New York City has long been a beacon of economic opportunity, not just for Americans but for people around the world. Like millions of others, my own grandparents came through Ellis Island from Southern Italy more than a century ago in their quest for the American Dream. But higher housing costs and limited opportunities are now squeezing the middle class and threatening that dream for a substantial share of residents, according to a new survey by Public Agenda and WNYC.
The survey, which took place from June 29 to July 21, 2015, covered more than 1,500 residents of the Greater New York region, dividing respondents into three location-based categories: the city itself, the surrounding suburbs, and further-out areas. The survey shows a region—and, even more so, a city—where a large majority of residents believe that their economic situation is threatened by high housing and living costs, as well as fading jobs and economic opportunities.