ALBANY >> New York got a double dose of bad news Tuesday, as it dropped to fourth place among most populated states amid signs the alarming trend of people moving out is accelerating once again.

The population exodus “is back almost to matching a level of 2007,” E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center said. “Our economy hasn’t gotten any better relative to the other places people are going.”

The recession kept people stagnant for several years, but with the economy improving, New Yorkers are heading for the door once again for jobs and brighter futures, McMahon said.

As for a new Census report out Tuesday showing New York falling behind Florida in population, “it’s a long-term trend. If anything had happened to slow the trend in recent years, we’d still be number three.”

McMahon says the reasons people are leaving have nothing to do with winter weather and are only partially the result of high taxes. Bigger factors are a lack of affordable housing downstate and a chronically poor upstate economy with little economic opportunity to keep people there.

“There’s no jobs being created upstate; net, virtually none,” he said.

In a memo posted online Tuesday, the Empire Center said the improving economy is why “the movement of New Yorkers to other states (has) surged back to pre-recession levels.”

“During the 12 months ending last July, 153,921 more residents moved out of New York than moved into it from other states, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates,” the Empire Center stated. “It was the Empire State’s largest estimated outflow since 2008, and it brought New York’s estimated net ‘domestic migration’ loss to 462,172 people since 2010, and to 2 million residents since 2000.”

On the plus side, the group said New York drew 118,799 foreign immigrants, second only to California.

“Thanks in part to a high birth rate among recent immigrants, the Empire State was credited by the Census Bureau with an estimated ‘natural increase’ of 86,353 people, more than any state except California and Texas,” it said.

The census reported Tuesday that Florida has overtaken New York as the third most populous, trailing the two mega-states, California and Texas.

“By adding an average of 803 new residents each day between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, Florida passed New York to become the nation’s third most populous state,” the Census reported. “Florida’s population grew by 293,000 over this period, reaching 19.9 million. The population of New York increased by 51,000 to 19.7 million.”

That compares to 38.8 million people in California and 27 million in Texas. In descending order, the remainder of the top 10 list of most populous states is Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina and Michigan.

“Due to its large net domestic migration loss, New York’s total population of 19,746,227 was up just 0.3 percent, less than half the national rate during the period. As a result, New York for the first time fell to fourth place in the nation’s population rankings behind Florida … Based on previous data trends, many of Florida’s newest residents undoubtedly are former New Yorkers,” the Empire Center memo says.

McMahon said New York still does well in attracting immigrants but has a hard time keeping them. He attributed that to high housing costs downstate caused by “NIMBYism” in the suburbs and hurdles to building affordable housing in New York City.

Immigrants who come to New York for the economic opportunity end up leaving because they are priced out of the downstate housing market. Upstate would be a natural destination for new arrivals, but affordable housing prices are no match for the near total lack of jobs there.

As for Buffalo snow storms and miserable upstate winters, they play a small role in decisions on where to live in many cases. “North Dakota has dreadful winters,” he said.

The Census said North Dakota, a center for fracking mining of gas and oil, was the fastest growing state last year.

© 2014 NYSNYS News

Tags:

You may also like

‘Super-rich’ may balk at NY taxes, but will they walk?

E.J. McMahon, research director at the Empire Center for Public Policy, had presented estimates to the joint legislative fiscal committees earlier this year on the potential consequences of departures. He predicted that if the state lost 10% of residents with median adjusted gross income of more than $10 million, New York would lose $265 million in tax revenue, more than the entire state-funded budget for the Department of Environmental Conservation. (The total state budget is $175 billion.) Read More

New Yorkers fleeing for Florida more than any other state

There has also been declining enrollment at New York's public colleges, mainly at its community colleges. At public schools, the 2.6 million students is the lowest in nearly 30 years, according to the Empire Center for New York State Policy. Read More

Florida governor meets with NYC businesses amid Amazon fallout

Government watchdog E.J. McMahon, of the Empire Center, warned that the Amazon ordeal would be noticed by other firms. “The Amazon fiasco definitely sent a signal, and it’s not a good signal from multiple angles,” McMahon said. “Governor DeSantis couldn’t have picked a better time to work on poaching New York businesses, especially high earners in finance. More than a few will no doubt find it tempting to at least listen to Florida’s pitch.” Read More

New York continues to lose more people to other states

"Upstate is not creating jobs. And you're not going to hang out in Upstate New York waiting for a job to turn up," McMahon said. Upstate is where the overall net loss for the state is coming from. McMahon, who's been crunching Census Bureau data said the impact is obvious. Read More

Population drops 3 percent in five years, says report

Cattaraugus County’s population continued to drop in the first half of this decade, losing 3.03 percent of its residents and leaving it in 55th place among 62 counties in terms of population growth. The 2010 census showed Cattaraugus County with 80,317 residents. As of Dec. 31, 2015, it had dropped to 77,885, a loss of 2,432. From 2010 to 2015, 2,789 people left the county, or 3.47 percent of the population, a report by the Empire Center for Public Policy in Albany shows. At the same time, there was a natural increase in the population of 524, or 0.65 percent. Read More

Despite population decline in upstate New York, Jefferson County grows

While a majority of upstate New York counties have lost residents in recent years, Jefferson County is among a small handful that saw population increases between 2010 and 2015, according to a recent study from the Empire Center for Public Policy. Read More

Jefferson County Population Grows, St. Lawrence & Lewis Shrink

Unlike most of upstate New York, Jefferson County is gaining residents. "Jefferson County was one of just nine counties in upstate New York that had a higher population in 2015 than it did in 2010," said Ken Girardin, policy analyst with the Empire Center for Public Policy. Read More

More retirees leaving NY for Florida

As the cold weather moves in, more and more New York residents move out. They used to call them snowbirds, but each year tens of thousands now stay long after the snow flies. There are two big reasons, weather and taxes, and one government watchdog group says its costing New York State. Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

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

Phone: 518-434-3100
Fax: 518-434-3130
E-Mail: info@empirecenter.org

About

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.