Apparently, many New Yorkers wake up one day and recognize that they live in extortionately priced shoe boxes amid an aggressive populace without backyards or inner peace.
So, they come here.
U.S. census numbers show that the flow of New Yorkers moving to our city is slightly greater than the drain of Philadelphians heading to the Big Apple.
The migration was sensed by an Inquirer reader who contacted Curious Philly, our Q&A forum that allows readers to send us queries about topics piquing their interest, and asked the following:
Is there an influx of New Yorkers moving to Philadelphia right now, and why?
It’s a good question, but not a new one. Philadelphians have been worried about invaders from the north for years.
An alarming poster in the National Archives from 1839 admonishes Philly folk to beware the “outrage” of a new railroad that could make Philadelphia a “Suburb of New York!!”
Sixty or so years later, labor contractors in New York would greet European immigrants fresh off the boat and funnel them to Philly for construction jobs, explained University of Pennsylvania historian Walter Licht.
In the following decades, locals were compelled to hear their city downgraded to a “sixth borough” of New York. An infamous 2005 New York Times story based on that nettlesome premise roiled Philadelphians unwilling to subsume their identity to a gaggle of Gotham trespassers.
To establish clarity, we checked some recent numbers, and it turns out John Grailing, 44, of Rhawnhurst, the reader who contacted Curious Philly, was right on.
While an average of about 3,100 Philadelphians moved to New York each year between 2012 and 2016, an annual average of nearly 3,500 New Yorkers moved to Philly during that same period, U.S. census figures show. That’s about 400 more New Yorkers moving in per year than Philadelphians moving out. What’s more, the statistics showed that Philadelphia netted 600 more New Yorkers each year between 2006 and 2010 than it lost to the City That Never Sleeps.
Most of the New Yorkers coming here (an average of nearly 1,400 annually) are from Manhattan, but because most Philadelphians who leave for New York settle in that fancy borough (roughly 2,000 a year), Manhattan gains more people in the cities’ exchange of residents, the latest census figures show.
What Philly winds up with are more former Brooklynites than any other brand of New Yorker.