Nearly a quarter-million people left New York for other states in the past year, continuing a long-term trend in which the Empire State has been a leading demographic loser.

According to newly released Census Bureau population estimates[1]:

  • Roughly 12 out of every 1,000 New York residents moved elsewhere in the country between mid-2005 and mid-2006-nearly double the overall rate of out-migration for the slow-growing Northeast region.
  • New York’s loss of 225,766 people to other states between 2005 and 2006 was exceeded only by the out-migration totals for California and hurricane-ravaged Louisiana.
  • More than 1.2 million New York residents have moved to other states since 2000-the biggest such loss experienced by any state.

As shown in Figure 1, an influx of foreign immigrants and the “natural” gain from births largely offset New York’s internal migration exodus in the past six years, allowing the population to rise slightly, to about 19.3 million. But the state has been growing at less than one-third the national rate in this decade. As a result, the Empire State is on track to slip from third to fourth in state population rankings within a few years.




1. All of the Census Bureau data cited in this report can be found at

2. Where are all the New Yorkers going? Separate Census Bureau and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data point to Florida and New Jersey as leading destinations, followed by Connecticut and by other southern states.



About the Author

Tim Hoefer

Tim Hoefer is president & CEO of the Empire Center for Public Policy.

Read more by Tim Hoefer

You may also like

New Yorkers Keep Heading For Exits

New York continues to lead the nation when it comes to net outflow of residents to other states. Read More

Upstate, downstate NY flatlining in latest annual Census estimates

Population totals barely budged in New York State between 2016 and 2017, according to the latest annual U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Read More

Checklist for Change: 2018 Edition

Reforms that would reduce the state’s cost burdens and improve its climate for growth. Read More

NY out-migration tops 1 million

New York lost another 190,508 residents to other states, bringing the state's total domestic migration change since 2010 to a net loss of more than 1 million people. Read More

Population is dropping faster in upstate New York counties

Upstate New York's population began to decline at a faster rate between mid-2014 and 2015, according to updated Census Bureau estimates. Read More

New Yorkers keep heading for exits

New York's leading export remains people. Read More

Upstate New York population started to shrink in 2010-14

After a small gain during the previous decade, upstate New York’s population dropped slightly between 2010 and 2014, according to Census Bureau data. Read More

Outflow of New Yorkers rose in 2013-14

As the national economy improved between mid-2013 and 2014, the movement of New Yorkers to other states surged back to pre-recession levels. Read More