quality leisure activities and the opportunity to be successful — but two-thirds give the state a poor grade on affordability, and half of all New Yorkers, and about 60 percent of lower income residents, those over 50, Blacks and Republicans say that as a place where you feel safe from crime, the state is only fair or poor,” said Don Levy, director of the Siena College research Institute.

The poll was conducted March 6 – March 9, 2023 by random telephone calls to 406 New York adults via landline and cell phones and 398 responses drawn from a proprietary online panel of New Yorkers. The overall results has a marginal error of 3.9 percentage points including the design effects resulting from weighting.

“Is New York perfect? New Yorkers appreciate many aspects of life here – education, health care, the people and yes, even the weather – but affordability, crime and politics weigh on many,” Levy said.

“Most plan to stay but 27 percent say that they will leave the state within the next five years. While only 38 percent give the state an excellent or good rating as a place to retire, 60 percent plan to spend their golden years here,” Levy continued. “Still, 31 percent — including 39 percent of young people and 41 percent of Republicans — plan to retire elsewhere.”