Since 2000, New York has lost more than 2 million residents to other states. This net domestic migration outflow, which dates back to the 1960s, is a major reason why the Empire State has fallen to fourth place in national population rankings, behind California, Texas and Florida.
The Empire Center closely tracks demographic trends, on both a statewide and regional basis, as the ultimate indicator of the state’s attractiveness as a place to live, work and raise a family. Here are links to some of our reports on the subject over the past 10 years:
What 2019 Census data tell us about NY “places,” online report, May 2020
Where are New yorkers headed?, January 2020.
NY’s Demographic Doldrums, Research & Data Bulletin, December 2019
New York’s ongoing population loss was mainly downstate in 2017-18, April 2019
Upstate, downstate NY flatlining in latest annual Census estimates, Research & Data Bulletin, March 2018
NY out-migration tops 1 million, Research & Data Bulletin, December 2017
Upstate population drop continues; 46 of 62 NY counties down since 2010, Research & Data Bulletin, March 2017
More people left NYS in 2015-16, Research & Data Bulletin, December 2016
Population is dropping faster in upstate New York counties, Research & Data Bulletin, March 2016
New Yorkers keep heading for exits, Research & Data Bulletin, December 2015
Upstate New York population started to shrink in 2010-14, Research & Data Bulletin, March 2015
Outflow of New Yorkers rose in 2013-14, Research & Data Bulletin , December 2014
The Empire State exodus continues, Research & Data Bulletin , January 2014
NY still # 3 … for now, NYTorch, December 2013
The Graying of the Empire State, Research Bulletin, August 2012
Empire State’s Half-Century Exodus, Research Bulletin , August 2011
Empire State Exodus, Research Bulletin, October 2009
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E.J. McMahon, research director at the Empire Center for Public Policy, had presented estimates to the joint legislative fiscal committees earlier this year on the potential consequences of departures. He predicted that if the state lost 10% of residents with median adjusted gross income of more than $10 million, New York would lose $265 million in tax revenue, more than the entire state-funded budget for the Department of Environmental Conservation. (The total state budget is $175 billion.)
There has also been declining enrollment at New York's public colleges, mainly at its community colleges. At public schools, the 2.6 million students is the lowest in nearly 30 years, according to the Empire Center for New York State Policy.
Government watchdog E.J. McMahon, of the Empire Center, warned that the Amazon ordeal would be noticed by other firms.
“The Amazon fiasco definitely sent a signal, and it’s not a good signal from multiple angles,” McMahon said.
“Governor DeSantis couldn’t have picked a better time to work on poaching New York businesses, especially high earners in finance. More than a few will no doubt find it tempting to at least listen to Florida’s pitch.”