Recently released population figures do not paint an improving picture for our county and region. According to the Empire Center figures — over the last nine years — all of our municipalities are losing residents.
Almost as concerning is the entities that are losing the most are not always the most troubled. When you consider cities and villages, the leading losses are: Westfield, -6.8%; Silver Creek and Fredonia, -6.5%; Dunkirk, -6.1%; with Brocton, Sinclairville and Cherry Creek all tallying losses of more than 5%.
Towns with the greatest losses of 6% or more included: Stockton, Westfield and Pomfret. The town with the least amount of population loss was one of the county’s smallest. Arkwright lost 2.2% of its residents over the last nine years.
Unfortunately, this trend of population decreases does nothing to change the outlook by too many governments. While we have seen a couple of dissolutions in Forestville and Cherry Creek, most municipalities continue to cling to what they have, passing on the tax burden to fewer residents.
New York state and Albany are not responsible for this mindset. Instead, it is local stubborn values that drive up property taxes for those who choose to remain.
Judging by the Empire Center numbers, those residents are much fewer.