New York state lost more residents last year than any other state in the U.S.

Newly reported data from the U.S. Census Bureau places New York at the top of the list of just nine states that lost residents between 2017 and 2018.

New York lost 48,510 people while Illinois was close with a drop of 45,116 residents.

New York is the fourth most populous state in the country, trailing only California, Texas and Florida. As a percentage of total population, New York’s 0.25 percent loss was less significant than that of West Virginia, Illinois, Alaska and Hawaii.

But the latest Census report marks the third straight year New York has lost population, as the overall population in the country grows.

New York continues to have more births than deaths, but it is losing residents to other states. The issue was noted in a report by the Empire Center for Public Policy, a fiscally conservative Albany think tank.

New York’s total net domestic migration loss — measuring the number of people moving from New York to other states against those moving in — is estimated at 1,197,600 residents since the 2010 census, the Empire Center reported. That number is the largest total decrease among states, and second only to Alaska as a percentage of population at the start of the decade.

Between July 2017 and July 2018, 180,306 more residents moved out of New York state than moved in from the rest of the country, according to Census data. Meanwhile, New York attracted 70,375 immigrants from other countries over the same span. That total ranks behind only Florida, California and Texas. But with the more than 180,000 residents leaving, New York sustained a net migration loss of 109,931 people in the past year.

The Census Bureau will release population data by county in March. If those numbers follow the trend from previous years, population loss will be focused in counties in upstate New York. Between 2016 and 2017, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland and Sullivan counties all posted population gains, as did New York City and Long Island. But every other upstate county outside of Monroe and Albany lost population.

In a separate report in October, the Empire Center argued upstate New York’s economic recovery from the 2008 financial crisis has been among the weakest of any region in the country. Since 2010, private job growth has focused on New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley. Upstate counties, the report said, have gained private-sector jobs at just one-third the national rate, and less than one-third of the rate downstate.

The Hudson Valley region overall recently lost residents, according to a December report from the Marist Bureau of Economic Research.

The region — classified as Dutchess, Putnam, Ulster, Rockland, Sullivan and Westchester counties — lost more than 28,000 households between 2011 and 2016, according to the report. Marist compiled IRS county-to-county migration data for the study.

The loss of residents resulted in an average annual net loss of $1.3 billion in adjusted gross income, Marist found.

“That kind of loss impacts everything from how infrastructure is maintained to what businesses might come into the region,” said Christy Huebner Caridi, director of the bureau and an assistant professor of economics at Marist College in Poughkeepsie.

During the five-year period Marist reviewed, 45,528 Hudson Valley households were lost to other states. Migration within the state, meanwhile, resulted in a net gain of 18,503 households for the Hudson Valley.

Foreign migration, Marist reported, resulted in 1,191 households lost.

For the households leaving Hudson Valley counties, the southern U.S. was the most popular destination, accounting for half of the outflows. Marist credited the trend to a mix of retirements, the lower cost of living in the South and reduced state and local regulations.

The report noted that of the people who move within the Hudson Valley, Dutchess, Sullivan and Ulster counties received the largest number of households moving within the region, mostly coming from counties to the south such as Rockland and Westchester.

The Census report found that Nevada and Idaho had the largest percentage increases in population over the past year. Texas’ overall population grew the most, by 379,128 people in the last year.

As for New York’s neighbors, Connecticut experienced a population loss of 1,215 residents, just 0.03 percent of its total population. New Jersey gained about 19,000 residents for an increase of about 0.22 percent. Vermont added about 1,700 for a 0.28 percent increase and New Hampshire grew half a percentage point with about 6,700 new residents. Massachusetts added about 38,000 for a 0.57 percent increase. Pennsylvania’s population grew about 0.13 percent, up about 16,000 residents.


© 2019 Westfair Online

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Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
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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.