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Poll: New Yorkers Are Happy...Really Happy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York is considered one of the most desirable places to live in the world, but how do city residents – those of us who brave the subways, crowded sidewalks and noisy streets each day – feel about life in the Big Apple?

The Municipal Art Society of New York today released the results of its first MAS Survey on Livability measuring what real New Yorkers think about their city. 

According to the findings, most New Yorkers like living in New York City and in their neighborhoods so much so that, if given the chance to move, three out of four New Yorkers would stay in the city, and more than half would stay right where they are. 

LISTEN: WCBS 880 got details on the survey in today's The 411.

"On the surface, we see overall satisfaction with life in the city and city services, but there is some underlying discontent, especially among people living outside Manhattan and those with lower incomes," MAS President Vin Cipolla said.

For example, while there was overwhelming satisfaction with access to public transportation among city residents, services such as street maintenance and repair were rated fair to poor among a majority of residents in Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island.  Most New Yorkers felt their neighborhoods were not noisy, except for residents of Manhattan and the Bronx.

"This survey gives us a baseline read of attitudes for comparison in future surveys," he continued.  "It also will help inform the work of MAS, and should help other civic organizations and municipal government in developing strategies to promote a more livable city," Cipolla said. 

Some of the major survey findings are:    

More than one-third of New Yorkers – and a majority on Staten Island – oppose any more housing development in their neighborhood

More than 60 percent of New Yorkers favor more parks and green space in their communities instead of more retail or business development

Most New Yorkers believe that items bearing a "made in New York" label means supporting the local economy, not paying more for the item

With the exception of Manhattanites, most New Yorkers are dissatisfied with the variety of cultural and entertainment options in their neighborhood.

A surprising number of New Yorkers – 91 percent – describe themselves as happy or very happy.  Staten Island leads the city, with 95 percent of the borough's residents claiming to be happy or very happy. 

The Marist Institute for Public Opinion conducted the telephone survey of 1,000 New Yorkers during the last week of September 2010.  

For more information on the survey, visit

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