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New York, The Feel-Good City

New Yorkers took the World Trade Center attacks personally, and for good reason: According to the latest CBS News/New York Times Poll, three out of five knew someone missing, hurt or killed in the attacks. For one in five New Yorkers, that was someone close to them.

The Impact Of 9/11 Attacks On New Yorkers

  • Know of someone hurt, missing or killed: 59%
  • Close to someone hurt, missing or killed: 20%
  • Lost income or job: 18%
  • Daily routine not back to normal: 45%
  • And the shockwaves continue. Nearly a fifth of the labor force says they've lost a substantial part of their income or their jobs. One in five New Yorkers are still having trouble sleeping, and twice that number still feel nervous or edgy. Nearly half say their lives have not yet returned to normal. The threat of another terrorist act is far more real in New York City than it is in the rest of the country. Nearly three-quarters of New Yorkers are very concerned about another terrorist attack in their community, compared with less than a third of all Americans.

    Fear Another Terrorist Attack In Community
    NYC Yes 74% — U.S. Yes 31%
    NYC No 25% — U.S. No 67%

    Still, the attacks have also showcased the pride New Yorkers have in their city. Two-thirds say the City handled the attacks better than other big cities would have. Most have faith their neighbors would help in an emergency. And two-thirds — more than in previous polls — say they expect to still be living in New York City four years from now.

    How Did New York City Handle The Attacks?

  • Better than other cities would: 65%
  • Same as other cities: 27%
  • Worse: 2%

    Coping With The Aftermath — The Emotional Impact

    More than half the New Yorkers surveyed say their lives have pretty much returned to normal since the September attacks, but nearly half the city continues to live with the aftermath. On the positive side, even those who are still coping with the attacks' aftermath see these conditions as temporary. Only one percent volunteered that their lives will never go back to normal.

    Back To Normal Yet?

  • Yes 52%
  • Not yet 44%
  • Never (volunteered) 1%

    The impact of the attacks is felt across a wide spectrum of the city's population, but some groups are affected more than others. More than half of those living in Manhattan (where some residents who live close to the site still cannot access their homes) say their lives are not yet back to normal.

    Less than half of each of the following groups say their lives have returned to normal: Hispanics, those with less education, those age 30 to 44 and those with incomes of $75,000 or more. In fact, more than one in ten higher-income New Yorkers are living with employment problems.

    The Hispanic community appears to have been hit hard by these attacks. Only 38 percent of Hispaics say their lives have returned to normal. Hispanics especially have been affected by problems with their employment and the public transportation system.

    So it may not be surprising that citywide 63 percent have felt nervous since the attacks, and 40 percent of all New Yorkers have had trouble sleeping at some time since the attacks. Those figures have dropped somewhat now, but 42 percent remain nervous or edgy, and 22 percent are still having trouble sleeping.

    Reactions To The Attack

  • Feeling nervous — After 9/11 63% Now 42%
  • Trouble sleeping — After 9/11 40% Now 22%
  • Nervous about subway riding — After 9/11 43% Now 35%
  • Fears of going into skyscrapers — After 9/11 43% Now 38

    Over four in ten New York City subway riders have been nervous about taking the underground trains since Sept. 11; that has since dropped only slightly, to 35 percent. A similar percentage of those who go into skyscrapers feel the same.

    Women are more likely than men to still feel the attack's aftereffects — sometimes by as much as two to one. More than a fourth of women questioned are still having trouble sleeping, and 53 percent — more than half — still feel nervous and edgy. Forty-five percent of women remain uneasy riding the subway, and 51 percent are uneasy in skyscrapers. Just 24 percent of men say they are still uneasy in the subway, while 26 percent are uneasy in skyscrapers.

    Women are also more concerned than men about a future terrorist attack on New York. Eighty percent of women living in New York are very concerned about another terrorist attack there, compared to 66 percent of men.

    The attacks have also affected some of New York City's children, though the impact is declining. Forty-four percent of parents say their child reacted to the terrorism attack by being concerned for his or her own safety, and 27 percent report their child still worries about feeling safe. One out of twelve of parents say their children are still having nightmares.

    Impact On Children

  • Child worried about safety — since 9/11 44% — Now 27%
  • Child had nightmares —since 9/11 13% — Now 8%

    While most New Yorkers report some emotional impact as a result of the terrorist attacks, smaller numbers report taking other actions in reaction to Sept. 11. Nearly a quarter have stockpiled food or water, and 15 percent have cancelled a trip they planned to take. Five percent have sought counseling, and four percent have purchased gas masks or antibiotics.

    Since 9/11 Attack, Have:

  • Stockpiled food —23%
  • Cancelled trip —15%
  • Sought counseling —5%
  • Bought gas mask, antibiotics —4%

    The Financial Impact

    The financial impact on the city's business sector is a concern of many New Yorkers. More than two-fifths are worried about the impact of the attack on the financial future of the copany for which they work; 16 percent are very worried. That is even more the case in Manhattan, where two in ten are very worried about their company's financial health.

    Eighteen percent of New Yorkers in the labor force have already lost their job or a substantial portion of their income because of the terrorist attack, including five percent of those in the labor force who have lost a job, and 16 percent of those still working who have lost income. Nine percent of New Yorkers say someone else in their household has lost a job or substantial income.

    Those hardest hit are younger New Yorkers, those with lower incomes and Hispanics. Among Hispanics, 10 percent of the labor force has lost a job and 23 percent of those still working have lost income since Sept. 11. Eight percent of Hispanics say someone in their household has lost a job or income.

    Two-thirds have been worried that businesses will leave New York City, and 58 percent have worried that the stock market will go down. Concerns about the stock market extend to its behavior as well; among investors, 31 percent say they have been less likely to invest in the stock market since Sept. 11.

    The Impact On Activities

    For the most part, New Yorkers have been curtailing travel and attendance at any event with a large crowd. More than a third of New Yorkers say they are now less likely to travel overseas or attend large events. Among those who usually do so, some have cut back on flying, attending pro sporting events, and concerts or theater.

    CBSNEWS - New York Times Polls
    Cutting Back On Activities

     Less LikelyMore LikelyNo Effect
    Travel Overseas




     Less LikelyMore LikelyNo Effect
    Fly In Airplane




     Less LikelyMore LikelyNo Effect
    Attend Large Events




     Less LikelyMore LikelyNo Effect
    Attend Pro Sports




     Less LikelyMore LikelyNo Effect
    Attend Concerts/Theater




     Less LikelyMore LikelyNo Effect
    Eat Out




     Less LikelyMore LikelyNo Effect
    Visit Museums




    CBSNEWS Polls

    Women are more likely than men to have curtailed their participation in many of these activities.

    Community Spirit

    Half say they have spent more time with their own families since the attack, and 29 percent have been more likely to attend religious services.

  • Spend time with family? More Likely 52% Less Likely 2% No Effect 45%
  • Attend religious services? More Likely 29% Less Likely 5% No Effect 63%

    Thirteen percent have donated blood; 6 percent did so for the first time in their lives. Another 18 percent tried unsuccessfully to do so. Nearly two-thirds, including more than four in five New Yorkers with incomes about $75,000, have made donations to an organization assisting victims of the attack. Thirty-six percent have visited their local firehouses since the attack.

    The Pride Of New York City

    New Yorkers are feeling tremendous pride in their city. Most are confident the city's economy will recover from the attacks, think New York will be a better place to live in the future, and expect to be living in New York City four years from now. Their pride comes with a little bit of bragging: two-thirds say their fellow New Yorkers handled the attacks better than the residents of other big cities would have.

    When asked what kind of place the city will be like ten or fifteen years from now, 54 percent of New Yorkers say the city will be a better place — the highest number ever; 26 percent say it will be the same and only 11 percent feel New York will be a worse place to live ten years from now.

    Long Range View For New York City

  • Better place — Now 54% Aug. 1 34%
  • Worse place —Now 11 Aug. 1 25%
  • Same — Now 26 Aug. 1 32%

    New Yorkers Here To Stay

    With the people of New York feeling so positive about their city, a majority of New Yorkers say they will still be New Yorkers four years from now. Two-thirds say they would like to be living in New York (either where they are now or somewhere else), and 31 percent say they want to be living outside the city four years from now. Those with children under 18 are more likely to say they will live outside of New York City in four years than non-parents, something that has been true in earlier polls as well.

    Do You Want To Be Living In New York City Four Years From Now?

  • Yes Now: 67%; Aug. 1 63%; 4/85 59%
  • No Now: 31%; Aug. 1 35%; 4/85 40%

    Of those New Yorkers who say they wanto move in the near future, the top reason cited is crime (17 percent), followed by quality of life issues and wanting to live in a bigger place (each with 14 percent), and wanting to live in a better neighborhood (12 percent). Only 3 percent of those who say they want to move cite the events of Sept. 11 as the reason.

    Perhaps the reason two-thirds of New Yorkers see themselves remaining in the city is they are comfortable in their neighborhood. Almost all New Yorkers are confident their neighbors would help them out in an emergency. Nearly 90 percent have a lot or some confidence that their neighbor would help them out in a crisis (with 60 percent saying they have a lot of confidence), and only a small percent say they have no confidence their neighbors would come to their aid.

    Confidence Your Neighbors Would Help Out In An Emergency

  • Much 60%
  • Some 29%
  • None 8%
  • Nearly every New Yorker interviewed had a good image of the city. Ninety-three percent of New Yorkers say their image of the Big Apple is good. These numbers are significantly higher than a decade ago. In 1991, 54 percent had a good image of New Yorkers, while 36 percent had a bad one.

    Image Of New York City
    New Yorkers Now:

  • Good: 93% 1991: 54%
  • Bad: 4% 1991: 36%
    Americans In General, Sept.
  • Good: 84% Bad: 10%

    Americans outside of New York City also view the city positively now. In a CBS News/New York Times Poll conducted shortly after the terrorist attacks, 84 percent of Americans said they had a good image of New York City and only 10 percent had a bad image.

    The Economy

    Despite the negative effect the attacks have had on the New York City economy, including the businesses that were lost and the drop in tourism, six in ten New York voters still describe the city's economy as good. That is, however, a drop in confidence since the terrorist attack. In August, 78 percent said the city's economy was in good condition. Now, 35 percent say the condition of the New York economy is bad, compared to 18 percent who thought that way in August.

    Condition Of New York City's Economy

  • Good — Now: 60% Aug. 1: 78%
  • Bad — Now: 35% Aug. 1: 18%

    And more than a third of New York voters expect the economy to get worse, while only 21% say New York's economy will get better.

    In the long run, however, voters are confident the city's economy will recover fully from the terrorist attack. More than 80 percent are confident New York's economy will rebound, including 45 percent who are very confident. Only 14 percent are not too confident or not confident at all.

    Confident New York's Economy Will Recover
    Very 45%
    Somewhat 37%
    Not too/Not at all 14%

    Click here for the CBS News/New York Times Poll findings on Myor Rudolph Giuliani.

    This poll was conducted among a citywide random sample of 983 adults, interviewed by telephone October 6-9, 2001. The error due to sampling could be plus or minus three percentage points for results based on the entire sample.

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