New York lost another 126,209 residents to other states during the 12 months ending July 1, according to newly released U.S. Census estimates.  The Empire State’s loss to “net domestic migration” has reached 1,575,864 people since 2000 — the most of any state’s, topping California’s outflow of 1,378,706 residents to the rest of the country during the same period.

Thanks largely to a continuing influx of foreign immigrants and to an excess of births over deaths, New York’s total population still rose during the past year by 60,981, or 0.3 percent percent, the Census data show.  New York’s population of 19.5 million ranks third behind California, with 36.8 million residents, and Texas, with 24.3 million.  Florida is fourth, with 18.3 million.

The Census data also show that New York’s out-migration loss has slowed considerably since 2005-06, when the state lost nearly 226,000 residents to the rest of the country.  Indeed, for the northeast region as a whole, annual domestic migration to the rest of the country has dropped by about 35 percent over the past two years, while out-migration from the Midwest has actually increased, the Census data show.

How to explain the sudden slowdown in the Empire State exodus?  Most likely, one key factor has been the popping of the real estate bubble (which was smaller in the Midwest).  Monthly tallies of single-family homes sales across New York have dropped by about 20 percent over the past two years, according to the New York State Association of Realtors.   In other words, since 2006, fewer New Yorkers have been in a position to unload their houses, much less reap the kind of windfall real estate gain that previous migrants used to finance a fresh start for themselves in Florida, Georgia or the Carolinas.

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is the Empire Center’s founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.