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Most of upstate New York continues to lose people

Wed, 04/11/2012 - 6:10am

Although New York state grew by 87,093 people in the 15 months after the 2010 census, 37 upstate counties lost population, according to new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.

County-level census data shows 19,465,197 people were living in the state n July 1, 2011, and that New York state's population growth -- 0.45 percent -- was half the 0.9 percent growth rate for the country.

Jan Vink, research support specialist for Cornell's Program on Applied Demographics -- part of the Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center in the College of Human Ecology -- analyzed county-by-county data and found:

  • 37 of New York's 62 counties saw an estimated population decrease.

  • The New York City area had the fourth-largest population increase in the nation at 118,791 people.

  • The New York City and Mid-Hudson regions are the only regions that grew faster than the state average. The biggest numeric loss (-2,660) was in western New York and the biggest percentage loss (-0.4 percent) in the Mohawk Valley.

  • Broome, Erie and Sullivan counties lost the most residents.
  • Tompkins County gained 159 residents.

Southern Tier and western New York death rates are nearly as high as birth rates, and in upstate counties that lost population, more people moved out of the area than moved in. Because its population growth did not keep pace with other regions of the United States, New York state lost two congressional seats following the 2010 census.

"For most of the counties and the regions in New York, it's kind of a continuation of the trend from the last decade," Vink said. "People are leaving, but there are also fewer people coming in to the state."

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