Eager and ready to infect the other states.
Five percent of New York City’s population has fled since the coronavirus pandemic gripped the city, new smartphone data reveals.
From March 1 to May 1, about 420,000 residents of the Big Apple - home to nearly 8.4 million people - particularly from the wealthiest neighborhoods, reported The New York Times.
While there was relatively little change in some zip codes, others such as SoHo, the West Village, Morningside Heights, the Upper East Side, the Financial District, Midtown, Gramercy and Brooklyn Heights emptied by at least 40 percent.
Meanwhile, Manhattan’s overall population has fallen by almost 20 percent as the lockdown enters its third month.
Income was perhaps the strongest indicator of how many residents in a particular neighborhood had fled.
NYC has been the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak with more than 186,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 15,300 confirmed deaths with at least 5,000 more probable deaths.
For its report, The Times looked at data provided by New Mexico-based Descartes Labs, a geospatial imagery analytics company.
The company used anonymous smartphone geolocation data to track where New York City residents were in February, and whether they left the city or not after the pandemic.
The sample population was 140,000 people from nearly every census-counted neighborhood in the five boroughs.
While smartphone data is not perfect, and not every resident owns a smartphone, it provides a general idea about New Yorkers’ mobility.
Between March 1 and March 15, there was a small trickle out of New York. But, after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city’s schools would be shut, there was a mass exodus.
The Times found that residents from neighborhoods where the median income is $90,000 or less (the bottom 80th percentile) stayed in their homes.
About 10 percent of those is the top 10th percentile fled and about 25 percent of the top 5th percentile did the same.
However, more than one-third - 35 percent - of the top one percent - escaped to summer homes in Long Island, upstate New York, or other states.
According to CNBC, the top one percent of New York City earns bout $2.2 million per year on average and the top five percent annual income is about $480,780.
The data is consistent with other reports of wealthy New York City residents having fled.
People that live in vacation towns, such as the Hamptons in Long Island and the Catskills in upstate, complained that their grocery stores were being emptied by city people who were living in their summer homes.
Last month, officials said the price of rental homes in the Hamptons soared from $5,000 per month to more than $30,000 for a two-weeks period.
Small town populations practically doubled as Big Apple residents fled to their summer homes, but locals said city dwellers were bringing COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, with them.