New York has had more residents move out than any other state in the nation, according to a new report issued Oct. 27.

The report, by the conservative Empire Center for Public Policy, found that New York has had a net loss of 1.54 million residents to other states since 2000. That’s equal to 8 percent of the state’s population in 2000, the highest percentage loss any state has experienced this decade.

The report analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service. It examines the movement of residents out of New York, as well as people moving into the state.

“What accounts for New York’s chronic inability to attract and retain more Americans than it loses every year? Any attempt to answer that question must begin with New York’s state and local tax burden,” the report concludes.

Beyond that, reasons vary by region, the report says.

“In upstate New York, housing is relatively inexpensive but even more heavily taxed, and new economic opportunities have been scarce,” the report says. “Weather, on the other hand, seems less compelling as an explanation. Cold winters haven’t stopped New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Minnesota from adding population while upstate New York has been shrinking.”

The Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro statistical area was the lone region of the state to gain residents—a total of 6,400 residents moving in from other areas, a gain of 0.8 percent.

Saratoga County accounts for most of the net gains, including former downstate residents who moved into the county, the report says.

Of the 11 Capital Region counties, only Montgomery and Columbia lost residents to other areas and states from 2000-08, the report found…

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Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100
Fax: 518-434-3130


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.