NY still #3 … for now

by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

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Newly released Census estimates show New York is still the nation’s third most populous state, barely ahead of Florida. However, if total population growth trends continue at the average rate of the past three years, Florida will overtake New York by mid-2014, the data indicate. As of July 1, New York’s estimated population was 19.65 million, and Florida’s was 19.55 million.

When the April 2010 census was taken, New York had 576,792 more residents than Florida. As of July 1, the gap had shrunk to 98,267, the new data suggest. Additional Census data on the components of change in state population estimates, including migration out of and into each state, are not scheduled for release until late January. Those numbers have previously shown that New York’s relative population decline over the past 50 years has been due primarily to an exceptionally large “net domestic migration” loss of residents to other states, including Florida.

Slow growth

The chart below shows the rate of change in total population for all 50 states and the District of Columbia over the past three years, going back to the 2010 Census. New York’s 1.4 percent growth rate (the red bar below) trailed 32 other states and D.C., and was just over one-half the national growth rate of 2.4 percent.

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Note: Riding an oil and gas boom, North Dakota has had the highest population growth since 2010, trailed narrowly by D.C., which is has been riding a tax-money-extraction boom since the Great Recession.  Texas, Utah, Colorado and Florida also had growth rates of 4 percent of better in the past three years. At the bottom of the list was Rhode Island, the only net population loser since 2010.

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- E.J. McMahon is the Research Director at the Empire Center for Public Policy.