The US Census Bureau this week officially confirmed what was informally obvious: A whole lot of people moved out of New York state after last year’s COVID-19 outbreak and government-imposed lockdown restrictions. The burning question: Will the outflow continue?
While hardly surprising, the bureau’s latest annual state population estimates are a stark reminder of how much New York has lost in the pandemic — and of how much is at stake in the state and local response to the Omicron outbreak.
During the 12 months leading up to last July 1, per the Census Bureau, the state’s population dropped by 319,020, or 1.6 percent. This was the biggest single-year decrease in New York’s history, wiping out nearly 40 percent of the surprisingly large population growth found by the 2020 national census.