Census Estimates Show New York Still Losing Population

ALBANY, N.Y. (WGRZ & Gannett Albany Bureau) — more than half of New York’s counties, including all in Western New York, lost population or failed to grow population at a substantial rate over the last decade, according to U.S. Census data released Monday.

The 34 counties that had a negative population growth were all in the upstate region — adding more fuel to the fire that with job and industry losses in the upstate region, residents have fled as well.

Erie County was the largest county to lose population in the last decade, the Census data found. The county had a population of 950,265 residents in 2000. in 10 years, the population tumbled to 906,245, a 4.6 percent decrease, according to the estimate.

Western New York’s 8-county region saw a combined population loss of 69,897 over the past decade, a 4.4% drop.

WEB EXTRA: Searchable Database To the Left For County-By-County Census Data

The population estimates released by the Census Bureau are based on administrative records such as births, deaths and immigration, and not population surveys. Additional Census data is to be released later this month.

New York City and its suburban counties continue to grow at a steady clip.

Westchester County, for example, grew by more than 4 percent. “New York City and downstate generally have been doing pretty well economically in recent years. So the basic connection is a strong economy and healthy job growth keeps residents,” said Robert Ward, the deputy director of the Rockefeller Institute of Government.

Orange County was the fastest growing county in the last decade, growing 12.2 percent.

Dutchess County also grew its population by nearly 4.4 percent in the last 10 years, the data showed.

But there were bright spots for the areas outside of the New York City sphere of influence.

Saratoga County, which enjoys a strong tourism economy and is the site of an expanding computer chip manufacturing plant, grew its population by 9.6 percent since 2000.

And Tompkins County, which includes Cornell University in Ithaca, grew by 6.25 percent, according to the population estimates.

Still, the lack of population growth in upstate counties – especially in western New York and the Adirondack Park – is stark.

“The struggling areas of upstate continue to decline, unfortunately,” Ward said.

Hamilton, Delaware and Orleans counties, meanwhile, lost the largest percentage of their population.

Monroe County’s population stayed largely flat over the last decade, with a 0.22 percent decrease.

The state’s population is estimated to be 19.5 million, a 3.1 percent increase since 2000.

Though New York’s population has increased, it did not grow as fast as the rest of the country, which will impact how many congressional representatives the state is allotted in reapportionment. New York is expected to lose two congressional seats in 2012.

The issue of population growth has raised alarm bells in Albany. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in his budget address last month that jobs need to be brought to the state in order to grow the population.

Written by NICK REISMAN Gannett Albany Bureau

Gannett ContentOne – Albany, NY

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Census Estimates Show New York Still Losing Population

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