New York’s population decreased by 101,984 residents—the largest loss of any state—during the 12-month period that ended last July 1, according to just-released Census Bureau estimates. The Empire State’s population as of mid-2023 was pegged at 19,571,216, a cumulative decline of 631,104 from the Census Bureau’s updated April 2020 base count.

The 12-month trend for the period ending last July 1 was driven by a net outflow of 216,778 New Yorkers to the rest of the country — meaning 216,778 more people moved out of the Empire State than moved in from other states during the previous 12 months.

While net domestic migration was down from New York’s near-record losses during the first two years following the spring 2020 COVID-19 outbreak, it remained well above the Empire State’s average annual migration outflow in any decade since the 1970s, as illustrated below.

Since 2020, the Census Bureau estimates, New York has lost 884,000 residents to other states. As a percentage of its 2022 population, New York’s net domestic migration loss of 1.1 percent last year was larger than any state’s; in absolute terms, it was exceeded only by California’s net outflow of 338,371 people.

New York’s out-migration loss was only partially offset by a net gain of 73,867 international migrants, ranking the state fourth in that category after Florida (178,432), California (150,982), and Texas (128,534), leaving the Empire State with a combined domestic-international migration loss of 142,911 residents in the latest period and 701,412 since the 2020 census. According to the Census Bureau, whose annual population estimates are supposed to reflect all immigration regardless of legal status, New York has gained 181,264 international migrants since 2020. By comparison, as of October, Mayor Eric Adams estimated that 126,700 “asylum seekers” had moved into the city since spring 2022.

Other notable trends from the Census Bureau’s Vintage 2023 state estimates:

  • The total U.S. population as of July 1, 2023, was estimated at 334,914,815—up about 1.6 million people, or 0.5 percent, from a year earlier.
  • New York’s population decline was the largest among the eight states with any population loss during the period (see map below). On a percentage basis, the New York population decrease of 0.5 percent also was the nation’s largest, trailed by Louisiana and Hawaii at -0.3 percent each. In nominal terms, California’s population decrease of 75,423 was the second largest of any state’s, but represented just 0.2 percent of its 2022 estimated population.
  • The largest population gains were in two other states whose total populations already surpassed New York’s: Texas (+473,453) and Florida (+365,205).
  • Despite New York’s latest six-figure decline, the Northeast region as a whole lost only 43,330 people. Within the region, only Pennsylvania experienced a population decline (-10,408), while neighboring New Jersey and all six New England states experienced small population increases.

 

 

Interstate migration across the country slowed notably in 2022-23, a trend that may be explained in part by the sharp increase in long-term mortgage interest rates that began in early 2022, making homes less affordable on the heels of price increases in popular destinations during the pandemic.

While the annual population estimates don’t indicate the destinations of out-migrating New Yorkers, there was a marked drop of 39 percent in net domestic migration to Florida, which gained only 194,438 residents from the rest of the country in 2022-23 after an especially large inflow of 317,923 in 2020-21. By contrast, net domestic migration to Texas was down only 17 percent during the same period, from 224,896 to 186,867.

New York’s 2022-23 population gain from natural causes—i.e., births minus deaths among residents—was the third largest of any state at 41,536, trailing only Texas (+158,253) and California (+111.416). There were negative natural change numbers in 19 states, with Pennsylvania (-11,079) at the bottom. Retirement haven Florida had the third largest natural decline, with 7,603 more deaths than births. New York’s crude birth rate in 2022-23 was just below the 50-state median at 10.6 per 1,000 residents, little changed from the prior year and slightly below the national rate of 10.9.  However, a relatively low death rate per 1,000 left New York with a “natural” population increase (births minus deaths) of 2.11 per 1,000, high enough to rank 15 out of 50.

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

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