ALBANY — New Yorkers have gone from Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” to Bob Marley’s “Exodus.”
The state’s outmigration continues to worsen while the overall population in 2015-16 dropped for the first time in a decade, a new study released Tuesday revealed.
The population dip was minuscule, but still marked the first decline of any kind since 2005-06, according to the report by the Empire Center for Public Policy.
Overall, New York’s population as of July was 19.75 million, down 1,894 from a year ago. Meanwhile, the state lost 191,367 residents more residents to other states than it gained during the 12-month period ending in July — a number equal to the total population of Yonkers, New York’s third largest city.
And it brought the total outmigration over the past six years to 846,669, said the report, which is based on U.S. Census data. That’s the most of any state during that time.
“Domestic migration is really probably the clearest indicator we have of whether state and local policy are working and making New York more attractive as a place to live and do business,” said Empire Center research director E.J. McMahon, who wrote the report. “It would seem it’s not yet.”
The Census data used for the report does not show where New Yorkers escaped. But McMahon said that in the past, up to 25% left for Florida while about a third went to neighboring states like Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
New York’s population loss the last year was offset in part by an influx of foreign immigrants and the fact there were more births than deaths.
New York added 118,748 foreign immigrants over the 12-month period ending in July, which trailed only California and Florida.
Meanwhile, there were 75,794 more births in the state than deaths, the third highest figure in the country behind only California and Texas.
McMahon said that while the outmigration from New York has increased to its highest levels in nine years, the influx of foreign immigration has slowed over the past decade compared to previous decades.
“The other big immigration intake states do not do as badly as we do,” he said.
Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi didn’t comment directly on the report.
“The fact is that under this administration, we’ve instituted reforms that led to the lowest middle-class taxes in 70 years, the lowest corporate tax rates since 1968 and the lowest manufacturing tax rate since 1917, a property tax cap, the lowest state spending increases in modern history, and an unemployment rate that is significantly lower in every region of the state,” Azzopardi said.
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