The percentage of New Yorkers leaving the state is the highest it has been since 2007, according to a new analysis by the Empire Center.

While the causes for the out-migration differ between upstate and downstate, the simple message is it has become very expensive to live in New York, according to Edmund J. McMahon, president of the fiscally conservative think tank.

“The commonality is that the comparative tax burden is high statewide,” Mr. McMahon said. “Upstate it is a lack of economic opportunity. There’s been very little job growth upstate during this period. Downstate, there’s been more job growth, but housing affordability, I think, is a big problem.”

Between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, New York lost 150,000 more residents than it gained, resulting in a net “domestic migration” loss of 462,172 people since 2010 and 2 million since 2000, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

This year, New York fell to fourth place on the list of the nation’s most populous states.

Florida became the third most populous, according to the bureau. Newspapers there capitalized on the development, taunting New York with headlines such as “You call that an Empire?” by the Tampa Tribune.

Mr. McMahon placed much of the blame for the state’s population woes on local government expenses and a difficult business environment.

He also faulted some of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s policies, including the recent decision to ban hydraulic fracturing as well as the Start-Up New York initiative, which aims to foster technology development by offering tax incentives to emerging companies located adjacent to approved universities in the state.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday found that a majority of New York state voters — 55 percent — approved of the governor’s decision on fracking.

But Mr. McMahon, who noted that many of the people leaving the state left from the New York City area because of the high cost of living there, said the ban represented a significant loss for the upstate economy.

“(Banning) fracking is throwing away a huge economic growth opportunity,” Mr. McMahon said. “There’s nothing the state can try to force-feed into that Southern Tier region, in particular, that’s going to come close to replicating what fracking would have done.”

© 2014 Watertown Daily Times

You may also like

BLOG: Think tank cites state’s anti-pipeline policies in fatal acciden

The Empire Center said Tuesday that the fatal accident involving a natural gas truck outside Binghamton on Monday, is a negative consequence of the state government’s opposition to gas pipelines. Read More

‘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